Designing a new approach to workspaces with Matterport
UK-based visualization firm VRPM turns empty buildings into places where businesses can imagine employees gathered in sleek meeting areas or catching up with colleagues in break rooms. Through its virtual staging services, VRPM helps real estate companies think beyond sterile, empty spaces by using Matterport to create visually engaging and immersive virtual tours that help entice commercial clients to lease or buy properties.
Integrating technology and creativity is VRPM’s forte: the founders originally worked in computer-generated imagery (CGI) for TV and film but became intrigued by the challenges of conceptualizing interior design for the real estate industry. “Looking through 2D floor plans or individual staged photos of a property doesn’t give a true sense of how appealing a space can be. Commercial real estate offers a great opportunity to apply virtual reality for more visually dynamic and engaging listings,” says Mike Merron, Founding Director of VRPM.
To create impactful real estate viewing experiences, VRPM needed tools to take high-quality, high-resolution digital captures and create virtually staged tours. After purchasing its first Matterport Pro 2 camera in 2016, the firm found the solution it was looking for. Today, VRPM is one of the UK’s leading virtual staging platform partners.
Visualizing the post-pandemic office
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed how today’s businesses operate, leaving a high volume of empty office space and a competitive real estate market.
Throughout the pandemic, VRPM has seen a massive spike in virtual staging and design requests to address everything from varying levels of occupancy to increased distances between desks. Virtual staging must now do more than make an empty space look inviting, it must help businesses understand how to occupy and operate in new spaces.
Providing a more immersive experience distinguishes VRPM for clients like Compton, which worked with VRPM to stage one of its commercial spaces. VRPM relied on Matterport’s data-sharing capabilities to collaborate with interior design and architecture teams.
“VRPM proved to be a true collaborator, bringing its in-house creative and technical expertise to make its staging plans responsive to our needs on everything from colors to furnishings,” says Oliver Jay, Director for London-based office and investment real estate firm, Compton. “The CGI staging that VRPM does within Matterport 3D digital twins of spaces is highly detailed and gives potential tenants an authentic sense of what it would be like to inhabit the space. It’s been invaluable for listings and viewings.”
VRPM uses Matterport’s developer tools to create a virtual staging app that integrates seamlessly with its 3D scans. This integration gives VRPM and its commercial real estate clients the opportunity to collaborate during the design process within an immersive digital twin. The result is a property complete with furnishings decor and 360 views.
At VRPM we’re focused on making virtually staged spaces feel realistic, thoughtfully considered, and well-designed,” says Merron. “Seeing the potential of a space through Matterport is incredibly valuable for our clients and enables them to easily visualize major changes such as adding new ceilings, floors, or even entire layouts.”
Merron sees the increase in commercial real estate requests as a sign of optimism that people are excited to go back into the office. “Companies want to maintain social distancing and keep employees safe. We’re increasingly challenged to make significant structural changes in our designs and staging, which makes a flexible platform like Matterport essential,” he says.
Even before the pandemic, Matterport enabled VRPM to work on massive projects like the 1 World Trade Center office floors, covering 40,000 square feet. Using Matterport’s developer tools, VRPM can significantly reconfigure and stage large volumes of square footage to address client requests.
The Matterport tour becomes a one-stop shop
The future of virtual staging is evolving beyond getting a tenant to sign a lease. Focusing on deeper real estate customer experiences means also thinking about the prospective occupants, who might come into a space with needs for office furniture—or want to replicate the virtual staging in full.
Previously, commercial furniture manufacturers relied on standard architectural models to show furniture within a building. However, with Matterport digital twins, VRPM can capture and virtually stage 3D objects that demonstrate the real look of a piece and how it fits within a space. Soon, VRPM plans to make virtually staged spaces ‘shoppable,’ so that tenants can purchase the furniture and décor they see from the manufacturers.
If a tenant likes VRPM designs and wants to recapture the look, the firm can offer them that option. Since the data through Matterport is 99% accurate and comprehensive, VRPM can quantify the number of desks, as well as the sizes and manufacturer of those desks, and include that information in the virtual tour using Mattertags. “We’re excited by the potential to add product-focused services to our capabilities,” says Merron. “Our virtual staging business has come a long way quickly. Matterport has helped us reimagine and design our path forward.”
Enhanced accuracy supports creative freedom
One of London’s leading managed office operators, Kitt, is particularly invested in what post-COVID-19 workspaces could look like. Over the last year, Kitt teamed with VRPM to help stage some of its commercial properties. The firm was impressed with how VRPM used Matterport to stage as much as 15,000 square feet within a week. This efficiency is especially important now, given the urgency to market available space to new tenants.
Through Matterport’s data-sharing capabilities, Kitt worked with VRPM to develop a library of furniture and design options that help tenants envision their prospective space, built around their individual needs as a business. These concepts could cost tens of thousands of dollars to stage in the real world.
Kitt has been inspired to explore Matterport Capture Services™ to help digitize its entire property inventory, as well as scale its business by providing more customized office experiences, down to staging of prospective occupier’s brand logos on the walls, for example.
“Working with VRPM and Matterport delivers efficiency and forms a core part of our creative process. We have launched our new Managed HQ product entirely around what businesses want from their space. As a result, our marketing, design, and visualizations are essential for bringing tenants on the journey. This is what helps our spaces cut through and attract attention.” says Joseph Mishon, Head of Expansion, Kitt.
For VRPM, Matterport encourages creativity both in design and business. “With Matterport, we can explore different versions of the same space to help our clients attract tenants. Matterport isn’t just our creative tool, but a powerful customer service resource that helps our clients quickly lease or sell their properties,” says Merron.
VRPM is a Matterport Platform Partner that leverages Matterport’s APIs and SDKs to build and commercialize their apps and integrations with our market-leading spatial data platform. As a Platform Partner, they gain access to a range of commercial benefits, such as Matterport’s distribution network and enhanced support as well as co-marketing and co-selling programs to help them successfully monetize their applications. To learn more about the Platform Partner Program and apply to join, visit https://matterport.com/platform-partner-program.
Watch our on-demand webinar, "How commercial real estate professionals can find success with 3D technology" and learn the benefits of using Matterport for commercial real estate firms with guests Sarah Dreyer and Peyton Johnson from Savills, and Mike Merron from VRPM.
VRPM is a visualization firm and a Matterport service provider. The company uses Matterport technology to create fully immersive 3D virtual designs and staging for real estate clients.
Commercial Real Estate
Help sell and lease office spaces faster in a competitive real estate market during the COVID-19 pandemic
Matterport Developer Tools
Matterport Developer Tools enable VRPM to virtually design and stage properties that are visually engaging to attract commercial buyers and tenants
- Expanded service offerings to commercial real estate clients
- Providing multiple design and staging options for large properties
- Collaborating more effectively with clients using data sharing
- Added purchasing capabilities to virtually staged tours