3D Images Are a Great Way to Promote Listings, But How Do You Display Them?

Everything is easy in theory. Everything “should work.” Every idea sounds good only to die under the crushing weight of the details needed to push it to completion. This is the case with 3D imaging. The first thing anyone in the property industry finds out is that rooms are incredibly hard to take a picture of. The cameras never seem to be able to zoom out enough to give an accurate representation of the room. The complexities of a 3D space tend to get lost when forced into a 2D representation.

So, we all instinctively know that a 3D image is a great way to show a property. We all understand that the technology is making these 3D images easier to generate and view. But, when it comes to actually creating and using these images, we start to feel the familiar weight of those details pushing down on our shoulders and tightening our breath. When you actually think about deploying a technology you start asking questions that are often hard to answer. What do I need to provide in order to render a blueprint into a 3D image? What kinds of files do these images come in? What programs do I need to open them? Do I need special hardware? A supercomputer? How can I easily share them with clients and colleagues that are, lets just say, less than tech savvy?

Turns out, the answers to these may actually be easier than you might expect with such a nascent technology. One of the companies pioneering the use of 3D imaging in the design and sales of unbuilt properties is Foyr. They realized early on that the complexities of working with a new file type might cause friction for their users. So, they designed for simplicity. First, they wanted to make it easy to create the images. They can take any blueprint that a development team might have (even paper ones!) and turn it into a beautiful 3D rendering. Then they host this image on a webpage. That way it can be seen with nothing more than a browser and be shared in every medium (even print!). Since everything is cloud based multiple people can access the image at the same time so everyone can see the results of changes to the design or decor as they happen.

Part of the appeal of these 3D images isn’t just the way it represents a space, but the way that it can bring in other outside elements. Things like the view from the windows, the way that sunlight will fall differently throughout the day, and the view from outside the building looking in are all powerful features that can only be unlocked with a 3D image. Foyer makes all of these things possible without requiring users to take pics from each window or take hourly light samples. They can automatically import information about buildings from third party databases.

Technology seems to flow towards simplicity. Computing that used to require a scientist can now be done by a toddler with an iPad. Luckily, 3D photos have already gotten to a level of simplicity that makes them accessible to the entire spectrum of technological competence that we have in real estate. Things are not inherently easy, but they need to be. The second lesson learned in real estate, after the inaccuracy of photos of rooms, is that given the chance even the most simplistic tasks can get bungled. By designing a technology that requires nothing more than an internet connection and a mouse click, 3D images have gotten to the point where they are almost impossible to mess up whether it be by a toddler or an “old school” broker—which in some cases have surprisingly similar abilities when it comes to technology.


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