2022 is shaping up to be another year full of uncertainty and unpredictability. Covid-19 has thrown most industries including real estate into chaos and most businesses have been severely impacted one way or another. Real estate agents are scrambling to reinvent themselves as “virtual” in order to safely offer open homes and walkthroughs.
A decade-old technology called “3D virtual tours,” think Matterport or Open Space’s, Zillow, Cupix, VPiX 360 Virtual Reality, EasyPano Virtual Tour, etc, has suddenly re-emerged on the scene, by positioning itself as the miracle solution for real estate during the pandemic and many agents and are jumping on it.
But are 3D virtual tours really the best choice for selling in Geelong’s property market right now?? Real estate agents should really carefully consider their marketing options in this pandemic market as budgets are being stretched thinner. Let’s also not forget the current millennium’s real estate marketing trends (pre-Covid-19) and the vulnerability of viewers’ attention spans.
Most real estate agents say they like the way 3D Virtual Tours looks at first glance but admitted that they hate actually using and viewing the property listings on it. If real estate agents hate using it, what about the general public? – Your target audience?
There is overwhelming evidence that cinematic property walkthrough videos gain significantly more views and engagement when compared to a product like Matterport which requires “work” from the viewer. Unless a member of the public (a potential buyer) is already heavily invested in a specific property they will most likely be too lazy to click and drag around a property manually as is required to see a property fully from front to back on the Matterport platform.
CINEMATIC REAL ESTATE VIDEO WALKTHROUGH VIDEOS ATTRACTS MORE VIEWS VS 3D VIRTUAL TOURS
When it comes to marketing a property online, when you share a video or run paid advertising on a video on Instagram or Facebook, it will have much greater reach and engagement in comparison to a Matterport 3D tour. Why should this matter? Well, more eyeballs on the property = more opportunity for more people to see your listing and create bidding competition.
How does a cinematic real estate video attract more views vs. a 3D virtual tour?
- Watching a video online doesn’t require any input from the viewer other than to click the play button and usually not even that with autoplay videos on Instagram and Facebook. They click the play button and the video plays; they consume it, they can also replay or pause it all with very little effort. It’s overall very easy to view video content. The same cannot be said for the 3D Virtual Tour experience. Matterport is extremely heavy on the end user-input side of things, forcing end-users to navigate a property manually by clicking and dragging to travel between rooms. This can be both cumbersome and inefficient. A potential sale might lose their direction/orientation, or their computer or mobile device might glitch. These and other technical issues lead to a negative end-user experience.
- When you upload a video to a social media platform like Instagram the video becomes near-instantly viewable, requiring almost zero effort from the end-user to view it. The end-user doesn’t need to leave Facebook or Instagram to watch it – the video plays directly within their newsfeed, timeline, stories or reels. What’s even more advantageous is that someone will most likely click on your profile and seamlessly contact you directly. Something Matterport can’t do.
- There is also an abundance of benefits to utilizing video on other social platforms including Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn Etc.
- Video is universally playable on all mobile and desktop devices regardless of the operating system.
- Video can be narrated, which attracts views from anyone with vision impairment or low vision.
- Narrations can be captioned to allow hearing-impaired users to fully enjoy the video. Captions also allow any user to watch the video on mute (a significant growing trend) and still gain the same information.
- Cinematic videos are always beautifully captured, and therefore much more eye-catching.
- Video is the number one growing marketing trend in all industries, and a priority for expanding your brand on social media platforms.
PAID ADVERTISEMENTS ARE MORE SUCCESSFUL WITH A CINEMATIC REAL ESTATE VIDEO VS. 3D VIRTUAL TOURS
Hypothetically: You run a paid advertisement on Facebook: an ad with a unique cinematic video that you upload directly to Facebook (OR) an external link to a Matterport tour. The engagement on that real estate video you uploaded is 9 times out of 10 going to win. There is no competition. Here is why:
In order to view the property on a Matterport approved website, a user needs to click and leave the platform they are already using/comfortable with (in this example, Facebook). The Matterport ad cannot be directly interacted with within the Facebook ecosystem. For this reason, it is more likely a Matterport ad will not be clicked on vs. a video ad.
Any person that does click on a Matterport ad will need to put work in once they arrive at the tour. This will involve clicking and dragging around the property manually, and they will more than likely exit before seeing the property in full. They might not even get past the living room! For this reason, it is more likely a Matterport link will not be as successful in terms of sales/leads vs. a real estate video.
Social media companies (like Facebook) always prioritise engagement on their own platform’s native content, not the content linked externally taking users away from their platform. This would include a site like Matterport. For this reason, it is more likely a Matterport ad will not be seen by as many people. You would need to spend considerably more money on advertising to achieve the same results and engagement on a boosted video.
Cinematic real estate video packs a double whammy benefit for real estate agents; there is the opportunity to not only advertise a property itself really effectively but also an agent’s own brand as well by facilitating an on-screen personality and appearance.
WHATEVER A 3D VIDEO TOUR CAN DO, WE CAN DO BETTER
I understand the push Matterport (and the photographers/agencies who are stuck paying high monthly fees in order to offer it) are doing right now in order to win agents and vendors over. The 3D Virtual Tour experience is flashy and attractive and it does come across as ‘new’ (although in reality, it has been around for 10 or so years now).
A really well-produced real estate video gets results, especially during this hot pandemic market. A home can be presented through video in any sequence order. This means that the best and most attractive features can be shown right from the very start; a strategy that is sure to grab the attention of prospective viewers attention.
Matterport may seem appealing and a convenient solution in these times, but when you look at the big picture, a well-planned and well-produced real estate video will always outperform anything a 3D virtual tour may have to offer.
Abode Productions shoots cinematic real estate videos for real estate agents across Geelong, The Bellarine, and Surf Coast of Australia. We pride ourselves on our creative passion for what we do.
Want to bring your video game to the next level? Get in contact. Let’s Chat.