The Importance of 3D Tours and Narrated Real Estate Videos

Despite the effectiveness of mass marketing, many agents shy away from the significant costs associated with promoting their listings through multiple newspaper and magazine ads, television and radio commercials, direct mail, and paid online ads.

However, virtually all agents acknowledge that free online marketing, such as placing the listing on the Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”), which automatically syndicates the listing to popular third-party websites such as Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, and, is effective.

All of these marketing approaches share one key element: attracting more people to an online representation of the property. Nowadays, it is fairly easy and inexpensive to set up a website or microsite for each individual listing, but the quality of the information and material on these sites vary widely from agent to agent.

High-Quality, Narrated Videos Are Key to Selling Homes

Catching a potential buyer’s attention, and attracting them to your home’s website, is the first important step in the selling process; however, once they are there, it is critical that the agent conveys both the emotional and the practical elements of the home. High-quality videos work wonders at capturing the emotional essence of the property. Through this narrated tour, the agent is able to speak directly to the potential buyers and highlight the home’s features − both obvious and subtle. The video should leave the buyer with a sense of what it is like to live at the property, understand more about the neighborhood, the schools, and many other conveniences of everyday life. This is particularly true when the video highlights features around the property, such as nearby walking paths, local restaurants, parks, and schools.

3D Tours Showcase All of the Practical Details

Self-guided 3D tours, such as the popular Matterport tours, are also very helpful in explaining the more practical day-to-day elements of the house. Generally, these tours include a “floor plan” view and a “doll house” view and offer the potential buyer a chance to navigate from room to room via their mouse.

If the buyer is trying to recall whether the hall bathroom has a tub or a walk-in shower, all they have to do is hop online and check. Similarly, checking to see the brand and condition of the washer and dryer is only a few clicks away. Thus, the best option is for the listing to have both a narrated video and a 3D tour.

Added Importance of a Strong Online Showcase

During Covid, home buyers were reluctant, or even restricted, from touring homes in person. When open houses resumed, attendance was down dramatically and, as a result, many buyers became accustomed to filtering all of the homes on the market through comprehensive online searches.

Potential buyers almost always visit the home’s website after learning about the listing from other sources, such as direct mail, TV commercials or newspaper ads.  After reviewing the online collateral materials, they decide which homes they want to see in person and often filter out homes that they would actually like because the online presentation of the property fails to convey the home’s true characteristics or attributes. This is why we have invested well over $1.6 million in the high-quality videos, 3D tours and photography we have showcased on our website, in addition to what we pay to run commercials for our listings on television.

Attracting Out-of-Area Buyers

Another great benefit of having a strong online presentation of homes is that it gives out-of-area buyers access to properties in places they may not have considered. As an example, buyers struggling to afford a home that meets their size requirements in Palo Alto may love an alternative property in Menlo Park or Los Altos – that is, if they knew about it. The combination of full-page ads in the Palo Alto Weekly, TV commercials that air throughout the region, and direct mail may induce these buyers to visit the microsite for a listing in Menlo Park or Los Altos. After watching the home’s video, they may decide that Menlo Park or Los Altos better fits their budget and lifestyle preferences.

Simply put, there are a lot of buyers out there that have focused their search too narrowly.  Mass marketing attracts more buyers, even if they didn’t know what they really wanted. This additional competition leads to higher prices and happier sellers.

By Michael Repka


Michael Repka | Tel: 650.405.4631