Offering open houses 24/7
Now more than ever, people are thinking about the importance of living in a home they love. But prospective home buyers want an alternative to traditional house hunting—days spent going from house to house hoping to see something they like. As one of the most popular real estate brokerage firms in the U.S., Redfin is always thinking about ways to make buying and selling houses easier and more convenient.
That’s why it became the first in the country to offer Matterport 3D virtual tours for its nationwide listings. Since adopting Matterport in 2014, Redfin has enabled more and more customers to search for new homes from the comfort of their current one.
“We adopted Matterport early on because it gave us a competitive edge. In a fast-moving market, we could offer our customers the convenience of looking for homes on their own time,” says Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist at Redfin.
“With highly immersive Matterport digital twins, customers can truly move through a space and feel more empowered to make quicker, more informed decisions that can lead them to the right home.”
Through its relationship with Matterport, Redfin has developed an even more customer-centered approach to real estate—one that has helped it continuously provide innovative experiences to stay current and shape the future.
Offering Open Houses 24/7
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market underwent a stress-test since stay-at-home orders halted home buying and selling. Even as the market reopened, real estate companies were uncertain about the future of their industry: sellers were understandably anxious about allowing people into their homes, and buyers were reluctant to physically enter new spaces.
At Redfin, roughly 94 percent of listings already include interactive 3D virtual tours powered by Matterport, which enabled the company to keep showing houses during lockdown. On a walk-through of a Matterport digital twin, buyers can zoom into an area for a granular view of every detail, use measurement mode to get dimensions to fit furniture and appliances, and move seamlessly from floor to floor while also viewing floor plans or panning out to see the entire house in Dollhouse view.
Customers have noticed that digital twins offer a richer depth of detail than conventional listing photos. The number of average monthly 3D walkthroughs on Redfin.com has increased over 600 percent since the pandemic began in March 2020. More prospective buyers are enjoying the ability to virtually tour different spaces, make comparisons, and narrow down their top choices on their own time. According to a survey conducted by Redfin and Matterport in 2020, 71% of home buyers said they would purchase a house sight-unseen if the listing included a 3D tour. The company is responding to this surge of interest by updating features on the Redfin website and app to highlight listings that include a virtual 3D walkthrough from Matterport.
“Over the past seven years, we’ve developed a strong appreciation for the high-quality digital twins and immersive virtual tours that Matterport provides us,” says Fairweather. “Once customers started taking their first virtual tours, they saw it as a legitimate, even preferable, way to view a house. We’ve only seen customer enthusiasm grow and we’re glad people love them as much as we do.”
Helping Buyers Find the Right Home Anywhere in the Country
As more jobs go remote, people are exploring their options to relocate closer to family, get a house with more space, or simply try a new city. They’re driving a new trend of cross-country moves that come with their own unique challenges.
Touring houses in-person could involve multiple, costly trips, where a buyer might only get to see a property once before deciding to purchase. Now, buyers can go on a virtual walkthrough for an individual property as many times as they’d like. Once they have a clear sense of their top choices, they can more confidently plan a trip to see those specific houses in person or even make an offer remotely. Alleviating the time and cost burdens of house hunting is a big reason why virtual tours have become an important, and lasting, part of real estate.
Increasingly, photos are not enough because individual images don’t capture the flow of a home. Buyers might also wonder if photographs have been edited. In fact, the 2020 survey also found that 78 percent worry that listing photos have been altered, or don’t fully represent the home. Matterport digital twins provide real-time views of the current conditions of a space, giving buyers the peace of mind to know that what they’re seeing is really what they’re getting.
“The quality of Matterport digital twins instantly builds trust with a prospective buyer, and when you’re making a monumental decision like moving across the country, trust is everything,” says Fairweather. “That trust factor is why 71% of our customers, whether they’re moving to a new state or to the other side of town, now feel comfortable enough to buy a house sight-unseen when the listing includes a 3D virtual tour from Matterport.”
A Hassle-Free House-Selling Process
Redfin’s new content distribution partnership with Matterport also makes it even easier for sellers and non-Redfin real estate agents who use Matterport to get more visibility and content exposure online by creating a first-class experience on the Redfin site. They can automatically publish digital twins on Redfin simply by inputting an address and opting in for content distribution. Through a daily automated feed from Matterport, the Redfin site associates the new digital twin of a home to the address and auto-attaches the virtual tour to the right listing.
This expands the number of home buyers exploring the incredible detail of Matterport digital twins, so sellers can make a great first impression on more serious buyers.
In the Redfin and Matterport survey, roughly 87 percent of sellers said the Matterport digital twins are much better representations of their homes than listing photos.
Sellers also know that a buyer who contacts them after a virtual tour isn’t just casually strolling in during an open house. Working with more seriously interested buyers makes selling a house easier and less time-consuming.
“Once people have experienced the ways Matterport takes you into a new space and lets you see every detail, they can’t imagine using regular listing photos again,” says Fairview. “Matterport helped to make us an industry innovator years ago and has become the foundation of our customer experience.”
Redfin is a technology-powered real estate company with a mission to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Redfin sells homes for more money and charges half the fee. It also runs the country’s #1 real estate brokerage site. Since launching in 2006, Redfin has saved customers more than $1 billion in commissions. Redfin’s full-service, local agents serve customers in more than 95 markets across the U.S. and Canada. http://www.redfin.com/
Residential Real Estate
Enable customers to easily tour homes remotely
Matterport enables Redfin to develop highly immersive and detailed digital twins for virtual property tours that give buyers the confidence to plan in-person visits or make offers
- More than 600% increase in average monthly virtual walkthroughs since March 2020
- Enabled home buyers to make confident purchases from any location
- 71% of buyers said they would purchase a home sight unseen if the listing had a 3D tour
- 87% of sellers found 3D tours to be more accurate than listing photos