We all know that virtual tours and staging technology allow buyers to visualize their future home without being physically present. However, did you know that there are three ways of doing it?

During one of my recent projects, I was asked to provide the virtual tour and virtual staging of a gorgeous penthouse at The Gardens at Town Square, a retirement community in Bellevue. 

Incredibly spacious and bright, the penthouse is the most luxurious unit of the entire building.  Since this whole process happened during the peak of the pandemic, my client goal was to show the space in detail to potential customers, without incurring the risk of transmitting the virus to its elderly residents. 

Traditionally staging the penthouse was out of question for the same reason. Staging a property requires a team of people to move furniture and accessories in and out of the space. In addition it takes many hours to complete, especially if the items have to be loaded into an elevator. This activity would have been not only too risky because of the virus, but also too inconvenient for the residents who are walking along the hallways or are using the elevator all the time.

Therefore, virtually staging the Matterport tour seemed to be the best solution. 

Matterport virtual staging with Mattertags

My client liked the idea of adding to the virtual tour some Mattertags linked to virtually staged 360 images. By hovering over the little blue pin, the 360 image opens up showing how the same room would look with furniture and accessories in it. You can also click the image itself to see a bigger version of it. We decided to use the 360 photos taken from the most crucial points: living room, dining room, guest bedroom and master bedroom. 

Click on the image below to navigate the Matterport virtual tour and hover over/click on the blue Mattertags to see the virtual staging. Then click and drag the image to look around.

Pros: Photorealistic images.

Cons: You need to interrupt the flow of the navigation to open the staged photos.

DIY virtual staging of your existing Matterport virtual tour

Another way to virtually stage a Matterport tour is by adding furniture and accessories directly into the tour with a very innovative new technology developed by Captur3d, a high-tech company based in Australia. There’s a slight learning curve involved in this method and you need to open an account with them, however, once you get a hold of it, the process is quite simple and smooth. In addition, by simply clicking a button you can switch from a furnished to an unfurnished space. 

Below you can see the same penthouse virtually staged with Captur3d.

Pros: DIY (if you have the time…)

Cons: The furniture don’t look very realistic 

One of the latest add-ons that is worthy of mention, is the possibility of adding a video within the tour itself, for example, by inserting it into the frame of a TV, as shown in the demo below. As you can see, the video keeps playing while you navigate the space. Personally, I think this is a great marketing feature for realtors.

Stage your existing Matteport virtual tour by using a third party

The third solution combines the realism of the first method with the fully immersive experience of the second one. In other words, you can navigate the Matterport tour without opening additional windows, and the furniture and accessories look quite realistic. At the time being, only a few companies provide this kind of service, one of them is VRPM, which is based in the UK. However, the high demand for this technology will surely see more and more companies offering this resource.

Click on the image below to navigate the virtually staged Matterport tour:

Pros: The full immersion into a more realistic space 

Cons: The cost and the impossibility of switching from the furnished to the unfurnished space

Are you a real estate agent or a developer? If so, have you ever staged your Matterport tour using one of these methods? If so, share your experience by leaving a comment below.

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