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HDR Photography - Interactive Floor Plans - Matterport 3D & Zillow 3D Tours - Walkthough Videos - Drone Photos & Videos - Virtual Staging - Occupied Staging

Newsletter - September 10, 2020 - Meet Our New Photographer Kaitlin & Enhanced 3D Tours That Entertain and Educate

Meet Our New Photographer Kaitlin & Enhanced 3D Tours That Entertain and Educate

This September newsletter brings some great news and some really exciting news. At the end of this newsletter, you will find our September Monthly Special. First, let me say that I am so glad that our record-breaking summer heat is really over. We shattered most every heat record there was and the cool air this morning was so welcomed!!

This summer was certainly a busy one for us as we captured over 48,000 images and that is certainly a record for us. Plus, the demand for Zillow and Matterport 3D Tours has been far greater than expected. This demand required us to purchase an additional Matterport Pro 3D Camera so that we and accommodate your needs.

The great news is that we are thrilled to announce that Kaitlin Kent has joined Snap2Close as a photographer. Kaitlin received her Bachelor of Arts in Magazine and Visual Journalism and her Masters in Journalism from the University of Georgia. While working as a graduate assistant at the university, Kaitlin developed and taught classes to undergrads on the basics of DSLR cameras, the possibilities of new 360° video concepts, drone photography, and emerging media technologies. Needless to say, we are thrilled that she is now a team member at Snap2Close.

Now for the really exciting news. Snap2Close has added multiple enhancements to our already Enhance Matterport 3D Tours. We have now taken the boring, traditional Matterport 3D Tour and have made it more entertaining, educationals, and enticing to homebuyers.

Our Enhanced Matterport 3D Tours now include:

  1. Background music (Don’t worry, we also added a mute icon to the screen in case they don’t want to hear the music.) We even offer you a voiceover service that allows you to add a voice introduction to the tour.

  2. An Interactive image-based floor plan (homebuyers can see exactly where they are on the floor plans as they move throughout the home.)

  3. A View by Room Tab. A quick and easy way to identify and jump to any room in the house.

  4. Room titles displayed at the entry point of each room. We can also add complete text captions describing the room at any scan point you want.

  5. Calibrated compass. Now homebuyers can see exactly what direction they are viewing.

  6. The ability to hide or show Mattertags/Tag Circles. (Since most people don’t even know what Mattertags are, we have renamed them Tag Circles. We have created a special tab that shows each tag circle and allows the homebuyer to immediately jump to the location of the Tag Circle by simply clicking on it. We can even organize Tag Circles by room, or other categories of your choice. This is really cool so check it out!!)

  7. Speaking of Mattertags/Tag Circles, we have also added an icon at the bottom of the screen that gives the homebuyer the ability to hide or show the tags at any time on either the 3D view, the floor plan view, or as they walk through the home. 7. We added a small camera icon on the screen that allows the homebuyer to capture photos of the room they are viewing and to do so at 10 different image sizes allowing the homebuyer tremendous flexibility.

  8. Our Enhanced Matterport 3D Tour now includes your broker logo on your branded tour. (By the way, each tour comes with a branded and MLS compatible unbranded version.)

I would like to invite you to view two versions of our Enhanced Matterport 3D Tours. The first link below is to a listing for Lorrie Feld & Joe Kaminsky at 8400 E Dixileta Dr. Lot 155 in Scottsdale. https://mpembed.com/show/?m=VPdG5wxQMLo&mpu=653

The second example is a sample with a voiceover introduction. https://mpembed.com/show/?m=36pxzM4KpjA&mpu=653

If you have the time, then I invite you to watch this 10-minute video about all of the enhanced features: https://www.screencast.com/t/w477qdLPE

To help introduce this service to you, our September Special will be the free upgrade to our Enhanced Matterport Tours on every basic Matterport 3D Tour ordered.

Stay safe,

Charlie

 

Newsletter - August 4, 2020

Happy August everyone,

Last month was the hottest July in Arizona’s history and August looks like it may be the same. So, I sincerely hope that everyone is staying cool.

July was also another record-setting month for Snap2Close as well. I personally believe that our expanded services, ie Interactive Floor Plans, and 3D Tours, played a large role in setting that record.

What’s New - Occupied Staging

Snap2Close has once again expanded its suite of services to include OCCUPIED STAGING. Accordingly, I would like to introduce you to Dawn Wolf, our seasoned and certified Occupied Staging professional.

Dawn joined Snap2Close as both a photographer and stager last month. She obtained her certification as a home stager and redesigner in December 2017 through Home Stage Resource in Encinitas, California. HSR is the most comprehensive home staging and redesign certification course in the country. The HSR Certification program is accredited by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), which is a third-party, governing association for the home staging industry and which Dawn is a member. Dawn also received her certification in floral design in 2004 and has been creating floral designs for special events ever since.

Dawn has been working with Real Estate Photographers since 2016 in Ohio. We are thrilled that she has joined our team now that she lives here in the Valley.

You can learn more about our new Occupied Stage Services by viewing our new webpage at http://snap2close.com/occupied-staging.html

If you have any questions about this new service please feel free to contact Dawn at Dawn@Snap2Close.com or 614-313-4000.

 

Expanded Matterport Services

Snap2Close is always moving in the direction of innovation by using leading-edge technology to enhance our suite of services. This month we are pleased to announce our new Matterport 3D tours with background music and visual interactive floor plan features. The interactive floor plan feature uses either the free Matterport floor plan image as seen in the image below or an architectural 2D floor plan as shown in the second image below.

Click this link to explore this new feature with a live Matterport 3D Tour using the Matterport image floor plan. https://mpembed.com/show/?m=svnUAAeA6oW&mpu=653

 

Click this link to explore this new feature with a live Matterport 3D Tour using the Matterport image floor plan. https://mpembed.com/show/?m=36pxzM4KpjA&mpu=653

The cost for these new services is only an additional $10 for the Matterport Image Interactive Floor Plan and $40 for the Architectural 2D Floor Plan. We provided the royalty-free music for both services or we can use your music if you send it to us.

The higher cost for the architectural floor pan is due to the amount of time it requires to match the architectural 2D floor plan to the Matterport Tour. This also assumes that you have already purchased a CubiCasa or Matterport Architectural 2D Floor Plan for us to use.

If you have any questions about this service please feel free to contact me at Charlie@Snap2Close.com or 480-420-8260.

Our August Special is the free upgrade to all Matterport 3D Tours using the Matterport Image Floor Plan.

That's all for now. Stay cool everyone!!

Charlie

 

In the News!!!

 

 

Our managing partner, Charlie Taylor, provided his insight for an article "COVID-19 Impact on the United States Real Estate Businesses". The article presents a survey report provided by RealEstateBees.com - a national platform for real estate professionals from various subniches of the real estate industry.

In the article, Charlie, along with other experts, comments on the negative impact of the pandemic on real estate photographers' businesses.

The report also offers real estate professionals' insight on other questions such as:

1) What unexpected opportunities has the pandemic opened for businesses in your industry?

2) If you knew the impact of this situation on your business in advance, how would you prepare your business to mitigate your losses or even profit from it?

3) What marketing channels do you prefer to use during the pandemic over the rest and why?

4) Are you transferring your business to a “work from home” basis?

And others.

Read the full report here:
https://realestatebees.com/covid-19-impact-survey/

 

Newsletter - June 10, 2020

I would first like to thank all of you for the trust you have placed in Snap2Close during this Covid-19 Pandemic: March, April, and May were our busiest months ever, and we are most appreciative.

Bookings for Zillow and Matterport 3D Tours, Floor Plans and Interactive Floor Plans surpassed our expectations, thus I would like to chat more about these individual services and products, as well as forthcoming enhancements to the Interactive Floor Plans that is a unique offering developed by Snap2Close.

By the way, this is a lengthy newsletter so, if you have time, grab a coffee, or your favorite beverage. Hopefully you find the following information, explanations, and opinions useful when choosing media to market your listings.

 

PLATINUM PACKAGE IS CHANGING

Early on Snap2Close began offering Matterport 3D Tours to our clients. The COVID-19 Pandemic has dramatically increased the call for Matterport Technology. In fact, so many clients have been adding these Tours to our Gold Packages (HDR Photos + Zillow 360º Virtual Tours + Enhanced Video Walk-through + Interactive Floor Plans-“IFP”) that we have redefined the Platinum Package to reflect the choices that you, our clients, are specifying most frequently.

Going forward, the Platinum Package will consist of the following:

  • HDR Photography

  • Floor Plans (one with room dimensions and the other without)

  • Interactive Floor Plan

  • ZIllow 3D Tours using Ricoh Theta Z1 Camera

  • Enhanced Video Walk-through will replace Pro Home Tour Video, offering improved light sensitivity and a wider view

  • Matterport 3D Tour using the PRO2 3D 4K Camera

And, and, and! Adding better news to good news: the above combination of technology results in a 20% reduction in the price of a stand-alone Matterport 3D Tour.

 

ZILLOW AND MATTERPORT 3D TOURS

I would like to chat a bit and share my thoughts about 3D Tours and their benefits. When we first joined the Zillow 3D Tour bandwagon it was primarily to help your listings get higher rankings on the Zillow and Trulia search results.

However, it honestly confuses me why Zillow or any number of other companies like Ogulo, cloudPano, RicohTours, iGuide, Inside Maps, and others can call their tours 3 dimensional. They are simply a series of 360° panoramic photos linked together through navigation.

Technically, ZIllow’s 3D App works only on the Ricoh Theta V and Theta Z1 360° cameras and iPhones. The Theta Z1 is our choice for creating 360º Virtual Tours: it has two full frame sensors and much higher quality lenses resulting in greater quality 360º photo renderings than the other cameras.

Time wise, each shot takes approximately 1 or 2 seconds so it only takes a few minutes to shoot a home, but creating the navigation for these tours is very time consuming. This is true for all services mentioned above. By the way, I personally like cloudPano over all of the other independent 360° services, but the fees charged by these services (except Zillow) seems a bit unreasonable to me.

The real benefit of Zillow’s tour is that the company offers their service for free. Plus Zillow places the tour as the 4th image on the listing’s webpage. That is very helpful for homebuyers and gives them easy access to tours Zillow also pushes listings with their tours to a much higher ranking on search results.

Surprisingly, Zillow allows their tours to be used on other websites via a link. We embed their tours in our branded and unbranded tour property websites along with the higher resolution photos, videos, floor plans, etc., so they can be seen on Realtor.com and other sites as a virtual tour link.

The Zillow 3D Tour shown below is of a home we photographed last week. Later in this blog we will show you a Matterport 3D Tour of the same home.

 

 

 

The Matterport 3D Tour is technically in a class all by itself and one of the industry's leaders in Photogrammetry. It’s rather expensive PRO2 Model 250 3D Camera uses three separate high quality lenses and a capture resolution of 4K square per skybox face, shoots 5 frame brackets for HDR, and has an auto rotating motor that takes 25 seconds to rotate 360°s. That translates into 18 shots x 5 bracket HDR = 90 captures vs a 360° camera’s 2. Plus, each shot is 134 MegaPixels vs 15 MegaPixels for a 360° camera. (Click here if you want to learn more about the camera's specifications.)

Additionally, it uses six infrared transmitters and receivers that literally maps the items seen and creates a three dimensional technically accurate textured mesh of the space when uploaded to their central computer system. Their Cortex artificial intelligence system, which is a deep learning neural network, creates robust and accurate 3D spatial data. Cortex actually makes their all-in-one 3D data platform the most powerful on the market.

Plus, their sophisticated computational photography algorithms automatically adjusts white balance and color correction, HDR tone mapping, denoising, haze removal, sharpening, saturation and luminance of each image captured which results in a rich, professional grade looking digital twin of the home scanned.

This innovative technology allows homebuyers to literally walk through the home at 5 to 8 foot intervals. It is truly an amazing technology that homebuyers genuinely appreciate.

Statistics really back that up as:

(1) 95% of buyers are more likely to call about homes with a Matterport 3D Tour,

(2) Listings with Matterport 3D Tours sale at a 4-9% higher sales price and at a 31% decreased time on the market.

In our opinion, any home listed for $800,000 or more should have a Matterport 3 Tour during this pandemic. Your listing clients’ will appreciate it and it will bring you much quicker sales and at a better price. Plus, it simply helps you to look more professional and upscale, as well as helping you get more listings.

Here is a Matterport 3D Tour of a home we shot last week. It is the same home shown above in the Zillow 3D Tour.

 

 

A final comments/review of the Matterport technology, the company has released an iPhone APP allowing individuals to create ‘Matterport Tours’ utilizing the Ricoh 360º cameras or an iPhone. We have tested the iPhone application to disappointing results. However, Matterport has posted an explanation that the iPhone APP is a BETA Version and not a mature product. Also, it is important to note that while that non-matterport cameras cannot create accurate textured-meshes. Therefore no floor plans can be created from these scans.

If you truly want a highly professional 3D Tour then the bottom line is that you simply need to use the Matterport PRO2 4K 3D camera to obtain a truly impressive 3D Tour. Trust me, this is the first class method of marketing your listings.

 

FLOOR PLANS AND OUR INTERACTIVE FLOOR PLAN

Since we started offering truly affordable floor plans they have become extremely popular. I’m guessing that nearly 80% of our newly booked photoshoots now include a floor plan. Our current plan is to innovate our offerings with several different styles of floor plans. I will keep you posted when we make the new release.

The first version of our Interactive floor plan has been wildly successful and we have received many compliments from our clients. We are now working on a newer second version that we believe you will like. As of now, I anticipate that we will be releasing version 2 in about six to eight weeks.

NEW VIDEO - How the MLS works with Virtual Tour Links and Tour Property Websites

In May, 2020, I added a video to our tutorials. This video explains how the MLS system works with the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) and how different websites accommodate virtual tour links for tour property websites. Given the rapid and continuing pace of change in marketing homes virtually, understanding the links and interplay between the various websites will be very helpful…..I hope you will find the contents informative and constructive. Your feedback is invited. Click here to watch it.

 

 

Wrapping It Up

In closing let me again thank you for your trust during this COVID-19 pandemic. I hope this insight into 3D and 360° tours has been helpful and educational.

Stay safe everyone!!!

Charlie and the rest of the Snap2Close team.

 

Phoenix Better Business Bureau

Real Estate Photographers of America & International
Professional Photographes of America
Zillow Certified Photographers