We’re always thrilled to hear how our partners use Matterport Capture Services to streamline the way they do business, market properties more effectively and connect clients with homes they love. To learn more about his successes, we caught up with James Sharp, founder of the Sharp Real Estate Group, part of brokerage JP & Associates Realtors (JPAR), the first national franchise to partner with us on Capture Services.
JPAR is one of the top 50 real estate brokerages in the US, it has been recognized as one of the fastest growing brokerages in the country with more than 2,500 agents and has sold more than 40 franchises.
Based in Plano, Texas, the Sharp Real Estate Group serves the Dallas-Fort Worth region. James and his team share a strong passion for serving each client to the absolute highest standards, always seeking out new and innovative ways to deliver an unmatched experience.
Why did you start using Matterport?
January and February of this year were just off the charts. It was one of the fastest starts to the year we've had in all my years of being a realtor. In March, we had several contracts in the works, and then Covid-19 hit and everything came to a screeching halt. One sale fell through because my clients lost their jobs.
Times were really uncertain when one of our senior leaders at JPAR introduced us to Matterport and all the innovative capabilities of the 3D tour. I had seen some 3D tours before, but I didn’t really know what they were all about. I spoke with Matterport to learn more and found out that Dallas-Fort Worth has some of the best photographer groups available.
At that point, all real estate showings were completely stopped, and I knew adopting these 3D tours was important. During this time, people were worried about having people come to their houses. With 3D tours, I was able to let buyers see homes without stepping foot in sellers’ homes during this sensitive time.
I needed to get people into houses who couldn’t see them in person because of health and safety concerns and restrictions. I wanted to help people be able to engage in the process of owning a home. If you can’t do it in person, the next best thing is doing it virtually. I don't see us going back to the way it was.
How has Matterport helped you market properties?
Since I’ve been using Matterport, I’m being contacted with more serious and qualified buyers. The package of marketing materials that the platform generates automatically – the 3D tour, 4K quality videos and photos – paired with the ability to use Mattertags to highlight special property features and community amenities have allowed me to showcase properties better and match clients to their dream homes.
With Matterport, we’re no longer limited to the properties we can see in person. Clients can go to a virtual open house anytime, day or night. They can view properties from the comfort of their own home, or from wherever they are on the go. The photos and videos have also been incredibly helpful to marketing properties on social media.
Matterport is the perfect compliment for your real estate business. By adopting a Matterport 3D tour, you’re showing clients that you’re ahead of the game and you're leveraging the most cutting edge technology to bring your clients the best experience possible. Now, with Capture Services, we can quickly and easily schedule a qualified Matterport Capture Technician to professionally capture a property – it even integrates with our existing intranet.
As an agent, I’m busy out there identifying my clients’ needs and making sure they’re taken care of. For busy professionals that have a lot on their plate, Capture Services streamlines the process to have your listings captured in 3D. For me, it’s definitely made a huge difference in my business. In fact, I’m going to use Matterport to help sell my own home!
What sets the Matterport platform apart?
Before Matterport, we had used a sort of “virtual tour” that involved taking still imagery, meshing it into a carousel and panning in 360-degree view around each room. But those “tours” were static. You couldn’t walk around within the space – you’re limited to what it shows you.
Matterport goes beyond these limited “virtual tours.” Viewers can accurately measure if their couch will fit in the space. It's like comparing an old phonograph to streaming music today: you can listen to music both ways, but is it the same quality and playback?
I also love being able to book Matterport Capture Technicians. These are professionals who do this every single day, so they know exactly the right way to set up the camera to get the best scans, the best lighting, the best package.
“Matterport helps me tell the story of a home better than I can tell it myself.”
Beyond these high fidelity 3D scans, I’m able to add Mattertags within the 3D tour to call out community features like golf courses or high-end appliances in the house. With a Matterport tour, viewers can engage with a space with much more depth. You can play around by clicking on Mattertags or zooming out to dollhouse view or just walking through the space at your own pace.
In addition to using the automatically generated 4K video files for social media, we also add a video highlight reel with a sequential flow through the home for each listing. The scan also enables you to take 4K quality print photos, so we can choose the best 50 pictures for the listing. It's these little things that can really change the outcome.
How has Matterport helped your business?
We’ve had hundreds of hits, 24/7. The 3D tour is so engaging that I’m getting feedback from other agents outside of my marketplace here in Dallas-Fort Worth. Agents from the East Coast, West Coast, even Canada are telling me they love these Matterport 3D tours - they have really legitimized my business.
By investing in Matterport, I was able to win a very happy client. We ended up receiving multiple offers on his late brother's condo, including a cash offer with a quick close – it was everything he wanted. The client also liked being able to access the 3D tour anytime because he didn’t live close by. So, if he needed to measure the exact dimensions of something, he could quickly and easily do so with Matterport without having to drive over to the property.
In fact, a lot of the furniture in the home was sold because it was featured in the 3D tour. The quality was so high that it was like going through a showroom, and the buyer loved the way furniture in the home was set up. So, not only was I able to sell the home, but I was able to sell the furniture as well – an added bonus for my client. The imagery in the 3D tour well surpassed anything I could have hoped for. Even yesterday, my client was still talking about how much he loved the 3D tour and had shown dozens of his friends.
I’ve sold or I have offers on every listing with a 3D tour. Matterport has put my business on a different playing field and we’ve had tremendous success – we’re batting a thousand.
Has Matterport helped you win more listings?
I had a potential client, a husband and wife, who were trying to choose between me and another realtor. After meeting with the other realtor, who is a top agent in the area, they met with me. The meeting wasn’t going well, so I said, “Have you heard of a Matterport 3D tour?”
They hadn’t heard of it, so I got out my laptop and showed them a Matterport 3D tour and all the interactive and immersive features. The wife looked at her husband and said, “Wow! Do you see that honey?” And the husband looks me dead in the eye and says, “Can you do this for my house?” I said absolutely, and we got the listing.
Matterport has been the driving force behind winning multiple deals that I wouldn’t have gotten before.