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What Are the Best Alternatives for 3D/VR Platforms for Real Estate?

Published: 31/03/2017

Peter in Calgary asked the following question:

I've looking at Planitar iGuide and Matterport. I would love to hear yours and the groups' thoughts on one vs. the other.

Since iGuide doesn't have pricing on their website, I have emailed Planitar regarding their pricing. Their camera is doubled that of Matterport. I am not a fan of either but I am losing clients to other photographers that offer these services.

I don't have any direct experience with either of these, only input and discussions on the blog about Matterport. Based on these past discussions:

  1. I think real estate photographers have to be very careful about all of this technology since it is so expensive and how many clients will pay for it is not always clear until you get into it.
  2. Matterport is clearly the most popular 3D/VR technology currently being used for real estate.

For a review of all of the 3D/VR platforms, here is this review by Paul Collart.

Does anyone have experience with iGuide?

Larry Lohrman

17 comments on “What Are the Best Alternatives for 3D/VR Platforms for Real Estate?”

  1. In the review a 360 by any other name is a 360. The only exception to every sample provided is the Matterport. It's recorded by a scanning system and is the most cumbersome of all solutions. It does provide the 3d doll house though and that has become a big carrot to obtain listings.

    Cumbersome... It takes me 20 minutes to do an entire home with Canon and 8mm lens, then 30 minutes to process and build the tour. Matterport takes 2 to 3 hours (you can every 7 to 10 feet) and you have to upload data to Matterport and get results the next day.

    I'm no expert, but close to it. I have used most systems out there and provide a 360 tour to 20% of the shoots I do. I do it the old fashion way with a Canon 5d MK II and an 8mm sigma lens, 5 brackets and 6 shots. This provides an excellent tour, sharp, clear, easy to stitch and I present it with Krpano and host the files my self.

    The Matterport system requires you to purchase their camera and then pay a monthly fee to have them process and host the tours. Last heard, they pano is hosted for 1 year. You are tied into their system but can save money by buying a scanner off ebay for about $3500, there are always some for sale so not everyone has found the gold mine with it.

    There is a new alternative that is just emerging and that's 360 video. This can be presented much like a normal 360 tour jumping from room to room, The bad is the resolution is not equal to stitched stills and the good is that it can be hosted on YouTube and be indexed into Google. It can also be hosted by FaceBook (not shared) This gives you great social media exposure.

    Then, if you are handy, you can build a robot and mount the 360 video camera and drive it through the house. All the 'video' options are easily encoded to add a voice over.

    Examples: Same property to give a fair comparison. No Matterport.

    360 Virtual Tour 'stitched'
    360 Video Virtual Tour 'YouTube'
    360 Video Virtual Tour ROBOT 'YouTube'

  2. Hi Peter,

    I am the founder of a community of 13,000 3D/VR/360º photographers.

    I interviewed the Co-Founder/CEO of Planitar on the differences between their iGuide Camera System and Matterport here ...

    I curate a list of nearly 50 1-click 360º cameras here ...



    P.S. I am a huge fan of of Larry's Photography For Real Estate ...

  3. In my market I have been seeing the influx of Matterport tours. I personally did not want to spend the capital to purchase the "BIG BLACK BOX" to produce these tours. So I contracted it out to a local matterport photographer... I really do not make any money on the deal so I stopped offering that product. I did find Real Vision and bought into their system... It is very similar to Matterport in many ways but lacks a couple of things that Matterport has. 1. The "Carrot" Dollhouse. 2. AutoPlay Other than that.. It is a solid product and I have already paid back my small investment to start offering that platform. My biggest job so far was 6000 SF and I charged my client $649 to do it... It cost me to produce the tour $224... I have a nice tour and made some money. My clients are happy and said that the tour performs great and looks awesome! Here is a link to one of those tours. I also offer standard Virtual Tours but that platform can not do a 3D Walk Through experience that my clients are wanting. I am getting more client interest each and everyday because it is new and not too many people know about it.

    The way I sell it to my clients is comparing the two platforms side by side. Initially the cost seems higher than Matterport but when you add professional Photography and a Floor Plan to that Matterport tour then I am less expensive because the 3D tour that I offer comes with Professional Photography and a floor plan.

  4. I have Matterport and though it can be cumbersome, and their software also bends my iPad's battery life over the table, I like it well enough. There's just not huge enough a difference between the major ones like Matterport and iGuide for me to nitpick them or, I think, for anyone to sharply divided about which one to get.

    I know Matterport's cameras are rarely seen in their repair shops. I also know you have to have the market for it to justify buying it. That is, the luxury market typically, since for the time it takes to do it, you'd want to be charging a decent bit. Given that, rarely are agents going to want a Matterport scan done on a small, no-frills, non-luxury house because if you were them, would you pay ~$250 for that when those houses are your commission savers (sometimes)?

  5. Hello everyone,

    My name is Alex and I am a co-founder of Planitar. I wanted to highlight few points about the iGuide that I did not see mentioned above.

    First, iGuide is about delivering the maximum information about a property in the most efficient way. It is not only a 3D tour and 360 images, but also all the critical information about a property: floor plan, square footage analysis, room dimensions that agents need for their listings, and the on-screen measurement tool to make custom measurements of any dimension a user needs right from the iGuide. The reason Peter sees iGuide picking up really fast in Alberta is that a year ago Alberta introduced the Residential Measurement Standard that specifies how property measurements must be reported by agents and iGuide provides that information. We also see that Alberta agents are very sensitive to accuracy of the measurements and that is another area where iGuide leads over competition. Ontario is another example, where a growing number of real estate boards are mandating square footage reporting on listings. We anticipate that the trend for requiring more measurements on real estate listings will only accelerate everywhere, especially with an increasing use of Automated Valuation Models that companies such ad Zillow and Opendoor employ.

    Second, iGuide's business model is to support professional real estate photographers and provide tools for running a successful real estate photography business. A large part of it, besides the iGuide camera and software, is the iGuide Portal that allows editing of many aspects of the iGuide, sending iGuide reports and weekly Analytics reports and much more. Most importantly, Planitar does not try to saturate market with iGuide cameras by selling to everyone who asks and does not market iGuide cameras to real estate agents.

    Third, the iGuide technology was designed to provide the most efficient workflow to a photographer to cut down on production costs without sacrificing quality. iGuide requires the least amount of time onsite to collect all the necessary compared to competition. On average, iGuide uses 22 panoramas to present a typical 2400-2500sf home. Compare that to 60-80 camera positions with Matterport or 30+ positions with InsideMaps or RealVision. Another important aspect is the amount of data per home that needs to be uploaded online using your home internet connection. With iGuide it is about 40MB per home (without still images). Compare that to 1GB+ with competition, see details in Paul Collart's report referenced at the top of the page. iGuide processing time allows for the next day delivery and processing charges are very competitive, are per transaction only and without any monthly fees, again in contrast with competition. iGuide's time and cost savings allow a photographer to service more clients per day at very competitive prices and gain a larger share in their markets.

    In summary, if you need to showcase a home and provide a real estate agent with a complete listing solution, iGuide is the right tool for the job.

  6. @Alex...I was inquiring via your website but I wasn't impressed that I had to submit a form before any pricing is given to me. The lack of transparency makes me reluctant.

  7. I got a Matterport camera about a year ago. It's my biggest moneymaker and more realtors are jumping on the bandwagon every month.

    I have several realtors who use for almost every listing, even small, non-upscale ones. They all say it's a tremendous marketing tool and sellers are quick to sign after seeing sample tours. Some also bring a pair of VR glasses to really "wow" sellers.

    My workflow is very efficient and I can scan a 2,500 to 3,000 sq foot house in 1.5 to 2 hours, but that's only if the homeowners and realtor's assistants stay out of my way. I once did a 5,000 sq foot house in 3 hours. I was in quite a zone that day.

    I make as much doing 1 Matterport scan as I do shooting photos only for 3-4 homes.

    All that said, it helps that I work in the Chicago area and there's no shortage of work.

  8. I would LOVE nothing more than to get an iGuide and I did speak to a rep at the company but the cost is absolutely prohibitive for me, not to mention the steep hosting cost/tour..

    I'm looking at the path which looks great!! Thanks for the info!

  9. For those of you that have iGuide, how is their customer service? I'd inquire, received one respond. Never heard from them again after I reply with further questions.

  10. Good morning,
    At iGuide, our business model is to work with a selected group of professional photographers across North America; giving them the opportunity to enhance and grow their real estate photography business. Every request for information is immediately responded to and we then go through an initial review before reaching out again. Our first priority is to respond to markets not currently being serviced with our iGuide solution.

    An independent report was recently prepared to compare all of the top real estate 3D technologies.

    You can decide for yourself who offers the best solution.

  11. @Peter, did you leave us a phone number to reach you at? If you could contact me directly at with your full details I will look into it and make sure you are responded to. If you did not leave details our team may have pushed down the request for information.
    Have a great long weekend,

  12. Istaging was just at CES 2018 and their product looks pretty good. Subscription basis with NO equipment just use your phone and their provided attachments. Does anyone have experience/perspective regarding this company and their technology?

  13. Hello,

    I inquired about an iGuide. I was turned down at this time as there is another iGuide user that is 160ish KM from where I live. So I am looking for another Scanning, RMS researching, 360 tour type hardware/software system. As the Matterport does not do what I am needing. My company strictly deals with real estate marketing and I have clients waiting for an iGuide or something similar, as home measurement is a key factor in my area.

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