Virtual tours become a reality on Rightmove as more agents turn to consumer-friendly technology

The three main UK property portals are now offering virtual tours through their listings.

Zoopla, Rightmove and OnTheMarket have all now incorporated functionality to allow 3D tours using the Matterport technology.

The technology was tested by Zoopla last year and incorporated over the course of this year, while Rightmove has rolled it out across all devices having previously only allowed it on its desktop website.

Rightmove said in a statement to EYE: “Rightmove has added a new function to allow agents’ virtual tours of their properties to appear on the Rightmove mobile site. Previously, the tours were only accessible on desktop and agents can continue to upload virtual tours in the usual way through their feed or Rightmove Admin.

“The move will offer more exposure for those agents who create virtual tours for their vendors.

“The team will be monitoring how home hunters use the additional feature on mobile to ensure they are getting the optimum experience when searching for their next home.”

Rightmove and OnTheMarket now both offer a tab that says virtual tours can be seen on eligible listings, while Zoopla displays a link alongside the listing image that lets a viewer click to watch a video.

In recent months, major agencies including Arun Estates, JLL and Strutt & Parker have begun offering virtual tours on their listings.

James Morris-Manuel, vice-president at Matterport, said: “This year we have seen a huge shift in demand from property portals that are looking to capitalise on the benefits of immersive media technologies.

“There has been a significant change within the world of residential property agencies with the rise of online and hybrid models competing against more traditional businesses, and the growth of online portals.

“However, the one thing that has been consistent has been the acknowledgement that technology can have an impact on business. Online portals have perhaps always been ahead of the curve on this front, which is we have seen such high take-up in recent months.

“Interestingly we’ve seen adoption in countries from the UK to Japan. We would expect this momentum to continue as technology in this space becomes more advanced and as platforms like Matterport continue to provide more advanced AI-based solutions to provide increased transparency and efficiency to customers.”

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15 Comments

  1. SpacedustFilms

    A couple of points.
    (1) Just for clarification, these are 360 tours, not 3D.  There is a big difference. 360 is monoscopic, 3D is stereoscopic and is filmed with 2 separate lenses that create a sense of depth when viewed through VR glasses.  E.g. Matterports/ Eyespy360 tours are not 3D. I appreciate at this moment in time, in 2018,  VR/3D/360 are seen as all the same but they will diverge in the near future.  As soon as you watch 3D through VR glasses you notice the difference.    
     
    (2) Interesting comment below:
    Martin Seib, Smart Property Tours Smart Property Tours
    13th December 2018 at 6:17 pm 
    I have looked at Base Properties’ listings on Rightmove using a desktop web browser and also using the latest version of the Rightmove app (5.6.4).

    On the desktop, the ‘Virtual Tour’ tab does appear as circled above and when you click on it, you see a text link to the virtual tour which opens in a pop out browser window. This is good but it’s not new. You can see many older Rightmove listings with ‘Virtual Tour’ tabs which lead to similar 360 photo tours from all sorts of different vendors.
    Further, when I look at the corresponding listings using the app on my iPhone, there is no sign of the virtual tour whatsoever so I can’t see that it anything has been rolled out on mobile at all. Can anybody point me at it please?
    I was hoping that this announcement was for proper embedded 360 video support on Rightmove which we could use to embed our 360 Smart Property Tour videos in the same way as we embed our 2D tours but it looks like we are going to have to stay with pop outs on Rightmove for all things 360 for the time being at least.

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    1. smile please

      (1) They are indeed 3D Tours, Matterport links up directly to VR Glasses and you can indeed walk through the property.

      A number of agents (myself included) have spent A LOT of money on Matterport and this step forward is very welcome, if not 2 years too late.

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      1. SpacedustFilms

        Hi,

        This is from Matterport:
        The Matterport camera doesn’t have 2 lenses to capture stereoscopic images the same way traditional 3D cameras do it. What Matterport has is an Infrared light projector on the left side, an RGB camera in the middle and an Infrared light sensor on the right – if you’re looking at the lenses on the front of the camera. The IR projector and sensor are what create the 3D dollhouse and the RGB camera in the middle creates the 2D pano images.
        As far as VR is concerned, there is an option to get that beautiful stereoscopic 3D effect with CustomVR, it just costs more since it requires a substantial amount of manual 3D artistry. The CoreVR option is automated, and therefore, can’t be processed the same way. For that reason, CoreVR Spaces are only monoscopic.
        I hope that helps better explain the reason we can’t offer stereoscopic VR quality with the CoreVR Space.

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    2. KByfield04

      This being being done in phases by RM- mobile site first (highest traffic), then desktop site and finally the app. Those of us that have readily adopted VTs (we have used them on all listings since the start of 2017) have been pushing the portals to make these more ‘front & centre’. It is this adoption by the major portals that will help make the next step in the marketplace of consumer awareness and expectation- good to see if a little disappointing it took this long.

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    3. Walkabout Vision

      Matterport are in fact stereoscpic they have 6 cameras and produce a full 3D virtual tour

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      1. SpacedustFilms

        Hi – just left a reply on smile please’s comment about Matterport and 3D.

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  2. mrtickle

    Damn those cameras are expensive.

     

    They’re amazing, but this is going to be a heck of an investment for any small agents.

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    1. PeteBurnham

      COMMENT REMOVED – PROPERTY INDUSTRY EYE TERMS & CONDITIONS #6. Users posting comments on the site may not post direct hyperlinks to other websites and especially may not do so by use of their username. Users may not use comments to promote a service or business.

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    2. KByfield04

      We have adopted EyeSpy360- whilkst the resolution ond overall viewing experience isnt as refined as matterport this platform is incredibly affordable way to adopt this tch as you understand if it works for you. The big ‘win’ for us with VTs has been for our tenancy inspections- we have included these for free in 2018 with all interim inspections and our clients absolutley love it.

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      1. Walkabout Vision

        Great to see you have embraced this! I have suggested that its perfect for landlords to have a full detail of the condition of the property prior to new tenants moving in.

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  3. info@apollo3d.co.uk

    The matterport ‘3D’ tours are fully accessible through VR headsets which does indeed create the ‘depth’ of 3D that Spacedust mentions.  Therefore, Matterport can declare they are 3D (when viewed through VR).

     

    Either way, it’s going to become the ‘norm’ and fast for the UK home sale / rental market to adopt this technology.

     

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    1. info@apollo3d.co.uk

      COMMENT REMOVED – PROPERTY INDUSTRY EYE TERMS & CONDITIONS #6. Users posting comments on the site may not post direct hyperlinks to other websites and especially may not do so by use of their username. Users may not use comments to promote a service or business.

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    2. SpacedustFilms

      Hi – I’m definitely behind the technology, it’s a great way to view a home.  Without sounding pedantic, Matterport is not 3D –  Their VR is one flat image seen by both eyes (monoscopic).
      I’ve added a reply above with more details for their tech team.
      They say 3D because of the dollhouse models they produce (which are amazing)

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  4. Walkabout Vision

    COMMENT REMOVED – PROPERTY INDUSTRY EYE TERMS & CONDITIONS #6. Users posting comments on the site may not post direct hyperlinks to other websites and especially may not do so by use of their username. Users may not use comments to promote a service or business.

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  5. SmartPropertyTours

    Matterport cameras are indeed expensive but you can buy a Ricoh 360 camera for £160 and Go Pro’s are excellent value for what you get so Small agents can get on board with 360 without sinking the ship. When selecting a solution you should also be considering whether to go with 360 Virtual Tours or 360 Video Tours. 360 Virtual Tours such as those provided by eyespy360 are collections of 360 still images which must be played in a web browser. They are not videos. When you click on a Virtual Tour, it will open in a new browser tab or a pop out window. Unfortunately, the tour navigation controls vary from one vendor to the next and they are not all intuitive. 360 Video Tours are pure mp4 videos which work on your website and portal listings and very importantly, embed and auto play directly in social media as they come into view in the feeds. They operate using familiar video player controls and they also work with and without VR goggles. You should also be aware of the SEO benefits of video over all other forms of media. If you are using Matterport then they can convert your 360 Virtual Tours into 360 Video Tours but I don’t expect it will be free. There are 360 video property tour providers that can take your 360 footage, regardless of which camera you use and turn into a 360 property tour video for a small fee. I hope this helps.

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