You can reduce a property’s time on the market by 39% by making one minor change to your single-family rental (SFR) listings: add 3D tours.

Is there a return on investment when using 3D tours rather than still photography only? That is the question we set out to answer when we partnered with a client who was considering adding 3D tours to their rental listings.

We will not bury the lead. We found that 3D Matterport tours reduced the number of days on the market. Not only that, but it also led to more pre-qualified leads and an increase in unique website visitors. To quantify that, if your carrying cost is $50 a day and you reduce the number of days on the market by seven, your ROI is 133.33% over one year. Considering your Matterport tours can be used repeatedly, you can extrapolate that over several years. That is a massive ROI.

Let’s go deeper into what we found during our study, using 137 homes in Charlotte (91) and Dallas (46).

Experiment Note: The control group used 15 photos and our test group used 15 photos and a Matterport 3D tour.

Data Shows Decrease in Days on Market

When we conducted this study, we analyzed 137 homes in two markets — Charlotte and Dallas. We found that on Zillow, listings with 3D Matterport tours received three to five leads per week. In Charlotte, this was an increase of 18%. On SmartRent Tours, we received one to three leads per week. This was a slight increase, likely because in-person tours are not necessary when you have already toured virtually. Our client also added Matterport tours to their website and found that the tours increased page views by 12% in Charlotte and 57% in Dallas. Unique visitors increased even more. Charlotte saw a jump of 18% while Dallas received an increase of 63%.

Why Do 3D Tours Perform So Well?

In a crowded market, there are many benefits to a 3D virtual tour:

•          Extra visibility | They are more visible in listing apps. Zillow, Trulia, and the other major players highlight 3D tours in the list and map view, making them stand out.

•          Special icons | Listing sites provide special icons indicating that the listing has a 3D tour.

•          Pre-qualifies applicants | Because potential renters can see the whole home by virtually walking through it, they are less likely to pull their application or back out of a lease.

With the extra attention that Matterport tours provide, the average days on the market decreased significantly. In Charlotte, the days on market decreased by 39% and in Dallas, the number decreased by 9%.

After reviewing the data against different categories (such as price per category), we discovered that the reduction in days on the market was across the board.

3D Tours are Becoming Standard in SFR Marketing

While conducting this study, we wanted to go beyond our test group, and research how many SFRs are using 3D tours in their marketing. We found that from 2021 to 2022, there was an increase in 3D tours among the three markets we researched. While not everyone is using 3D tours yet, we predict it will soon become standard. Now, you need to consider this question: are you going to implement 3D tours or be left behind?