The Matterport 3D Showcase™ is one cool piece of technology. It enables you to scan the real world so that people can explore it – virtually – online. Redfin is the first national real estate brokerage using this technology to let people tour homes for sale from the comfort of their living room.
Now you can walk through an entire house, check out the basement and poke around the kitchen, all while wearing your pajamas, perhaps with a glass of wine in hand. If you see something that’s a total deal breaker, you can cross that home off your list. If you like what you see, you can get in touch with a real estate agent right away to schedule a tour and see it in person. It’s a great tool to help you prioritize which homes you want to see.
This new service is called Redfin 3D Walkthrough, and we plan to launch it in Redfin markets across the country. Last month we made the service available for all Redfin-listed homes in Seattle, and today we launched the service in San Francisco! That means my team and I have been busy scanning homes on behalf of our clients.
Last week I scanned my new listing at 709 College Ave in Menlo Park. This beautiful home has six bedrooms and 4.5 baths and spans 4,200 square feet, which meant there was a lot of space to cover! It was fun to watch the Matterport camera slowly build a floorplan as I scanned each room of the house.
Read on for a sneak peek at how it all works!
Step 1: Prepare the Home
Redfin offers free professional photography for all of our listing clients, so we try to do the Matterport scan on the same day as the photo shoot. That way we know the home is looking its absolute best. Before any shoot or scan, I like to make sure the home is free of clutter, super clean and with everything in its proper place. You can’t move anything once you start the scan, so I have to make sure everything is perfect beforehand!
Step 2: Connect the iPad to the Camera
All Redfin agents are equipped with iPads that are given out by the company. This comes in handy with Matterport, which uses an iPad app to wirelessly connect to the camera. To get started, we just need to fire up the app on our iPad, and then connect the app to the Wi-Fi network that the Matterport camera has created (it’s super easy).
Step 3: Start the First Scan
The Matterport camera sits on a tripod that is easy to move around. It creates a floor plan of the home as you scan each room of the house, so you need to start on the lower level and work your way up. For each scan, you simply place the camera, leave the room and then start the scan from the iPad app. The camera films from all angles and spins around 360 degrees to capture the floor, walls and ceiling. The app will tell you when the camera has completed the scan. Then you need to move the camera a few feet and scan again.
It’s best to think of how a potential homebuyer might approach the space. Where would they logically start and end while on a home tour? How would they move about the room? After every scan, the app will show you what the camera has captured, and where there are gaps.
Step 4: Complete and Upload the Scan
Once you’ve scanned a room, you’ll need to go through the app and show it where the doors, windows and mirrors are. You can easily do it using a couple of icons and the touch screen of the iPad. When you’re done scanning the whole house, you need to upload the scan to Matterport, which processes it in a couple of hours.
Step 5: Watch it Come to Life on Redfin!
Once Redfin receives the final scan from Matterport, we upload it to the home’s listing page on Redfin.com. I love the dollhouse view that it creates; you can step back and see the whole floor plan three-dimensionally. It goes way beyond listing photos to really bring the home to life and allow people to see the flow of the home. (See more about how to take a virtual tour)
I’m so excited to be able to offer this technology for all of our clients. For more information and to see a video of how it works, check out the following post: 3D Innovation Meets Home Tours: Introducing Redfin 3D Walkthrough
If you have questions or are interested in buying or selling a home in the Bay Area, please get in touch.
About Mia Simon
After getting a bachelor’s degree and juris doctor degree from University of California-Berkeley, Simon began her career as an associate at a large international law firm. In 2009 she made the leap from practicing attorney to real estate broker. She focused on finding buyers the perfect home in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Now, as a team lead at Redfin, she focuses on the same areas, bringing her knowledge of local neighborhoods and the Bay Area real estate market to the table.