Steamboat real estate listings offered in 3D | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat real estate listings offered in 3D

Sotheby's launches 3D virtual tours of properties

— Upon stepping inside a home on Winchester Court west of Steamboat, visitors can quickly sense the ample space in the home's great room, which includes an open kitchen, living area and dining room just off the house's main entryway.

Look up, and wood detailing covers the ceiling; look down, and clean, bright wood paneling enhances the room's floors. A peek out the dining area's sliding glass door reveals valley views, which can be seen from every corner of the room.

Now, imagine viewing everything just described, as well as the view from any other vantage point in the room, from the comfort of one’s own home.

Photographs and videos are no longer the only ways for prospective homeowners to see inside a house — now, 3D virtual reality tours are becoming a more common tool for real estate brokers.

The tours allow viewers to navigate at their own pace through a home mapped with a nine-screen camera, moving up and down staircases and in and out of rooms, while also allowing viewers to spin around a room and visualize how areas of a home exist in relationship to others.

"This technology is expected to transform the real estate industry and make house-hunting more efficient and more effective," said Cam Boyd, broker and owner at Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty, which began using the technology this year.

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Boyd is using Matterport, a 3D camera and media platform that allows photographers to capture and share spaces in three dimensions.

Matterport technology has also been using by Moving Mountains, a Steamboat vacation rental company, and by The Paoli Group at Colorado Group Realty to create 3D tours.

Boyd said the technology will create better-informed home buyers, and he's found that online listings with 3D tours keep online viewers on webpages 10 times longer than listings without the tours.

He's set up 3D tours of a handful of homes in Steamboat, including a five-bedroom home on Winchester Court, offered for $735,000, and a 7,800-square-foot luxury home on Bear Trail, offered for $2.5 million.

Boyd thinks the technology will be helpful in a resort market such as Steamboat, in which many buyers are purchasing from out of the area.

“In resort markets, buyers sometimes can't drop everything they are doing to travel to see a house that is on the market. This technology really allows someone to walk through a house and understand the layout and how a home feels,” Boyd said.

The virtual tour can also help prospective buyers visualize which direction a room faces or where one bedroom is in relation to another area of the house.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow