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Matterport needs to help photographers

so I bought this $5000 camera. I built a business from the ground up based on what this camera can do. I market my business to realtors and anyone else I can think of. Business is slow and not generally good. When I call matterport for help on marketing ideas I get " it's up to you". No help at all. We all understand what the camera does and I believe it is the future. How is a photographer to market this?a realtor who has a listing is not willing to spend money on something they will inevitably get when the property sells eventually. You sold us the camera Matterport, now help us make it profitable.

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  • I mean that once a realtor signs a contract with a customer to sell their home they are garunteed that commission whenever it sells. Whether they use regular 2d photos or our 3D interactive floor plan. And in most all cases the realtor doesn't want to spend more money out of that commission. The advantages of the camera are obvious to a realtor but how is a photographer supposed to sell this service? Www.eagleeye-media.com is the closest I've come and can't seem to get business to easily

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  • I don't want to sound completely dismissive, as it would do a world of help for Matterport to help us with the content creation side of things a few studies that scientifically compare listings using the Matterport scan to listings without a scan for why they present better marketing, and generally with idea's for content creation of the service providers websites. What is presented on the matterport website now is right about the perfect amount of information to get a photographer to believe in the product, but not enough to tell them how they can sell it. A little more help would be fantastic in the direction of how can we convince realtors that they need this product for the properties that they already have listed. Most realtors that I have talked to get that it is a really cool product, they get that it helps to show the house better, but they aren't going to sign onto doing it for most or all of their homes that they have listed and will list in the future, which means that for the most part in the sale to the real estate agent, you can cut out the benefits that are marketed to both the brokerage office and the agent on the real estate page of the matterport website. This really leaves the photographer with a couple of bad bits of information, that if they are going to be in business for longer than a couple of months, they should already know like you can up-sell customers.

    All this being said, at the end of the day, it is the photographers job to do the advertising. If you can't then you will go out of business, it's real life. The way that your concerns are posted here is the equivalent of asking Canon or Nikon to sell your photography to your clients. It's not their job, it's yours. If you have not sold a few scans already, there are pilot scans that you can use to sell them on the demo page of the matterport website.

    P.S. sorry if any of this rambles/doesn't flow well, I am quite tired at the moment, but figured that this would be more the place of a fellow MP user to give several of these points as opposed to matterport company so as they wouldn't come off as dismissive even though they are important to point out.

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  • @anthony, good thoughts! A couple things that might help:

    1.) Definitely ask questions to this community. "How did you get your first few clients?" or "What's been the best marketing you've done?" might inspire some fun discussions, and spur some creative ideas. It also might help spark some features that would make this easier for other newer customers. Just remember to share the ideas that work for you!

    2.) Do you have any insight into the struggles that most prospective agents are facing in your area? That might be an interesting discussion. For example, I know that some users will approach realtors and say, "Want to win more listings? Download the Showcase iPad App, show a demo to your next prospective client. If you win the listing, then call me." That can be kinda neat, because there is no cost to you or the realtor, and if it works, you're set. Again, this might not work for everything situation, but I thought it was a pretty cool idea.

    3.) If you haven't already, considering joining the Matterport MSP network. It is still in its infancy, but we want to do everything we can to help all of customers succeed.

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  • Anthony, most of the stuff on your website is quoting agents from the West coast... It might be helpful to find some examples in your local area. Many of your example scans are also the default scans of which you did not perform. I'm not so sure it is the camera manufacturers responsibility to market our business for us... Although I'm not sure it is their responsibility to purchase companies in direct competition with us as well... You've identified the issues surrounding an agent spending money on a listing which should have been evident prior to you purchasing the camera.

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  • A few thoughts about the conversation. I understand what @Anthony is saying in regards to generating business with a new product. At the same time I agree with @Arbornejon and @Zack in it's our responsibility to build our own business. Since I've been using the camera for almost 4 years I've witnessed the transformation from strictly hardware/software focused, to now marketing, including MSP's and helping generate business. Naturally the marketing side development is slower than we MSP's would like.

    We have to take a 'start-up' mentality also. Prior to Matterport my experience had always been selling a product that had an established market. 3D Spaces are leading edge, waiting for the market to develop. It's a very different sell. Plus, the tipping point in Real Estate hasn't been reached yet.

    1) One recommendation is cold-calling. I call on real estate offices, but my best success is calling on agents at their open house on a Saturday or Sunday. They may not have time to listen to a presentation. But they have 2-3 minutes for a quick introduction, hear about my service and know the email I send as follow-up isn't junk mail. Plus they are always impressed I'm working on a weekend. I suggest to write out a script to practice getting in key points within 2 minutes- like a two minute drill. You'll find that often they happen to have a little more time to listen. Having the 3D Showcase ready to show a Space if there is time is invaluable.

    The single best reason a real estate agent should want to use a Matterport Space is about them - not their seller. With housing inventory down, and listings harder to get, the MP Space is their best closing tool against their competition. No listing no commission.

    I have many agents that have a tour with every house they do - because they've closed listings by selling the value of the Space - and their competition doesn't. Two days ago one told me he was against 6 other agents - and got the listing because he was the only one that presented, and even knew, about the Space. I'm pretty sure he is locked in forever.

    2) Our time is limited so I don't get hung up on spending hours/days of trying to convince an agent they need it. If they don't get it, the next one might.

    3) Check out the Webinars in the MSP Member Portal for tips on presenting

    4) From Matterport's BLOG, download 'The Official Guide to Visual Real Estate Marketing Tools & Trends' and then send it out to a few agents to start making them aware of your presence.

    5) There are also flyers, videos, etc. in the MSP Portal for our use.

    6) Look at opportunities outside of real estate.

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  • @Bill, fantastic write-up!

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  • I hate to say this, but I bought a Matterport Camera because I have an existing business and believed that I could sell Matterport Tours to existing customers. I already produced extremely high quality panoramic tours using a DSLR, a fisheye and a Nodal Ninja panohead. I believe that I've been quite successful by adding Matterport as a new service available to an existing clientbase. I have also extended my clientbase to Realtors, but do believe that having existing clients and a portfolio helped immensely to establish my reputation.

    So for those looking to start a new Matterport business... firstly, Matterport as a company is great about sending referrals via the MSP Program.

    Research the saturation in your market. For instance, my observation on the Florida market is that it's quite saturated. That's not my market. Second, I think that you will HAVE to do some free tours. You need to get your portfolio out there. I struggled to GIVE AWAY tours at first.

    One problem for many Realtors is that they are paying out of pocket for the tours that aren't necessary to sell homes. Sometimes a tour MAY sell a home; sometimes it's superfluous. For those Realtors, it can give them an edge to SHOW that they offer the service to sellers -- rather than being a tool to sell a home, it's to sell themselves to prospective sellers.

    Matterport has done a bang up job with getting evangelists such as that Altman Brothers as well as attending conventions within multiple industries. After a convention, I often receive several telephone calls based upon my location. I use Google AdWords to make sure that I'm visible and spend about $150 a month, which I can recoup after 1 tour.

    Right now, the phone doesn't ring like it did at the beginning of the summer and it's a general consensus that there are busy times and slow times that mirror the market.

    In summary - it's a bit of an uphill climb. Matterport is an amazing product and people are genuinely interested. You either have to be an excellent salesperson to win jobs over others; have an existing clientbase; or have some amazing dumb luck wherein you land a client that opens doors for you. This is true of many things beyond Matterport tours.

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  • I guess a big issue from MP are the missing features, quality and slow development incl. a not really nice UX/UI especially at Workshop.

    The stitching is too often bad and full of errors. The 3D and floor view is a nice add on, but when I get similar results with a Theta S or another 360-solution for much less money with the option of being able to fix errors with Photoshop and develop branded custom products without any restrictions (Full 360 Panorama Download, Marketing with Facebook360 view, Brandes Apps & VR-headset Versions ...) from a business decision I currently would choose another option than MP.

    One of our main competitors in germany has now entered US: https://www.immoviewer.com

    The longterm targets of MP are really good, the ideas and visions are great. But execution makes the difference. Ideas and visions don´t help current customers at all for now to compete with other companies/products/services.

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  • Also I think the offered help could be improved much with more detailed tutorials on the features e.g. the "Trim"-Feature or "Making of ..."-features from other Matterport Pro´s.

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