Helpful Insights On Real Estate

Real Estate Marketing Tips

9 Listing Presentation Tips

How to master your listing

As a current or former student in our real estate license school you might remember my lecture from Real Estate Practice on listing presentations. I’ve placed a link to the YouTube video here if you

As a current or former student in our real estate license school you might remember my lecture from Real Estate Practice on listing presentations. I’ve placed a link to the YouTube video here if you need a refresher or haven’t seen it yet. While this video isn’t intended to be a real estate crash course it’s still helpful to watch as you strategize around building your seller-focused real estate business. While buyer clients are important, a scaleable real estate business is built around controlling listing inventory and that means working with sellers. In order to obtain listings, you must become proficient at generating seller leads and making killer presentations. The high-level goal is to demonstrate you are the best Realtor for the job of selling their home. Because of the competitive nature of the market you’ll need to have a solid listing presentation. Sellers have options when it comes to listing their home as the number of real estate agents in an area far exceeds the inventory at any given time. I’ve put together some tips as you work with and negotiate with a potential seller. 1. Introduce yourself Every meeting starts with an introduction. Keep in mind first impressions matter—so be sure to get this part right—and remember to smile. Be prepared to share your credentials, previous successes, and any other pertinent information demonstrating why you’re the right person to list their home. 2. Know the property Before you arrive, make sure you’ve researched everything possible about the property and dig beyond surface-level information like bedroom and bathroom count. If you haven’t done your homework, it’ll be obvious to the seller. Make sure that your Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is detailed, up- to-date and visually appealing. 3. Walk through the selling process Share a clear timeline with the seller so they know what to expect. Much of this timeline will depend upon the current state of the market, so be prepared to explain any circumstances that will impact the time it’ll take from listing to contract and from contract to close. It’s also important to also explain to the seller that buyers will generally have the right to conduct an inspection on the home while it’s in escrow. This could cause the buyer to ask for repairs or even ask for a monetary credit as a result of the inspection. Going through several possible scenarios with the seller will help minimize surprises during the listing. 4. Explain pricing strategy The main thing that prevents a listing from selling is an inappropriate price. Proper pricing can overcome nearly everything. Does the property have an inferior location? Price it properly. Is there an odd smell or is the home in desperate need of landscaping? Fix the price. The professional real estate agent should have relevant comps pulled, bearing in mind the condition of the subject property, condition and location of comps, and have the communication skills to convey this information to the seller. Be prepared and ready to explain the recommended price to the seller. It’s not uncommon for the owner to believe that their home is worth more money than your data suggests, especially in the world of Zillow. I recorded a YouTube video about this here if you need a refresher. 5. Explain pre-listing steps As a sales technique, speak to the seller during the presentation as though you already have the listing. Educate them on what will be occurring after they sign. Assume that they are going to be listing with you. It’s important that the seller know that the property won’t hit the market the instant you leave the presentation as there are many things that still have to happen. Photography must be arranged, marketing collateral needs to be created and copy must be written, as examples. Giving the sellers a heads up about the process will go a long way in establishing rapport,trust and an understanding of the cadence of the process. 6. Explain marketing strategy If your marketing strategy consists of placing the property on the MLS with one iPhone photo - this isn’t going to be enough. Since real estate commissions easily run $10,000+ on most homes in California, it’s important to explain to the seller what the plan to sell their home is and why our commissions are as they are. A well thought out marketing plan will help justify your fee and aid the seller in understanding where their money goes. Include any syndication, local marketing, and online publicizing—share techniques you use that make their home stand out in a competitive marketplace. 7. Remember to listen You want to build a relationship of trust with clients. Talk to them about why they’re selling their home and ask what their future plans are understanding their needs will help you better serve them. Also remember to include all family members in the discussion. Often times a real estate professional might only speak to one spouse, falsely believing that they are the decision maker when the decision to list might be one made jointly by both owners. God gave us two ears and one mouth-remember to use them run that ratio 8. Dress for success Non-verbal cues like body language, grooming and how we dress can say a lot more than verbal communication can. There is little doubt that in a post-COVID world the business climate has moved away from suits, ties and pantyhose in favor of a more relaxed attire. Depending on your market, how you dress might vary, but generally, business casual is probably appropriate. One last tip: While the world is a bit more casual it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed so choose your wardrobe carefully. 9. Leverage the power of reviews If you (or your company) have testimonials or online reviews from previous clients, bring them to the listing presentation. People are more inclined to trust others who have experienced success with their agents. These nine tips should help you put your best foot forward when making listing presentations. It all starts with the right real estate school so choose wisely. I’d love to help you get started in our great business. Call me at 888 768 5285 and I or a member of my team can get you started. Love, Kartik
Real Estate Marketing Tips

The dos and don'ts of real estate social media posting

Social media realestate media posting

Social media is a terrific way for real estate agents to gain more exposure. However,like any other marketing strategy, you want to be careful about how you post. To ensure social media results that promote

Social media is a terrific way for real estate agents to gain more exposure. However,like any other marketing strategy, you want to be careful about how you post. To ensure social media results that promote a smart strategy, follow these do’s and avoid don’ts when posting on the various platforms. Do’s of real estate social media posting Promoting positive interactions is a must for a successful social media marketing strategy as a real estate agent. Here are a few top best practices. 1. Be selective Be selective with the social media platforms you join. It’s nearly impossible for busy real estate agents to maintain a profile on every social media network. The U.S. NationalAssociation of Realtors (NAR) found in a study 97% of realtors chose Facebook as their preferred network. Facebook was followed by LinkedIn (59%), and Instagram (39%). Roughly one-third choose Twitter. Other possibilities include Pinterest, Snapchat, and YouTube. The key to choosing correctly is to know your target audience.. 2. Be active Promoting on social media goes well beyond setting up a profile and promoting listings.If you focus on self-promotion, you’re only going to alienate people. Instead, concentrate on being a part of the community. Share posts, make comments, ask thoughtful questions, and give shoutouts to connections. Bottom line, be consistent in terms of activity and be responsive to others. 3. Use visibility strategies When posting or sharing others’ posts, be sure to use visibility strategies to gain traction. Good methods include using keywords with hashtags and tagging others in your network to give them call-outs. Don’ts of real estate social media posting Just one blunder can soil your professional standing, but a series of bad practices can really hurt your reputation if not careful. Here are the top don’ts when it comes to social media marketing for real estate agents. 1. Don't be overly promotional This is #1 on the list of things NOT to do. Don’t try to oversell on your page, but use social media to share interesting news, customer interests, how-to’s, or even fun memes. By using your page strictly as a personal listing mechanism, people will disconnect from you or scroll through your posts without even looking. Always follow the 80/20 rule when using social media. 2. Use your own photos Photos are a critical aspect of promoting properties. Ideally, you want to use your own photos to highlight listings you promote. (20% of your posts!) If using others' photos, be sure to first ask permission first and then publicly give credit to the photo’s owner. 3. Don’t post constantly The trick to social media marketing success is balance. You need to find the “Goldilocks” level of posting. In other words, don’t post so frequently it becomes “noise”,or worse, social media’s version of unsolicited robocalls. Then again, you don’t want to post so infrequently that you become irrelevant. Focus on timely, thoughtful, and interesting posts, spread out. Determine what your audience likes and then deliver it. Savvy real estate agents know how to skillfully use social media to gain the trust of potential clients and maintain strong relationships with existing ones. Focus on good social media practices, avoid bad ones, and you’ll create a standout online presence.
Real Estate Marketing Tips

How to Optimize Social Media as a Real Estate Agent

Real estate social media strategy

The basic goal of having a professional presence on social media is to increase your visibility among prospective clients. Your goal should be to establish trust and a professional persona, "friends"

The basic goal of having a professional presence on social media is to increase your visibility among prospective clients. Your goal should be to establish trust and a professional persona, "friends" and “likes" are a by-product of your content but should not be the goal. I’m going to go through the various platforms in this article and explain how they can be used to obtain business. If you’re wondering what to post online, I wrote an article about this here that might be of interest to you. You should strive to develop and maintain a social media presence that is diverse and steady and demonstrates to the public that you are knowledgeable and competent and likable. Does that sound like a tall order? It does not have to be. It doesn't have to take much time each week, but your activity on the various platforms should be coordinated and deliberate. You don’t have to be a professional writer, nor an accomplished photographer, but you should strive for personable and authentic posts. The Giants of Social Media The big four social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn with TikTok quickly accelerating and hoping to catch up to the established players. This will change over time, however. If you read old articles on the business of social media you’ll see references to Flickr, Myspace and even Friendster so I know that this article isn’t going to age well - but that’s kind of the point. Being able to bob and weave and pivot to where the puck is “going to be” will help you stay fresh and relevant as a business person. You really have to be fine with trying different approaches on all platforms. Some real estate agents find YouTube to be highly effective, while others migrate in the direction of short form TikTok videos or more graphic social media sites like Pinterest. Facebook With more than 2.7 billion users worldwide, Facebook could be seen as the anchor of your social media presence. Although it may not be the younger generation's favorite, your real estate clientele is likely to be among its users so embrace it. There is a debate around the ratio of personal posts compared to business ones. A best practice here would be to try all sorts of things until you find a rhythm that works for you and your audience. We would love to get you know you on Facebook! Connect with us here. Instagram Instagram is a quick and effective way to share photos and video content with your followers. With 1.2 billion monthly active users, it is another indispensable way to reach potential clients and boost your following. Another advantage is that, because of its affiliation with Facebook, each Instagram post can be shared on Facebook, and vice versa making posting to both platforms seamless. Don’t forget that Instagram has cool buttons like “vote”, “quiz”, and question/answer type buttons. These interactive features allow you to get to know your audience and also provides insight into what your followers like. If you are interested in connecting with our real estate school on Instagram we would love to connect! Twitter Tweets are short (they have been increased to 280 characters from their former 140) and short-lived, and the platform is instantaneous in a way all its own. It doesn't take much time to get the hang of it, and it can gain you a following fairly quickly as a knowledgeable real estate professional when used correctly. It's an ideal way to share information -- such as a daily change in the interest rate, an interesting new listing, or a price reduction -- with your followers. LinkedIn Microsoft purchased this business-oriented social media platform and its influence among professionals cannot be underestimated. LinkedIn also gained importance during the pandemic as the platform for B2B interaction. Be sure your personal profile is complete and that you use a professional photo for your headshot. Regular posts and interaction with other professionals is beneficial. LinkedIn can also be used to gain referrals for your real estate business from out of area agents. Every referral received by a real estate agent can be worth $10,000+ so being recognized as the go-to agent in your area can be very valuable. If you are one of our real estate school students, there’s nothing wrong with you posting right now that you are enrolled in our real estate classes online on your LinkedIn so that your audience knows that you are going to be a future real estate agent. Develop a Posting Calendar Develop a social media schedule. Aim for a minimum of two or three social media posts each week on each platform in the beginning and share links between platforms when appropriate. Send a tweet to point followers to a Facebook post, for instance, or share an Instagram photo automatically to your Facebook page. Write a short article for LinkedIn and post a short sentence and a link on Facebook. Use Twitter to tell your followers that a specific home you listed just closed, that the price on a specific property was lowered, or that interest rates are slated to rise next week, according to the latest financial news. Encourage interaction, try your level best to respond to comments, and thank your followers for their support. Introduce a new buyer to the community by posting a photo of them at their new front door (with their permission, of course). Lend your support to a community event or don’t be shy to promote your latest achievement to your audience. Share a humorous story or post a cute "puppy" picture just for the fun of it. Just make sure your posts are believable, accurate and in good taste. And have fun with social media. When done properly you’ll reap the reward through increased business. If you are interested in getting started in real estate courses, click here or reach out by phone at 888-768-5285 or @ us! :) Love, Kartik
Real Estate Marketing Tips

4 Email Campaigns to Send to Keep in Touch with Real Estate Clients

Real estate agent emailing her clients

As a real estate agent, the importance of keeping in contact with your past clients is something that simply cannot be overstated. On the one hand, if you've just put someone in a new home that they're

As a real estate agent, the importance of keeping in contact with your past clients is something that simply cannot be overstated. On the one hand, if you've just put someone in a new home that they're overwhelmingly enthusiastic about, you may be asking yourself "what's the point?" Why Staying in Touch with Real Estate Clients is So Important The point is, unless they've told you that they are 100% confident that this is their "forever home," they're eventually going to move again one day or even purchase income property. By staying in consistent contact with them over the years, you'll increase the chances that when that day comes, the first person they pick up the phone and call is YOU. Along the same lines, just because THEY aren't looking for a property doesn't mean they don't know someone who is - and with real estate being a word of mouth business, this is one effective way to generate as much of it as you can and a great way to create a real estate referral system. All of this is to say that keeping your clients for life means staying in contact with them, and email campaigns for your past and current clients are an effective way to accomplish precisely that. Creating the most helpful and effective campaigns, however, requires you to keep a few key things in mind. How Often Should You Email Your Real Estate Clients One of the most important things to consider throughout all of this has to do less with the type of emails you're sending and more about how often you're sending them to begin with. Running these types of email campaigns depends on consistency, but at the same time you don't want to send out messages too often or you run the risk of people tuning out. Typically, be prepared to send a few general updates once a month, or every two months, just to keep people informed as to what is going on in the community around them. This will help you stay at the top of their mind, all while continuing to establish yourself as the local market authority. 4 Email Campaigns You Should Send to Past and Current Clients 1.Reach Out to Your Real Estate Clients During the Holidays or to Celebrate Birthdays Having said that, there are certain situations where you should break from this consistency and send out messages more frequently. Whenever the holidays come along, for example, you'll absolutely want to check in with everyone and wish them well. If you know that one of your past clients has a birthday coming up, you'll also want to reach out to them with a personal message to show them that you're still thinking of them and paying attention. Any other types of big life events (if you know a past client just welcomed a baby into the world, for example) will absolutely fall under this umbrella. 2. When the Seasons Change, Share Home Décor Tips If you DON'T have a new listing on the market that you want to show off to people, you can still use these periodic check ins as a way to bring something of value to past clients, too. You could always send out an email message dedicated to nothing but home decor tips, for example - especially as the seasons change and people are thinking of switching up their current look. 3. Share Home Renovation Project Ideas If you know a certain number of your past clients have been in their homes longer than five years, you could also offer insight on potential renovation projects they may want to participate in. This would have been particularly helpful if you were able to do it at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as people suddenly found themselves stuck indoors with a lot of free time on their hands. 4. Send Delicious Recipes That Pair Well with the Holidays You could even just send out messages with recipes that people might want to try when they get the chance. Did you sell a lot of homes to first time homebuyers last year? With the holidays here, you could send out a message giving them all the ins and outs of cooking the perfect holiday treats to really "break in" their new home in style. Remember to Keep in Touch Regardless, you'll always want to capitalize on any opportunity you have to remind people that you're out there, and these are the types of email campaigns that allow you to do precisely that. Love, Kartik
Real Estate Marketing Tips

Social Media Strategies for Realtors: Making a Connection With Your Audience

Real estate agent writing a new facebook post

According to one recent study all of the popular social media networks combined have nearly 3.725 billion active users between them. To put that into context, this represents the vast majority of the 4.54

According to one recent study all of the popular social media networks combined have nearly 3.725 billion active users between them. To put that into context, this represents the vast majority of the 4.54 billion Internet users worldwide - and a pretty significant percentage of the 7.8 billion people on our planet. Whether you're attempting to reach the largest audience possible as a Realtor or want to attract the attention of a small, niche and decidedly local market, social media can help you do all of this and more. But it's important to understand that you need a genuine strategy at the heart of your efforts - something to not only help make sure you're moving in the right direction, but that is also custom built to help you accomplish your specific goals (regardless of what they happen to be). Therefore, if you truly want to succeed on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as a Realtor in the modern era, there are a number of best practices you'll want to keep in mind. It All Begins and Ends With Value By far, one of the most important opportunities that you have to leverage social media to your advantage as a Realtor involves communicating the raw value you're able to bring to the table as clearly and as concisely as possible. Really, this is a best practice that you should be following across all of your marketing endeavors - not just social media, but it will certainly help. Generally speaking, everyone you're going to be communicating with probably already knows what a Realtor does in a large, over-arching sense. They don't need you to provide them with an overview of your job description. This means you shouldn't be afraid to dive deep into the parts of your job that a lot of people don't think about - like how you're an expert in the ever-changing conditions of your local market. Showcase your knowledge of the average time on the market for homes in your area and provide insight into what it means to be a buyer's market versus a seller's market. Ask yourself what you would want to see if you followed a local Realtor. The answers to this question will guide every piece of content you create - not only for social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, but all across your marketing strategy. Always place the emphasis on the people you're trying to reach instead of yourself. You Have to Play the Numbers Game Another important thing you need to be aware of in terms of leveraging social media as a Realtor involves the fact that you should NOT be shy to send direct messages on sites like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or even Twitter. If there's a particular niche that you serve, always go out of your way to reach out and make direct contact with someone to see if you can begin a conversation online and continue it in "real life." Now, the critical thing to understand about this is that you should NOT expect every single person that you message to write you back. They may never see your message at all - or they may leave you on "read" and never respond. This is perfectly okay... so long as you're aware that it's an inevitability and that you do NOT take it personally. Just keep reaching out to the people in your target audience in a concise, consistent manner. But if you send messages to 100 people, maybe 20 will respond. Good news - now you have 20 opportunities to convert prospects into genuine leads that you didn't have before you started. Always, Always, ALWAYS Research Someone First But while reaching out to people via direct messages is always recommended, it's definitely not something you should do blindly. Luckily, you already have a resource that will tell you just about everything you need to know about someone: Their social media profile. Before you send any type of message, make sure that you take a long, hard look at their account for five or ten minutes. This is critical because if someone just posted a picture 20 minutes ago about how their cat passed away earlier in the day, they're definitely not going to be receptive to a hard sales pitch. At best, you're wasting your time and you'll never hear a response from that person. At worst, you'll inadvertently cause such a negative experience that they'll tell their friends and family members about you and at that point, every one of those people is cut off from you permanently. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize Speaking of personalization, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make in terms of establishing your social media presence as a Realtor involves simply copying and pasting messages from person to person. There's no faster way to get someone to hit that "Delete" button than to open a message with "Dear Sir/Madame." These days, people don't want to be "sold to" any longer. They simply don't have the time or the patience for it, considering that they're being bombarded by marketing messages nearly every minute of the day. They get ads in their email inboxes. They get ads on the websites they visit. There are already paid ads on social media. People have started to tune them out - they're little more than "white noise" at this point. The Power of Visual Communication For example, don't be afraid to send pictures through direct messages of houses or buildings that you or your company has recently sold. Sure, you could go into detail about the transaction and what the property has to offer - but you won't be able to make the same type of immediate impact that a picture can with text alone. Overall, this visual approach helps you accomplish a number of things, all of which are critical to your social media success. For starters, images again are just naturally more engaging than text alone and if there's one thing you need as a Realtor on social media, it's engagement. But secondly, images are a great way to show off that you or your company (in the case of new agents) are very active in your community and the area you've dedicated yourself to serving. If people can see all of the real estate transactions you've been a part of, it again starts to establish you as someone worth paying attention to. This in turn generates an enormous amount of social proof as people start to share those images, thus exposing even more potential clients to your brand. Whether you are just starting out in our great real estate business or you are a veteran Realtor it doesn’t hurt to lean into social media as far as possible and cultivate new relationships. Love, Kartik
Real Estate Marketing Tips

Does Direct Mail Real Estate Marketing Work

Mailbox with a direct mail real estate postcard

The truth is that any marketing can work it’s just a matter of how effective it is. As it relates to direct mail, it’s hard to envision a world where the volume of mail is dropped to absolute zero.

The truth is that any marketing can work it’s just a matter of how effective it is. As it relates to direct mail, it’s hard to envision a world where the volume of mail is dropped to absolute zero. As a consequence, direct mail marketing should be here for a good while. The question really comes down to what are some best practices to succeed in making connections that start at the mailbox. 1. Test the Market It may take a few tries to get your target market down. But don’t give up — once you figure out what works, it will be so much easier to continue. Every real estate market has different types of clients, different price points and potential clients with varying needs. Consider creative approaches like sending direct mailers to those living in apartment complexes to convert them to buyers. Consider sending mailers to a down market on an up market listing and aim for two transactions from one mailer. As an example, let’s say you have a $900,000 listing. Consider sending information on that $900,000 listing to a $650,000 neighborhood encouraging them to sell their smaller house and upgrade to a larger one. To this end, A/B testing is absolutely critical. Keep track of what you are sending and to who you are sending it and note the response rates. Pour resources into it. You never know who is thinking about buying real estate and if they see your marketing materials, you’re going to get the call. 2. Point Your Direct Mail To Your Web Presence The world of print should always point to easy-to-find information about how to contact you on social media or online. People want to see that their potential agent is relevant online and has a web presence. By checking you out online, potential clients get a feel for whether you're a good fit. If they find you easily accessible and active, they’re likely to refer you to friends after you work together — or even call you again if they make another big decision! Consider linking all your social media channels on your postcard or letter to make it easy for leads to connect with you. Folks tend to lose interest if they have to search high and low to find you. 3. Be Personal Ever get mail that just reads “current resident” with your address? How impersonal does that feel? Include the person’s name, because a personal detail goes a very long way. If this person gets two mailers, the one that has their name will likely stick around awhile — at least longer than the one they received that could have gone to anybody. Most title companies will pass this information to you in the .csv file for your farm mailers. 4. Speak Highly of Yourself Include ratings, success stories or testimonials if possible. You could even center your whole campaign around a few happy customers in your target market. Hesitancy will decrease significantly if someone sees that other people have been happy with a service. 5. Make It a Keeper When considering USPS mail, consider adding features that will make your information less likely to go in the trash. As it relates to real estate, this means market data that is hyper local and relevant to the area you are mailing to is less likely to be thrown away. 6. Focus on Cohesive Horizontal Design Picture your client walking up the steps from their mailbox, likely at the end of the day, fumbling with groceries, keys or even more. Most of their mail, envelopes, postcards and menus will have a horizontal orientation. Don’t be an outlier, or you’ll likely get tossed. Design your mailer to be cohesive and not intrusive. Make sure they don’t have to turn it every which way to get your message. Make it easy for them. Direct mail is a great way to get exposure. It’s often less expensive than billboards or other advertising methods and it can be passed around and seen by many sets of eyes. Figure out what works for you, and you'll see success. Whatever the marketing channel, remember that consistency always beats out creativity so just keep going!
Real Estate Marketing Tips

The Matterport 3D Camera is the Future of Virtual Home Tours

Matterport camera

If you were searching for a home in the 1950s, you essentially had to do so "the old-fashioned way" - by driving around to available properties in your area and seeing as many of them as you possibly could.

If you were searching for a home in the 1950s, you essentially had to do so "the old-fashioned way" - by driving around to available properties in your area and seeing as many of them as you possibly could. Not only was this a time-consuming process for most people, but it was also inherently ineffective. There are only so many hours in a day and you needed to be very judicious about how you spent them while on the hunt. Then, in the early 1990s, something incredible happened: the World Wide Web was born. It's not a surprise that the prevalence of the Internet in the homes of average people (as opposed to college campuses and businesses) is directly related to the rise of real estate photography. Around that time, real estate agents realized that by including color photos on websites and listings for properties, they could generate more interest - and more leads - than ever before. Home buyers could benefit too, as now they could not only see properties in an adequate amount of detail without ever actually getting in the car, they could suddenly see homes for sale in other cities or even states. This gave everyone involved more options than ever and thus, one of the most important real estate trends of the last quarter century was born. Over the years, this technology has continued to advance and the visual side of the digital experience has become more crucial than ever. Now, it's not uncommon to see real estate agents buying drones so that they can capture high definition videos of a particular property from the air. All of this is in service of an essential goal for any agent: helping someone get a sense of what it might actually be like to live in a property through any means necessary. But as is true in so many other industries, technology in real estate has never really sat still for long. Advancements like the Matterport camera have not only changed the way that agents and buyers alike think about what a listing can be... they've also essentially changed the touring process itself, both for the better and for all-time. Enter: The Matterport Camera Image Source via Originally founded in 2011, Matterport is a company that offers premium camera solutions designed to capture, store and share three dimensional images and models. Based out of Sunnyvale, California, the company's founders say that they started their business to support any customer that relies on integrated 3D models to operate their own organizations - which is a large part of the reason why the platform has been so successful particularly in the real estate industry. How Does the Matterport Camera Work? The actual Matterport devices themselves can be paired with any compatible camera, or a smartphone or other mobile devices like an iPhone. Though the specifics will obviously vary depending on the model you're talking about, in general the process goes like this: First, you use your camera and Matterport to capture HDR panoramic imagery. What makes this solution different from a standard camera, however, is that sophisticated depth information of the environment is captured at the same time. The Matterport platform synthesizes all of that spatial data and visual imagery, essentially combining it in a way that creates a dimensionally accurate 3D digital "twin" of the environment in question. The platform provides further tools that real estate agents can use to generate photo galleries and even virtual "walk-throughs" of a space. The Matterport SDK can be used to integrate this content into an agent's own website or branded applications, thus making it possible to share with anyone, at any time, and from any device. In other words, it's a way to transform standard 2D images into 3D "twins" that are spatially accurate and engaging in a way that regular photos can never be. What Are the Benefits of the Matterport 3D Camera? At the very least, it's a way to allow the photos of a house or other environment to "come alive," offering an experience that is far more interactive than ever before. Matterport images naturally have a bigger sense of dimension to them by design, meaning that people can get a feel for how big a room is or how tall the ceilings are without ever physically stepping foot in that place. Over the last decade, savvy real estate agents have started to use it to make those early stages of buying a home not only more efficient for their customers, but more fun and exciting as well. But as is true for so many other examples of state-of-the-art technology, a lot of people viewed Matterport as little more than a "fun addition" to the buying process up to this point. Yes, it's helpful to get a better sense of the way a home "feels" from the comfort of your computer chair. But for most people, it was a way to quickly disqualify a few homes from their tour list so that they can spend more time in those that remain when they scheduled their in-person tours. It was an asset to real estate professionals, to be sure - but few looked at it as something that was really going to "seal the deal" when it came to actually making a sale. Transitioning to 3D Tours During the Coronavirus Pandemic Until, of course, the Coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020. Just because roughly 60% of Americans are currently under stay-at-home orders does NOT mean those people don't need to buy a new house. A lot of people were likely already in the process of searching when the COVID-19 situation first hit, and others knew that this summer would be the one when they finally moved into the home of their dreams. Being required to stay in your home for an indefinite period of time has certainly hampered those efforts, but luckily the wonders of modern technology have been able to step up and lend a helping hand the same way they always do. According to one recent study, Zillow in particular said that it saw a massive 191% increase in the creation of 3D home tours in one week at the end of March, 2020, when compared with the average number that were created in February. Likewise, real estate brokerage Redfin indicated that it saw a 494% increase in requests for virtual walk-throughs and agent-led video home tours, up dramatically since the beginning of March. Truly, this is something that couldn't have come along at a better time - though even those at Matterport would have had no way of knowing that just a year ago. For so many areas in the country, people have no idea how long current social distancing requirements will stay in place. Even once stay-at-home orders are lifted and things begin to get "back to normal," it'll be difficult to find people willing to walk through what is essentially a public space for a home tour with an in-person agent for the foreseeable future. Thanks to devices like Matterport, however, they don't have to. Virtual tours like those offered from Matterport are a perfect opportunity to show prospective clients a finished, furnished interior in a way that still keeps them as active and as engaged in the buying process as ever, all in a way that seems like it was tailor made for the current environment that we're currently living in. Tomorrow's Technology, Available Today In the end, it was already clear that the Matterport camera (or at the very least, something like it) was going to be the future of the real estate industry as we knew it. It's just that thanks to Coronavirus, few people likely could have predicted that the "future" would have arrived quite as quickly as it did. Even on a basic level, Matterport tours bring with them a host of unique advantages for real estate professionals that can't be ignored. First off, they save a tremendous amount of time because customers can see a property on their laptops, phones and other devices with an incredible sense of immersion. They can instantly get a feel for what it would be like to live there without physically seeing it, thus preventing the need for agents to field constant phone calls and allowing them to focus on other aspects of their business that demand their attention. They're also an incredible opportunity for real estate agents to cut costs, as they no longer have to spend countless hours driving back and forth to meet potential clients only to have them quickly realize that the property in question just isn't for them. But in an age when it will be difficult to get people to feel comfortable with actually walking into a home for quite some time, Matterport tours and other 3D options are a perfect way to keep the real estate industry moving forward as efficiently and as strongly as it can. It's also something that is going to continue to get even more popular as the technology at the heart of it continues to advance. Love, Kartik