3D Media in the Housing Industry


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If you are a professional in the real estate business, you are very familiar with this word – competition. With hundreds of building developers, property managers, home builders, and Realtors® in Calgary, a professional needs an edge to draw interest to their properties.

Fortunately, 3D virtual tours give you that edge. Today we discuss the impact a 3D virtual home tour has on your business, and how this technology has affected the housing industry on a larger scale.

What is a 3D virtual home tour?

A 3D tour is based on a scan that has been digitized, reconstructed and optimized for viewing on a screen. It allows the viewer to “walk” through a property by using a mouse, trackpad, or interactive touch screen.

In the world of real estate, a 3D virtual home tour allows buyers to get a very realistic view of a home without having to go to the property. The potential buyer sees the flow of the layout, can inspect key vantage points (for example “walking” up the stairs and seeing the view from the bonus room window), and more.

How do 3D scanners work?

The immersive 3D virtual home tour is created by using a special camera. Basically, all 3D scanning cameras fall into two categories: contact or no contact.

A contact camera must “feel” an object to scan it. A good example of this technology is a 3D key scanner. In order to replicate a key, the scanner has to be in physical contact with the original. The cutter mimics the data the from the physical scan, providing a duplicate that is just as good as the original.

Naturally, contact scanners are not much use in real estate! While they are great for machining, animating models, or precision artwork, it would take far too long and be far too impractical to physically scan an entire home.

That is where no contract scanners come in.

No contact scanners create 3D virtual home tours by emitting light or radiation, then creating digitized images based on the time it took the light/wave to reach an object. Or by triangulating the distance between the camera and the object.

Does that remind of you something in nature? It should. Bats, whales, dolphins and shrews use echolocation to create images in their mind of the world around them. True, they are not emitting light or radiation to do so, but the sound waves they emit have the same purpose. The animal measures the time it takes the wave to strike a solid object and from there, can create a “picture” of its environment.

No contact 3D scanners are used to create 3D virtual home tours because they very efficient at scanning large rooms that are filled with objects.

3D media in the housing industry

How has 3D media impacted the housing industry?

Before 3D virtual home tours came along, prospective buyers and investors had to physically be at a property to see it. This was a major inconvenience for several reasons.

For example:

  • Cross-province moves meant several long and expensive trips to view properties before the move took place.


  • Developments could only show spec or model homes while the other styles of units were under construction.


  • Buyers could easily be fooled by photography that was set up to make rooms seem larger, or to exclude undesirable elements, like a poor view or damaged flooring.


  • Non-serious buyers could waste the Realtor’s time. Directing them to a virtual link first can dissuade lookers-only from booking in-person tours but never making offers.

Thanks to this technology, it’s easier than ever for real estate professionals to connect with their clients. Rather than taking time away from work or family time away from weekends, buyers and investors can simply “walk” the property online and get a real sense of if they want to take a closer, in-person look. Once the buyer is ready to physically see the property, it is clear they are invested and are looking to make a deal.

It’s also very empowering for your clients! Going from home to home or trying to sort out what a unit will look like from a set of floor plans is daunting. However, “walking” a home online means buyers can move through the entire process much faster. They can work on their list of contingencies before they enter the property, and they can see if they must consider repairs or renovations in their offer.

The 3D virtual home tour experience is just as impactful for sellers. With so many great homes on the market, you need to make the seller’s home stand out. A 3D tour of a beautifully staged home not only shows how progressive and invested your real estate firm is, it’s going to attract more buyers than those stuck looking at static photos that may or may not truly represent the property.

3D Media in the housing industry

What we offer

Here at Urban Measure, we use one of the best 3D cameras for real estate – Matterport®.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Matterport focuses on digital media, 3D technology, virtual reality, and photography. Their technology sets the standard for 3D virtual home tours, giving real estate professionals a much-needed edge and a new and convenient way to engage with buyers and developers.

Our scans enable your clients to see the home from the floor level and also zoom out for a 3D floor plan view. Our scans include the yard and interactive features for maximum convenience.

Choose from three service packages; all include three months of hosted online touring. Our express, standard, and premium services enable you to get the 3D tour you need, at the price you want.

Don’t get left behind

Today, 3D virtual home tours are what progressive real estate professionals are using to give their businesses an edge, and to make things as easy as possible for their clients. Contact us today to see how we make this technology work for you.

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