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Marketing Real Estate in 3D

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If you are in the market to buy real estate, you will be bombarded by the digital age. Gone are the days when you looked in the real estate classifieds in your local newspaper or relied solely on your agent to find a property.

Sure, real estate agencies and Realtors still send out direct mailers touting their expertise and recent sales, but as the shift from paper to digital becomes more prevalent, it is apparent that online marketing will take over completely one day. 

It’s not as easy or inexpensive as you may think, especially because each property listing requires an agent to reach the right audience. In other words, a well-researched list of prospects is of utmost importance to every Realtor.

Plus, Realtors and those who choose to sell by owner must find a way to stand out in a very crowded field. Even posting professional photographs seems old-fashioned these days, along with videos.

To set themselves apart in the online superstore of inventory, sellers have turned to something called 3D modeling. 3D models showcase properties by engaging the viewer’s five senses. Typically, when we are surfing the internet, we are only using two of our senses. We can see and hear content. But 3D modeling is akin to virtual reality, giving the viewer a physical interaction with the content. 

Cameras are used to capture the space of a property so the viewer can do a walkthrough without actually being inside the property. Space-age-like cameras provide an eerily realistic and impressive tool for sellers, and it’s fast becoming the hottest trend in real estate marketing today.

You may be thinking it’s difficult to use the camera, but it’s quite simple. Set up is easy. You just put the camera on a tripod and flip it on. But you have to purchase the software to work with a mobile laptop or iPod and upload the scans produced by the camera to the software you bought. The system is smart, too. If you move the camera too much, it knows it and prompts you to repeat the scan! 

Scanning a property with such a camera involves placing it in different spots. The camera then rotates in each spot and captures the data to put into the model. If an operator is familiar with the process, the whole thing should not take more than a few hours. Reports have come in that promise it’s even easier than shooting still photographs or videos.

As this new system has evolved, the price is decreasing. Some experts believe this method of research on the internet will become par for the course one day soon. When users become familiar with it, they will begin demanding it from sellers. 

Real estate agents say that 3D modeling helps to both win more clients and prequalify buyers. They say it narrows the buyers to more serious navigators, saving them precious time.

It stands to reason that if a 3D model is almost like physically being inside the property, then agents could save all the time spent on endless tours for prospects who just want to look.

On the other hand, providing too much information to a prospect could reduce the ability of an agent to sell a property. If a prospect is touring a listing with an agent, the agent can highlight the best points and use their sales techniques to close the sale. Some users say they purposefully do not show the entire listing in the 3D model for this very reason, perhaps only modeling the first floor or choosing to show the kitchen and living room only. That way, the prospect must still depend on the agent.

Still others say this defeats the purpose of 3D modeling, since consumers and buyers are savvy and want more access. If information is withheld, they fear buyers simply go on to the next listing on their screen. 

In addition to 3D modeling of the inside of a property is the ability to model the exterior using a drone. In a similar manner, drone photos and videos are processed on a software platform to create a 3D model of the property from above. Flyovers give yet another professional tool to sellers. 

As the internet continues to evolve, both sellers and buyers will continue to benefit from new ideas. They will learn to sift through unnecessary data, even when surfing on the biggest real estate websites today such as Zillow and Trulia. Those companies understand that real estate marketing is a tough business and requires a multi-pronged digital approach.

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