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Redfin offers mobile homebuyers a 3D walk through properties

Redfin, a national real-estate brokerage, is letting mobile homebuyers tour its listed homes for sale by viewing a high-resolution three-dimensional view from any angle inside the home.

Redfin?s 3D Walkthrough feature, co-developed with Matterport, maker of a camera for creating 3D images of rooms, helps homebuyers decide which homes to tour in person. The feature reflects the increasingly digital character of house-hunting as consumers turn to online and mobile for information to support their buying decisions.

?Redfin is on a mission to reinvent how people buy and sell homes,? said Sasha Aickin, the company?s chief technology officer. ?Redfin 3D Walkthrough makes home listings stand out from the crowd, adding another benefit to sellers who list with Redfin.?

Nationwide rollout
Buyers can find the feature on the home-listings page for every Redfin agent-listed home in the company?s headquarters city of Seattle. It will roll out nationwide in the months to come.

In addition to taking buyers through hallways and around rooms, the 3-D tour includes overhead cutaway or ?dollhouse? views and a floor-plan view. A video sample can be found at:

3D Walkthrough is optimized for tablet and desktop screens due to the huge download of files. It can only be used with Internet Explorer 11, Chrome and Firefox browsers.

For homebuyers, the 3D tour offers the convenience of being able to check out a home from myriad angles at their own pace. For sellers who list with a Redfin agent, it is a way to get even more attention for the property.
Redfin listings already get twice the views of non-Redfin listings through promotion and customized email marketing campaigns, according to Mr. Aickin. On average, Redfin-listed homes sell three days faster and for $2,424 more than comparable homes, he said.

Redfin?s enlisting of Mountain View, CA-based Matterport to provide the 3D house tours continues a tradition at the real-estate broker of leveraging digital technology to enhance sales.

In 2009 it launched an application for iPhone and iPod touch users that let users view homes for sale on multiple listing services and upload photos and notes from home tours. 

YouTube video demonstrates 3-D house tour.

In July, Redfin released its first app for Android tablets that personalized the house-hunting experience. Users can select a schedule-tour button to choose a date and time to meet with an agent without needing to pick up the phone. A notes and camera feature lets users enter private notes about the inspection and images for later viewing.

Capturing attention
With nine in 10 homebuyers relying on the Internet as one of their primary research sources, according to the National Association of Realtors, Redfin and other online brokers are moving deeper into mobile to capture and build shopper attention.

Traditional real estate brokers also have begun to embrace mobile. RE/MAX locations in Memphis, for instance, launched a mobile application that lets users view properties and listings within a one-mile radius.

?Seeing is believing, especially in real estate, and we designed Redfin 3D Walkthrough, powered by Matterport, to help you check out a home and find out quickly if you want to see it in person,? said Mr. Aickin. 

?With Redfin agents showing homes via Facetime or Skype and submitting offers electronically on behalf of clients in other cities, technology like this provides an added layer of convenience and information.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Marketer, New York.