Helping You Connect the Dots to Succeed Faster
WGAN-TV: Now Playing
WGAN-TV Live at 6:15 pm ET
Free WGAN Map
Locations of Matterport Pro3 Camera Service Providers and see the number of Matterport Pro3s and/or BLK360s for each Matterport Pro.
View WGAN Map
Contact Info
Locations of Matterport Pro3 Camera Service Providers and see name, company, website, email and mobile phone for each Matterport Pro.
Join WGAN Sponsor
Get on the Map | A Service of We Get Around Network (not affiliated with Matterport)
One Order  |  One Quote  |  One Contact
Book Multiple GLOBAL Commercial Locations
  • ✔  As-Builts
  • ✔  Construction Progress
  • ✔  Facilities Management
Last 24 Hours: 323 Unique Visitors
9,123 WGAN Members in 149 Countries
Last 30 Days: 32,670 Page Views | 16,166 Unique Visitors | 27 New Members
We Get Around Network Forum
Quick Start | WGAN Forum
Matterport Digital ProMSPsPodcastSparks Media GroupVersusVHT StudiosWGANTV Live at 5WGANTV Podcast

WGAN-TV Podcast: "I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Package"18369

WGAN Forum
Founder &
WGAN-TV Podcast
Host
Atlanta, Georgia
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
WGAN-TV | Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Package for a RE Listing: What Every MSP Should Know | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 178 | Tuesday, 28 February 2023 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace


WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN Forum Podcast


WGAN-TV Podcast | Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Package for a RE Listing: What Every MSP Should Know | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 178 | Tuesday, 28 February 2023 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

WGAN-TV Podcast | Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Package for a RE Listing: What Every MSP Should Know | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 178 | Tuesday, 28 February 2023 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

[b]WGAN Forum Podcast | Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Package for a RE Listing: What Every MSP Should Know | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 178 | Tuesday, 28 February 2023 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

WGAN-TV eBook | Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Package for a RE Listing: What Every MSP Should Know | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 178 | Tuesday, 28 February 2023 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace


WGAN-TV Training U


WGAN-TV Training U in Matterport (Free Course) | Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Package for a RE Listing: What Every MSP Should Know | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 178 | Tuesday, 28 February 2023 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace


WGAN-TV Podcast: Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): 'I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Package for a Real Estate Listing: What Every Matterport Service Provider Should Know'

Hi All,

[WGAN-TV Podcast (above) ... WGAN-TV Transcript (below).

On WGAN-TV Podcast (5 pm ET) on Tuesday, 28 February 2023:

WGAN-TV: Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): "I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Package for a Real Estate Listing: What Every Matterport Service Provider Should Know"

To help you decide if Matterport Digital Pro is a threat to Matterport Service Providers (or an opportunity or no impact at all), I reached out to Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks offering for We Get Around Network to pay a Matterport Digital Pro package ($299) in exchange for Tom documenting the experience for the WGAN Forum community (and publishing the digital assets in the WGAN Forum).

I could imagine understanding the Matterport Digital Pro experience -- from an actual shoot -- would provide insight regarding if Matterport Digital Pro services powered by VHT Studios (a division of Matterport) is a threat or opportunity.

Backstory

Eight months after Matterport announced it acquired VHT Studios (7 July 2022), Matterport launched its Matterport Digital Pro "all-in-one" solution for real estate agents powered by VHT Studios.

Matterport Digital Pro offers the following package for $299 (with optional add ons):

1. Matterport Tour
2. 25+ Photos
3. Schematic Floor Plan (B&W)
4. Teaser Video

I could imagine that $299 is less than what the majority of Matterport Service Providers charge for (what might sound like) a similar package.

When Matterport made this announcement on Wednesday, 15 February 2023, two different WGAN Forum discussions were started about, is Matterport Digital Pro a competitor to Matterport Service Providers? Specifically:

1. Matterport Digital Pro - your direct competition
2. Video: Matterport launches all in one solution, should you be worried?

Tom is uniquely qualified since he has documented shooting the same house with five Matterport capture solutions:

1. Matterport Pro3 Camera
2. Matterport Pro2 Camera
3. Matterport AXIS Kit [Motorized Mount (smartphone rotator)]
4. Ricoh THETA Z1
5. Insta360 One RS 1"

How about the same house done with Matterport Digital Pro Package to be able to compare apples-to-apples, I asked Tom.

Among the questions that I will ask Tom on WGAN-TV Live at 5 are:

1. What was the Matterport Digital Pro ordering experience like?
2. How long from ordering until the photographer showed up and how long to deliver the assets?
3. What was the Matterport Digital Pro scanning experience like (including which camera)?
4. What's the deliverable process like?
5. Your thoughts about how Matterport Digital Pro compares with a MSP (like you) shooting with a Pro2 or Pro3?
6. How does the job delivered by Matterport Digital Pro Package compare to your services?
7. Will you outsource large Matterport scans to Matterport Digital Pro since they say same price regardless of SQFT?
7. Other thoughts?


What questions should I ask Tom during this WGAN-TV Live at 5 show?

Best,

Dan

P.S. Below are the digital assets provided by Matterport Digital Pro

Dropbox Link Courtesy of WGAN | Contains Folder provided by Matterport Digital Pro
[Note from @DanSmigrod | Since WGAN Forum compresses links, I am sharing this Dropbox link so that you can see the image quality and deliverables EXACTLY as Matterport Digital Pro provided]

Matterport tour by Matterport Digital Pro

Matterport teaser video provided by Matterport Digital Pro (Video File name: unbranded_95801e74-43d8-4eba-b4ee-0b44374fc8d0)


Image 1 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 2 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 3 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 4 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 5 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 6 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 7 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 8 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 9 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 10 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 11 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 12 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 13 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 14 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 15 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 16 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 17 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 18 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 19 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 20 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 21 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 22 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 23 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 24 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Image 25 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Floor Plan 1 | Image 26 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Floor Plan 2 | Image 27 provided by Matterport Digital Pro


Floor Plan 3 | Image 28 provided by Matterport Digital Pro

Floor Plan (.pdf) | Download Link courtesy of WGAN. Matterport Digital Pro provided the .pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScanYourSpace
Hi All,

This was the email I received from VHT after the order was complete.







Tom Sparks Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScanYourSpace
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanSmigrod
Hi Tom,

Please add to this WGAN Forum discussion:

1. your video that we discussed during the show
2. Single Property Website link provided by VHT Studios (branded)
3. Single Property Website link provided by VHT Studios (un-branded)

Thanks,

Dan


Here you go!

Link to my comparison video:

Branded property website provided by VHT: https://tour.vht.com/434304280
Unbranded property website provided by VHT: https://tour.vht.com/434304280/IDX


---

Dropbox Link Courtesy of WGAN | Contains Folder provided by Matterport Digital Pro
[Note from @DanSmigrod | Since WGAN Forum compresses links, I am sharing this Dropbox link so that you can see the image quality and deliverables EXACTLY as Matterport Digital Pro provided]

---

WGAN-TV | Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): When and Why I use a Matterport Pro2 or Pro3 Camera, Matterport AXIS Rotator, Ricoh THETA Z1, Insta360 ONE RS 1-Inch or Leica BLK360 (1st Generation) to Create Matterport Tours | Guest: [url=www.ScanYourSpace.com]Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 175 | Thursday, 2 February 2023 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

---

Video: Matterport Pro3 Camera of a 2,053 SQFT House | Video courtesy of Sparks Media YouTube Channel | 26 January 2023 | Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

Matterport Pro3 Camera
113 Scans including full front yard and backyard, and closets.
Time to Scan: Interior: approximately 50 minutes Entire scan | (inside and out): 1 Hour 15 Minutes | Matterport digital twin courtesy of Sparks Media YouTube Channel | 1 February 2023 | Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

---

Video: Matterport Pro2 Camera of a 2,053 SQFT House | Video courtesy of Sparks Media YouTube Channel | 26 January 2023 | Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

Matterport Pro2 Camera
52 Scans including peek into backyard, Four (4) 360 images in front and backyard, no closets.
Time to scan: approx. 45 minutes | Matterport digital twin courtesy of Sparks Media YouTube Channel | 1 February 2023 | Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

---

Video: Matterport AXIS Smartphone Rotator of a 2,053 SQFT House | Video courtesy of Sparks Media YouTube Channel | 26 January 2023 | Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

Matterport AXIS Smartphone Rotator
52 Scans including peek in back yard and front yard, no closets.
Time to Scan: 1 hr 30 minutes (including failures to align) | Matterport digital twin courtesy of Sparks Media YouTube Channel | 1 February 2023 | Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

---

Video: Ricoh THETA Z1 of a 2,053 SQFT House | Video courtesy of Sparks Media YouTube Channel | 26 January 2023 | Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

Ricoh THETA Z1
81 Scans including peek in front and back yard and closets.
Time to Scan: approximately 35 minutes | Matterport digital twin courtesy of Sparks Media YouTube Channel | 1 February 2023 | Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

---

Video: Insta360 ONE RS 1-Inch of a 2,053 SQFT House | Video courtesy of Sparks Media YouTube Channel | 26 January 2023 | Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

Insta360 ONE RS 1-Inch
65 Scans including peek in front and back yard, no closets.
Time to Scan: Approx. 35 minutes | Matterport digital twin courtesy of Sparks Media YouTube Channel | 1 February 2023 | Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks |
www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

---

Transcript: WGAN-TV Live at 5 | Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): When and Why I use a Matterport Pro2 or Pro3 Camera, Matterport AXIS Rotator, Ricoh THETA Z1 or Leica BLK360 (1st Generation) to Create Matterport Tours

Hi All,

Matterport Digital Pro shot the SAME listings that Tom Sparks shot with various Matterport capture solutions (above).

Compare photos shot by Matterport Digital Pro versus photos shot by Sparks Media Group [b](same listing).

Dan

Transcript Below
Post 1 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
Founder &
WGAN-TV Podcast
Host
Atlanta, Georgia
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
WGAN-TV | Tom Sparks (Sparks Media Group): I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Package for a RE Listing: What Every MSP Should Know | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 178 | Tuesday, 28 February 2023 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace

Transcript (Video Above)

[00:00:05]
Dan Smigrod: Hi all. I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. Today is Tuesday, February 28, 2023, and you're watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.

We have an awesome show for you today. "I Paid $299 for a Matterport Digital Pro Bundle for a Real Estate Listing: What Every Matterport Service Provider Should Know. Our Mystery Shopper with us today, Tom Sparks, Founder and CEO of Scan Your Space, a division of Sparks Media Group. Tom, thanks for being our subject matter expert on the show today.

[00:00:43]
Tom Sparks: I should have asked you to put the "blue dot" and do the weird, creepy FBI voice for me. ;-)

[00:00:49]
Dan Smigrod: You can still do that if you want it. You can be our Mystery Shopper. Before we jump into the topic of today's show, please for context, tell us about Scan Your Space and Sparks Media Group.

[00:01:02]
Tom Sparks: Sparks Media Group is my residential side of all things. Real estate, media, photos, aerial, video, 3D tours, floor plans, property websites, geared towards residential photography.

Scan Your Space is more of the commercial side and I'm diving off into the AEC world, but that's marketed towards hotels, resorts, warehouses, restaurants, that sort of thing.

[00:01:36]
Dan Smigrod: The coverage area for Scan Your Space and Sparks Media Group?

[00:01:42]
Tom Sparks: We're covering California. We're covering parts of Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas.

[00:01:51]
Dan Smigrod: Awesome. Tom, I thought you'd be exactly the right person for today's show. We had you on WGAN-TV Live at 5 before a couple of times before: "10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera" and "Where and when I use a Matterport Pro2 Camera, Matterport Pro3 Camera, Matterport AXIS, Ricoh THETA Z1, Insta360 One RS 1" and BLK360" and it turned out your scanned the same listing with 5 out of 6 of those solutions.

For context for today, on Wednesday, February 15th, 2023, Matterport announced its Matterport Digital Pro bundled solution available through its division, VHT Studios that Matterport acquired on July 7, 2022. [On Wednesday, February 15, 2023] I called you and said, "Tom, there's a lot of chatter in the We Get Around Network Forum. People are wondering, "is Matterport Digital Pro a threat or maybe even an opportunity or irrelevant?"

Maybe the easiest way to help have some context is actually to engage VHT Studios to shoot a listing; and even better to shoot the listing that you've shot with five other solutions. Anyway, I called you and on that Wednesday what did you say?

[00:03:17]
Tom Sparks: "What a great idea." It's quite an interesting time, I think with real estate. This house has been on the market now for about a month or so and a huge shout out to the agent Sam Vera with InMotion Real Estate because every time ... I feel like Columbo, "just one more thing."

Every time I text him and say, "Hey, I have another video I need to do. He says, "Yes. Go over there. It's available." Yes! It was a great idea and luckily the house was available so that we really could have a great comparison from the previous work that we did over there.

[00:03:54]
Dan Smigrod: You are a Mystery Shopper. You engage VHT Studios for the Matterport Digital Pro bundle. What did that include and then let's talk about the top-line conclusions.

[00:04:10]
Tom Sparks: I'm just going to pull it up for reference. They say you get: HDR photos, a 3D tour, floor plan, and a preview video which is a $500+ value starting at $299.

[00:04:27]
Dan Smigrod: Great. I said, "Hey Tom, I'll pay you the $299 -- We Get Around Network will pay you the $299 -- How about go shoot that previous listing. It would be nice for yet another comparison and Mystery Shopper." You did exactly that, and before we talk about the process, you've got your four digital assets. What's your conclusion? Let's start with the Matterport tour.

[00:04:53]
Tom Sparks: The Matterport tour was similar to what we provided to our client, which was the agent.

[00:05:05]
Tom Sparks: The second biggest issue was that they didn't scan the closets, which sometimes we leave them off, but to get a complete floor plan and a complete Matterport tour, it's nice to have that information available.

He didn't scan the closets, and the number 1 biggest issue was he forgot to scan an upstairs bathroom. You see it in the hallway but you can't go into it and you can't see the shower, you can't see much of the vanity, can't see the toilet, that kind of thing. That was a bummer.

[00:05:36]
Dan Smigrod: Do you think about getting back to them and say, "hey, you miss the bathroom, could you come out and add that to the Matterport tour and provide some photos of it as well?"

[00:05:46]
Tom Sparks: No. Because I didn't want to do "just one more thing" with the real estate agent. But, we've missed bathrooms in my business, we've missed bedrooms. Sometimes there's a door that looks like it's a closet, but there's a whole other room behind that door.

[00:06:05]
Dan Smigrod: Forgive me for interrupting. We're not showing anything and I think it would be helpful for our viewers to know.

They can see all the deliverables at the We Get Around Network Forum: www.WGANForum.com You can search the Subject Line for "$299" - or since Tom is a very prolific content creator, poster in the We Get Around Network Forum, go to: www.WGAN.INFO/SparksMediaGroup

[00:06:35]
Dan Smigrod: and that'll take you to the We Get Around Network Forum and a lot of content that Tom has posted to the WGAN Forum.

Just look for the post that has $299 in the headline. You can actually go look at the Matterport tour, look at the photos, look at the floor plan, look at the teaser video. We're talking about the Matterport tour, my impression was that the photographer did a really good job doing the scanning. Interesting. Your thoughts?

[00:07:12]
Tom Sparks: He missed a room! He missed a room that wasn't behind a hidden door.

[00:07:16]
Dan Smigrod: Yes.

[00:07:18]
Tom Sparks: If the door was closed, I could see that, but I prepped the house before he got there. He missed a room.

[00:07:25]
Dan Smigrod: Yes, I totally get it. You could say, "on a pass-fail basis maybe, that's a fail because you missed the room. It's really important." I guess I felt for the photographer because it wasn't as if there were only one scan in each room.

That's what I was actually anticipating what was going to happen, and it wasn't. He scanned all four corners, in the middle of a room, and did a good job that looked like capturing the scan data with a Matterport Pro3 (Beta) Camera.

[00:08:00]
Tom Sparks: Not to cut you off, but a couple of things about that. I was expecting him to do one or two scans per room. But keep in mind that they are extracting the images and we can talk about that. They're extracting the images from the scans. You would think that they would do more scans in a room and he was in the house for an hour.

I did that whole house with the Matterport Pro3 Camera inside and outside, an hour and 15 minutes. That was everything, closets, that bathroom, multiple scans in a room. On a scale of -- the 3D tour -- how happy I am with it? I'd probably give it a 7, 8 out of 10.

[00:08:48]
Dan Smigrod: Could you have delivered it to your client knowing that it was missing a bathroom?

[00:08:53]
Tom Sparks: If that was my only deliverable to the client, I would make sure they went back and captured it. Because you can't get in the bathroom. There's no images of that bathroom now in the photos.

[00:09:08]
Dan Smigrod: It would have been interesting just to know whether VHT Studios would have sent a photographer back at no additional expense to capture the space that they missed, I don't know.

Maybe you still make the ask and if they come back and say "yes"... You can say, "never mind"... But you're just curious whether they'd actually still do that or not.

[00:09:29]
Tom Sparks: Yeah. Not to skewer them. I'm going to put all my confidence that if I asked them to come back and capture that space, they would. He was a very nice guy. I don't think that he would say, "No. I'm not doing it."

[00:09:44]
Dan Smigrod: How about outdoors? Personally, I was surprised to see eight 360 Views outside. Frankly, I hadn't expected to see any, but then I guess if you say, "well, that they're providing photos and the only way to do an outdoor photo is to actually go shoot outside."

I guess it's two questions: were you surprised that the photographer was not using a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a real estate lens on the camera and was having all the shots come from the Matterport?

[00:10:22]
Tom Sparks: For the price, I was not surprised. I fully expected that they were going to extract images from the Matterport Pro camera. Yeah. I was surprised that he did the 360s. I was hoping he would have done, because it's the Matterport Pro3 Camera, he would have just scanned outside.

But again, for the price, it's quicker to shoot just a couple of 360 Views and just place them on the map. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of outdoor 360 Views that I did get. In the backyard there wasn't enough to cover the entire backyard. Front yard there were two or three shots, but the backyard there wasn't enough.

[00:11:07]
Dan Smigrod: Were you surprised that the Matterport tour had, what I would call splatter?

[00:11:13]
Tom Sparks: I call it that too. I don't know if that's our made up name or yeah.

[00:11:18]
Dan Smigrod: Splatter.

[00:11:18]
Tom Sparks: Yeah.

[00:11:19]
Dan Smigrod: I thought, this is a Matterport product. They would get their own product to look as nice as possible.

[00:11:26]
Tom Sparks: That's a good point. I was surprised to see it. They just failed to mark a mirror and a window.

[00:11:35]
Dan Smigrod: And a fireplace.

[00:11:37]
Tom Sparks: A fireplace. I was surprised to see that. That's one thing that really -- I don't know, it's like nails on a chalkboard for me -- when I'm looking at Zillow, it houses and I see a 3D tour and I'm like, "man, they miss that or they didn't do that," so yeah, that's one of those things where it's like a couple of seconds and I've missed it too.

But I checked the deliverable before I give it to the client, and if I notice it, I'll mark it correctly and re-upload it.

[00:12:02]
Dan Smigrod: How about the photos? You got 25 pictures. Talk to me about those pictures and maybe even compare them to Sparks Media Group deliverable photos.

[00:12:14]
Tom Sparks: Good time for a shameless plug. I've made a video and as soon as WGAN-TV Live at 5 is over, I'm going to hit post on it and make it public.

But I've made a video that compares a lot of that. It compares everything that we got from Matterport versus what I've delivered to the client from myself and my photographers.

[00:12:31]
Dan Smigrod: Yes. You'll be able to see that video in two places on the Sparks Media Group YouTube channel, and Tom will also post that video to the We Get Around Network Forum -- www.WGANForum.com -- or again, use that link, www.WGAN.INFO/SparksMediaGroup But talk to me about the big picture about the 25 images that were delivered by VHT Studios.

[00:12:59]
Tom Sparks: Well, first was quantity. We got 25 images, but, to me it wasn't enough to show the entire house and all its glory. I don't remember by looking at them if they missed any rooms in the pictures or if they.

But when I delivered images to the client, I delivered, I think 55 images and that was just me shooting the houses I normally would. Interestingly enough, I've been training a new photographer and this was her second real estate shoot ever, and I just let her loose in the house and I said capture it as I've trained you virtually and give me what you get out of the house, and she delivered 50 images.

For them to give me 25, it's like I would have expected more and I think on their website at one point it didn't have that 25 limit. Now it says on there that they'll give you 25+ images for that amount, so I wonder if they scaled it back at some point between the time they launched it until now.

[00:14:11]
Dan Smigrod: I hear quantity. Watermark? Logo?

[00:14:16]
Tom Sparks: Going into the quality of it, they threw their watermark on the bottom-left corner, which is, I don't know, weird to me because I don't know if MLS is going to appreciate advertising for them unless they're somehow tied in now with MLS.

[00:14:36]
Dan Smigrod: That's on each photo.

[00:14:38]
Tom Sparks: Each photo.

[00:14:38]
Dan Smigrod: I want to say there were three outdoor pictures.

[00:14:42]
Tom Sparks: Yeah. Well, three that I compared.

[00:14:47]
Dan Smigrod: Talk to me about the outdoor images.

[00:14:52]
Tom Sparks: I'll talk about that. But the aspect ratio from the outdoor to the indoor was a little off. They looked like they cropped the indoor pictures more.

When you're looking at them in a gallery, the outdoor pictures will be nice, but the indoor pictures will have black bars at the top and the bottom.

Outdoor, at first glance it's like okay, they did a blue sky swap, that's great. But then I realized they edited the grass. They "racked it" digitally and removed all the leaves, and then on top of doing the blue sky replacement, they removed the power lines from the shot, which is easy enough to do if you're just quickly going through it.

[00:15:35]
Dan Smigrod: Seems like a big no-no to me.

[00:15:37]
Tom Sparks: Yes that. But it's a huge no-no. Even just little things like making the grass greener, could lead to false advertising claims and stuff of that nature that pass my pay grade.

[00:15:49]
Dan Smigrod: The power lines. Ethically, I just would feel uncomfortable and actually would refuse to do that because the property has power lines. They're not going anywhere.

[00:16:03]
Tom Sparks: I'm not an editor. But what I assume happens because I've done some basic research in it and I have talked to my editors. If they're just doing a blank sky swap, it's easy enough to do. You have to then go in manually and Photoshop those lines back in or delete the sky in front of the line so that the lines show through.

[00:16:27]
Dan Smigrod: They did the blue sky with the puffy clouds, how about window pulls?

[00:16:35]
Tom Sparks: I'm sorry. Real quick about the sky. One thing that I highlighted in my video is that they use the same clouds in each shot, which is another "nails on a chalkboard moment" for me. I really hate that when I see the same pattern. Regardless of how you're looking at the house, front yard, backyard, it's the same pattern. That just really bothers me.

[00:16:54]
Dan Smigrod: Window pulls.

[00:16:56]
Tom Sparks: Inside the house, I wasn't surprised to see that the windows were blown out. I was surprised because they touted on their website that the pictures are going to be edited. They also said that they'll edit them to meet their high-quality standards.

That's a quote from them. I would have expected some more effort in showing the window pulls. But if the camera is putting out crap, then you can't really make the cake out of crap.

[00:17:34]
Dan Smigrod: I don't know. Scale of 1-10, 10 you're super-happy. What would you give in terms of a rating on the 25 images delivered?

[00:17:43]
Tom Sparks: Four. Three. We didn't even talk about in this one bathroom shot, which I'll highlight in the video.

The vanity cabinet looked like a painter had come in and did part of it, but not the rest. It was totally discolored from the rest of the cabinet and even the wall, and that was some glitch with Matterport, and some of the light fixtures, it looked like they were burning. They were on fire. Part of it was one color, part of it was the other.

[00:18:12]
Dan Smigrod: For a description of what I wanted to say, there are a lot of beautiful adjectives on the VHT Studios website, Matterport Digital Pro website, HDR, and beautiful images.

I was expecting that they were going to actually have a photographer shoot a DSLR or mirrorless camera using a wide angle real estate lens.

But I guess going back to the price, $299 in California, this was what I want to say in Suisun City, California between Sacramento and San Francisco. That was a pretty good price. If you were going to shoot this shoot the space twice, you would have been surprised that that could have been done for $299?

[00:19:01]
Tom Sparks: Yeah. I was surprised. Maybe they could have come in with a DSLR and shot like a single raw image and got some good data out of that and Photoshopped it, that would get them through the house quicker.

But I wasn't surprised by the quality of the deliverables. They were on par with what I expected. I was surprised that they delivered that bathroom shot to me and some of those lighting fixture shots where they just ruined this.

[00:19:26]
Dan Smigrod: How about floor plans? What were your thoughts about the floor plans delivered?

[00:19:32]
Tom Sparks: I've done eight or nine floor plans on the same house. I'm in floor plan overload. The floor plans were very on par with all the other ones that I've done. Including the one with the Matterport Pro3 Camera.

The one thing is that in this particular house, in the primary closet, there's a bump-out probably to hide some ducting and that cuts into some of the usable closet space, and you wouldn't know that unless you actually scanned inside the closet, and so it's not represented on the floor plan, that they provided because they didn't do in the closets.

That I think would be a huge deal. If you care about closet size and you have a lot of clothes to miss, that two or three feet of broad space is a big deal.

[00:20:26]
Dan Smigrod: -No. The closet doors were closed so unless the photographer captured inside the closet they wouldn't have known that there was an impediment inside the closet that would be material to somebody making a buying decision.

On the floor plan since they were missing one of the bathrooms, did they get the bathtub correct? Was it oriented correctly on the floor plan that you recalled?

[00:20:53]
Tom Sparks: -They did get it correct from what I remember. I'm pulling it up now but I think they-

[00:20:57]
Dan Smigrod: -What if they went and looked at some previous pictures of that house; looked it up on MLS or something because I was surprised to see that they had configured a bathtub that couldn't be seen in the photos or in the Matterport tour.

[00:21:13]
Tom Sparks: -Dan, I'm looking at it right now and they did get it correct.

[00:21:18]
Dan Smigrod: -When I looked at the floor plans I think two of my takeaways looked like Matterport floor plans black and white except no Matterport logo I would say that was a plus. There was no VHT Studios logo in the PDF, but if you treated it like a photo did it have the VHT Studios watermark logo on it?

[00:21:42]
Tom Sparks: -No, because their watermark is white and the background was white, so it didn't show up.

[00:21:46]
Dan Smigrod: -It didn't show up.

[00:21:48]
Tom Sparks: -I thought it was in Matterport's Terms of Service (ToS) to not edit their logo out?

[00:21:53]
Dan Smigrod: -It's interesting. I guess if you're Matterport, and your division, VHT Studios, wants to keep it out that that's okay. ;-) Measurements: can you speak about measurements within the floor plan? Not within the floor plan?

[00:22:09]
Tom Sparks: -They were unremarkable. The room measurements were unremarkable compared to the other ones.

I didn't see anything too off; they were very similar. It's always going to be a little off just putting out even the guy at the same company who's drawing it. I can't complain about that.

[00:22:25]
Dan Smigrod: -The bundle -- the Matterport Digital Pro bundle -- included a video.

[00:22:31]
Tom Sparks: -Do you want to call it that? ;-)

[00:22:33]
Dan Smigrod: -I teed it up for you, Tom. ;-)

[00:22:38]
Tom Sparks: -Put me in coach. The Matterport Digital Pro bundle included a 12 second preview video which showed the kitchen and then the family room connected to the kitchen. That's it.

[00:22:52]
Dan Smigrod: -It was a teaser video. For Matterport Service Providers they'll be familiar with in "My Matterport" be able to download the teaser video.

That was what the video was, but it always bothers me that the walls are slanted in those videos – when you're looking at the video from a photographer's perspective. Anyway.

[00:23:10]
Tom Sparks: -No, they could have spent a little time. I have people that work for me that'll do that in an hour and get a nice, good two minute long video, minute long however long you want it to be with some music behind it. I think there's a huge opportunity for them there to spend a little extra effort but to give literally just what comes out of the camera; sucked.

[00:23:34]
Dan Smigrod: -We've now heard your thoughts on the deliverables: 1) Matterport tour; 2) photos; 3) floor plan; 4) teaser video.

[00:23:42]
Tom Sparks: -Can I go back to the floor plan for a second?

[00:23:45]
Dan Smigrod: -Pardon.

[00:23:46]
Tom Sparks: -Sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off. Can I go back to the Matterport 3D tour for a second?

[00:23:49]
Dan Smigrod: -Sure.

[00:23:50]
Tom Sparks: -They didn't ask how I wanted the banner information to be, which I thought they could have asked. Because when you click it, it says --> [Homeowner Account]: 278 Cheyenne Dr <-- it doesn't have Thomas Sparks presents or VHT Studios presents; it's a generic thing. Which I think they could have asked about that.

[00:24:19]
Dan Smigrod: -Let's go back to the big picture. You've talked to us about the digital assets. I think every Matterport Service Provider wants to know, is Matterport Digital Pro -- offered by its division, VHT Studios -- a threat to Matterport Service Providers?

[00:24:43]
Tom Sparks: -I wouldn't think so. Just the quality of what they put out is very similar to if you have somebody rushing through a house.

There's always going to be somebody who charges less than what you charge. That's just the nature of the business. Before they launched this package there were other photography companies who would say $99 3D virtual tour or whatever. It's okay, but you're going to get $99 worth of a 3D virtual tour.

You're going to get a missed bathroom or you're going to get splatter, something like that. I'm not at all concerned about this. If these window pulls had been crisp and clear and I had got 40, 50 images and I got a floor plan which was decent, and they didn't miss the bathroom then yeah, I'll be quaking in my boots.

But for what I got out of this, I feel like you got taken; you probably deserve about a 10 percent refund. ;-)

[00:25:45]
Dan Smigrod: -I'm looking forward to getting my $29.90 back. ;-)

[00:25:54]
Dan Smigrod: I want to still push back on you a little bit.

[00:25:56]
Tom Sparks: -Sure.

[00:25:57]
Dan Smigrod: -Because you're a professional photographer, you have professional photographers that work for you.

[00:26:05]
Tom Sparks: -Only on Tuesdays. ;-)

[00:26:06]
Dan Smigrod: -You're giving me a professional photographer's opinion. Let's just flip it around and say, "hey, I'm a real estate agent."

Was the deliverable "good enough" to win the next listing? It's not about selling this house; the house is going to sell anyway. Is this going to help the real estate agent win more and bigger premium listings despite the fact that you've described the package as being mediocre? I think you use the word, "sucks"...

[00:26:35]
Tom Sparks: -Sorry. It's my elementary school education. No. There is a huge issue and I don't know if you want to get into the whole process, but with scheduling this they've come up. Where as an agent.

[00:26:51]
Dan Smigrod: -We'll talk about that. Just on the deliverables.

[00:26:54]
Tom Sparks: -Deliverables. I have roughly 700 agents that order from us at any given time, and I've talked to at least five of them since this came out and I was just running to pass them.

They all said "no, they wouldn't order it," they're annoyed by what I went through as far as getting this scheduled. I talked to somebody as late as last night about it and she's like, "no, we need more than 25 images and that video I wouldn't use that."

Again, you're going to find agents who just only care about the bottom dollar and they want to save as much money as possible and maybe they have a small commission on a house, or they're doing a favor for a friend where they might take advantage of it, but I don't see this appealing to the majority of my clients.

[00:27:48]
Dan Smigrod: -Is it possible that Matterport is doing you a favor because it's taking all the bottom feeders from even maybe calling you until they've had an unhappy experience, and after they've had that unhappy experience then they'll be seeking a solution?

[00:28:03]
Tom Sparks: -Well, I hope they call me and who knows, I guess we'll find out once I post my video.

[00:28:10]
Dan Smigrod: -Let's go back to the timeline. Matterport announces Matterport Digital Pro services available through its division, VHT Studios, on Wednesday, February 15, 2023.

I called you that Wednesday and I said, "Tom, what do you think?" You say, "yes, let's do this." What then happens? Talk to us about timing because I think there's some timing issues that are important here.

[00:28:40]
Tom Sparks: -You'll be Batman. I'll be Robin. ("Come on, Robin, to the Batcave. We haven't one moment to lose!" You called me and said let's get on this. I placed the order on Thursday, February 16th at 10 am.

[00:28:49]
Dan Smigrod: -The next morning?

[00:28:50]
Tom Sparks: -Next morning.

[00:28:53]
Dan Smigrod: -Was that online? Did you talk to someone? Did you email?

[00:28:56]
Tom Sparks: -That was online. I went on their website and I recorded it, so that's in the video. I went online. I created the order.

[00:29:05]
Tom Sparks: You want me to go through the timeline before the process or you want me to just tell you the process as I'm going through the timeline?

[00:29:10]
Dan Smigrod: -The process as you're doing this. What happened? You just pick out a time and date that you wanted to have it scheduled?

[00:29:18]
Tom Sparks: -No. I wasn't even given that option which is a huge-huge-huge deal. I've heard from my real estate agents that that's a huge deal. They don't want to have to wait, they don't want to have to guess, they just want to be able to create an order and go.

[00:29:33]
Dan Smigrod: -But you created an order, meaning you paid for it, but you had no idea when the photographer would come out.

[00:29:38]
Tom Sparks: -Yeah. It asked me for the address information. It asked me what services I wanted to order. It asked me if I wanted to Add On services, and then it asked me to pay for it and that was it.

I did get an email confirmation that my order was placed, but there's no order number in there. It said that somebody would reach out to me, and I don't have the timeline on when they told me I think they said within one day. Don't quote me on that.

[00:30:07]
Dan Smigrod: -Reach out to you in one day to talk about scheduling.

[00:30:11]
Tom Sparks: -Correct.

[00:30:12]
Dan Smigrod: -That was Thursday, I think then the next day, Friday.

[00:30:18]
Tom Sparks: -The next day, Friday, I got an email. I'm sorry, they said that they would reach out via text or phone call. I wasn't checking my email as I should, and I realized that at 10:13 am on Friday, February 17th I got an email asking if the following Tuesday (February 21) at 10 am works.

I didn't see that, so the very next email, which was four minutes later, says, "we've confirmed it for this time."

[00:30:49]
Dan Smigrod: -Tell me the time again.

[00:30:50]
Tom Sparks: -Tuesday, February 21st at 10 am.

[00:30:52]
Dan Smigrod: -The 21st, which day? Tuesday?

[00:30:55]
Tom Sparks: -Yeah. Tuesday, February 21st.

[00:30:57]
Dan Smigrod: You went to schedule on Thursday (February 16th). No shoot on Friday. No shoot on Saturday. No shoot on Monday. Now the shoot is Tuesday, February 21st.

[00:31:09]
Tom Sparks: No shoot on Sunday.

[00:31:10]
Dan Smigrod: No shoot on Sunday, so from a Sparks Media Group standpoint, how does your ordering process work in comparison?

[00:31:18]
Tom Sparks: We shoot seven days a week. The agents get to put the date and time they want us there and we'll be there.

(Occasionally, which is one out of every 500 orders, we may have to say, "can you push the shoot back an hour, can move it up an hour?" But we're pretty much like the Uber of real estate photography, true on-demand.)

[00:31:38]
Dan Smigrod: I think what I'll do is I'll save some of these towards the end of the show when we talk about ways to maybe differentiate yourself from Matterport Digital Pro and certainly one of them is, "what time and day would you like us to shoot?"

[00:31:54]
Tom Sparks: But what was annoying for me -

[00:31:56]
Dan Smigrod: You are in limbo. But, I'm almost thinking -- if I'm the real estate agent -- and it's Thursday. I want the real estate shoot today! Tomorrow, Saturday. Monday: not Tuesday!

[00:32:11]
Tom Sparks: Agents have timing rules with MLS where they have to get photos and media uploaded by a certain time once they take a listing, from what I understand.

[00:32:20]
Dan Smigrod: So 10 am Tuesday. You got the appointment. Did you speak to the photographer? Is this all done by email?

[00:32:29]
Tom Sparks: Well, so let me rewind a little bit. Before I got this email, I reached out to Matterport and I said, "hey, VHT Studios." -- whoever the 800 number was --

[00:32:39]
Dan Smigrod: VHT Studios.

[00:32:40]
Tom Sparks: I said, "hey, when is scheduled for" and they said, "well, a photographer has been assigned, and I said, can I have their information so I can talk to them about timing?"

And they said, "we don't have that information," and I said, "okay," so I just waited and then I get this email and then four minutes later it says, "okay, it's been scheduled and they did say to be fair to them, please let me know if this does not work and we can try to reschedule" and I just replied and I said, "okay, that works" and she says, "great, thanks."

I didn't have any communication with the photographer and I forgot to put that in the video, but he did email me the night before and he said, "hi, my name is [so-and-so] and I'll be there at your shoot" and I said, "okay, great."

He emailed me on Monday, February 20th -- the night before he texted me -- Monday, February 20th -- the night before at 6 pm and said, "I will be there tomorrow at 10 am."

[00:33:32]
Dan Smigrod: 10 am Tuesday, February 21th. What happens?

[00:33:35]
Tom Sparks: 10 am Tuesday, he was there. He might have been there a few minutes early, but I was in the car not paying attention, but he was there right on time. Interestingly enough, his camera stood out and I was like, what's going on and it had all this checkerboard on it and I realized from seeing that before on some of the different Facebook forums that it was like the Beta version or something. They blocked up.

[00:34:00]
Dan Smigrod: Of the Matterport Pro3 Camera. I guess what I'm wondering is every shoot for Matterport Digital Pro service done with a Matterport Pro3 Camera or did it just happen that the photographer that came out used the Matterport Pro3 Camera and pulled the still images from the tour, or is it possible that someone else gets a Matterport Pro2 Camera?

[00:34:31]
Tom Sparks: Photographer.

[00:34:32]
Dan Smigrod: Photographer, and images are pulled out of the Matterport Pro2 Camera and then I'm not sure what would happen outdoors.

I suppose they could still do the 360 Views outdoors and do the outdoor shots. I think that's unclear. The good news is your listing was shot with a Matterport Pro3 Camera (Beta).

[00:34:56]
Tom Sparks: I don't know that there's any difference between Matterport Pro3 Beta and a regular Pro3 Camera production.

[00:35:05]
Dan Smigrod: How did the shoot go and then when did you start getting assets back?

[00:35:11]
Tom Sparks: I sat in the car. He went in and did his thing, came out an hour later and he said he was done.

He said he would upload it on his way home and he said I should get an email when it's complete. Now on their website or somewhere, I read, the following business day after your shoot, you'll receive an order complete email with a link to preview your photographs using our on-demand review and delivery system.

[00:35:36]
Dan Smigrod: I'm confused because Matterport has been promoting one to two day delivery and I'm thinking that's one to two day delivery from the time that the shoot occurred.

[00:35:51]
Tom Sparks: It's not clear. I'm looking at a PDF from VHT Studios that says the following business day.

[00:36:01]
Tom Sparks: Here it says the following business day is your one to two days, one to two days or one to two business days. Either way, I didn't get an email until the shoot was on Tuesday, February 21st. I didn't get an email till Friday, February 24th at 1:30 pm.

[00:36:17]
Dan Smigrod: I can't do dates. The shoot was at 10 am on a Tuesday, February 21st.

[00:36:23]
Tom Sparks: On Friday, February 24th at 1:30 pm, I got an email saying my order was complete.

[00:36:29]
Dan Smigrod: Now, how can that possibly be, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, four days?

[00:36:34]
Tom Sparks: Yeah. Now, I did lock my VHT Studios account, and so the day before I was trying to go in and check status on it.

Once they unlocked my account, I logged in and I did see that I had deliverables there, but I didn't get that order complete email until...

[00:36:49]
Dan Smigrod: Four days later, it's possible that the digital assets were available within 24 hours or within 48 hours within the VHT Studios content management system, but you hadn't logged in so we're a little bit fuzzy on exactly when those digital assets were available?

[00:37:09]
Tom Sparks: Yeah, but I'm going off of just there, "your order is complete" email, which was 1:30 on Friday, February 24th.

[00:37:26]
Dan Smigrod: Anything else on the timeline to talk about? I want to say you received this email -- you went to the content management system and there were links to download all the digital assets. The link for Matterport: was it a branded and unbranded version?

[00:37:43]
Tom Sparks: They have only the branded version of the Matterport 3D tour link.

[00:37:51]
Dan Smigrod: Branded version. In this case, there really wasn't any agent info and there wasn't any --

[00:38:01]
Dan Smigrod: It's a good question. Are you able to edit the Matterport tour?

[00:38:06]
Tom Sparks: No.

[00:38:08]
Dan Smigrod: Were you able to tell them, this is what I want for the real estate agent name/info to be in the tour? No. There's no option to do any of that?

[00:38:18]
Tom Sparks: Not at least without emailing them. I'm sure I could email them and say, "hey, can you correct this title or change this" and they would, but they did provide me with a branded link -- an MLS link -- to their version of a property website which has the photos; the Matterport 3D tour; floor plans.

[00:38:33]
Dan Smigrod: This is important. So there is a deliverable of a single property website that includes Matterport, the photos, the teaser video, and the floor plans?

[00:38:44]
Tom Sparks: There is.

[00:38:45]
Dan Smigrod: You could use that, in the MLS: you had a branded and unbranded version?

[00:38:51]
Tom Sparks: Yes. But their unbranded version of their property website includes the branded version of the 3D tour.

[00:38:58]
Dan Smigrod: The unbranded version includes the branded version of the tour.

[00:39:01]
Tom Sparks: Meaning if you're on their property website looking at their unbranded property website which is MLS compliant, and you click on a 3D tour link, you'll get the branded version of that 3D tour.

[00:39:13]
Dan Smigrod: Could you add that link to the WGAN Forum post so we can see that too. I want to switch gears -- unless there was something else you wanted to talk about on timeline?

[00:39:25]
Tom Sparks: No.

[00:39:27]
Dan Smigrod: What I want to switch gears to is to talk about how, even if this is not a threat to photographers, how Matterport Service Providers can differentiate themselves from the offering by VHT Studios, and so far I think I've heard maybe 10 things.

I want to see if I can remember them. First, when you go to book, if you offer "what day and time would you like to shoot?" That's a big win over finding out two days later. Two, when you deliver the digital assets, commit to delivering them within 24 hours, not one to two days and which may actually have been four days.

Three, don't put a logo on every photo. Four, is to have photos that have nice window pulls, that is to say, that seems like a differentiator is the quality of your images; they look better. Five, is the quantity of the photos that you provide.

[00:40:40]
Dan Smigrod: Six, help me out. What other things from your perspective would help differentiate a Matterport Service Provider from the Matterport Digital Pro/VHT Studios offering?

[00:40:55]
Tom Sparks: Be very tedious and just scan the house completely. It's always better to scan a closet and hide the scan later if you don't need it, versus not having that scan data.

[00:41:06]
Dan Smigrod: Six over scan so your floor plans can be better.

[00:41:11]
Tom Sparks: Deliver shots. When we're using our DSLRs or our mirrorless cameras to shoot real estate photos, we try to shoot each room from every corner.

We do that with the understanding that we're not an expert in marketing and maybe an agent won't like the angle that we delivered them.

With this, we're going to extract 25 images, you're limited to what they're giving us in terms of being able to use for marketing. Scanning the house completely and having more scan points to be able to extract the images from, if that's what you do, is a differentiator.

[00:41:53]
Dan Smigrod: Let me rattle off some others and then see if you come up with some more. I'm thinking that, "oh, those floor plans were delivered in black and white," offer floor plans in color. Single property website.

Didn't sound like you're overly happy in terms of the single property website they delivered. Maybe use a third-party platform to offer a really nice single property website. vanity URL such as: www.123mainstreet.com Do you do that for any of your listings?

[00:42:23]
Tom Sparks: We do. We offer custom domains.

[00:42:26]
Dan Smigrod: Custom domains.

[00:42:27]
Tom Sparks: Yeah. We offer branded, unbranded, MLS compliant links for all our deliverables, floor plans.

[00:42:35]
Dan Smigrod: What about on the floor plans? I noticed that -- and this is a topic you've gotten into great length in yet another video on ANSI compliant floor plans that have the total living area, Gross Living Area (GLA). Are you doing that now, the ANSI compliant floor plans from Matterport using a third-party solution?

[00:43:04]
Tom Sparks: No.

[00:43:05]
Dan Smigrod: Okay.

[00:43:07]
Tom Sparks: There are one or two companies that say they are, I don't want to say I wouldn't trust them. When we're offering ANSI compliant floor plans where you're using the CubiCasa app on the phone or we're using iGUIDE.

[00:43:23]
Dan Smigrod: Were you surprised that in a Matterport offering there wasn't a Matterport Highlight Reel or MatterTags?

[00:43:34]
Tom Sparks: That's not something that any of my clients ask for.

[00:43:38]
Dan Smigrod: They don't care.

[00:43:39]
Tom Sparks: They don't care about that. I know a lot of MSPs will go through the trouble of putting those together, and that's great. There could be some value in that but my clients don't care.

[00:43:49]
Dan Smigrod: May or may not be a differentiator.

[00:43:51]
Tom Sparks: Yeah.

[00:43:51]
Dan Smigrod: We talked about video. It seemed like there were at least two opportunities. One is to create a real video from the Matterport tour. If you don't have that expertise in-house there's certainly members of the We Get Around Network Forum of community that offer that.

The second is actually to shoot a video, a real listing video. I didn't see that as an Add On offered by VHT Studios. They had Add Ons of aerial photos, aerial photos and video, twilight, virtual staging, virtual decluttering.

[00:44:35]
Tom Sparks: They do have a full motion video. I don't know if it's on their order form, it's certainly on their website, 60-90 second video, which includes a 15-second teaser video two day turnaround for $250.

[00:44:52]
Dan Smigrod: My impression was the Add On pricing was somewhat high on most of the items. But in any event, if you're trying to compete with the Matterport Digital Pro bundle, your bundle might include video.

[00:45:09]
Tom Sparks: Especially if you're using one of the 360 cameras. I've done very basic video editing, but you can take a -- I did an Insta360 ONE RS 1" camera video. I walked around the property with it in about, I don't know, 10 minutes time and because you're able to re-frame the 360 video, I can make a nice almost FPV drone fly through video using that.

From start to finish including walking on the property it might take me two hours, and that's with me not really doing video editing on a regular basis.

[00:45:49]
Dan Smigrod: I missed what you said. Was that a first-person video that the initials stood for?

[00:45:56]
Tom Sparks: FPV, First Person Point of View.

[00:45:59]
Dan Smigrod: You can edit within a 360 video whichever perspective, whatever field of view that you want to include in the video.

[00:46:08]
Tom Sparks: Right.

[00:46:09]
Dan Smigrod: I think I also heard, I don't know if this is a differentiator or not, but trimming the Matterport model to look nice. I mean, I was surprised that Matterport is delivering its own solution and it got splatter in the Matterport tour.

[00:46:24]
Tom Sparks: Trimming it to look nice, that attention to detail, I would add that in the same boat of scanning the house completely.

[00:46:33]
Dan Smigrod: When do you charge for tours? VHT Studios charged you at the time that you placed the order. Do you charge when assets are delivered?

[00:46:42]
Tom Sparks: No, our orders are prepaid. Everybody does it differently. I've had agents say can you bill me at the close, escrow? I said, no, we're not going to do that. you're going to pay upfront. We charge upfront. There's nothing wrong with that.

[00:46:57]
Dan Smigrod: Just looking for ways that photographers might differentiate themselves from the Matterport Digital Pro bundle.

[00:47:04]
Tom Sparks: I wouldn't put that in one of those --

[00:47:09]
Dan Smigrod: Anything else that you can think of, of how a MSP -- a Matterport Service Provider -- might differentiate themselves, maybe even make Matterport irrelevant?

[00:47:22]
Tom Sparks: Well, deliver more images. I think we've covered that. Cropping the images so that they're all the same aspect ratio is important. Possibly bringing a DSLR on site with you and grabbing shots that way.

[00:47:41]
Dan Smigrod: But we talked about a lot of stuff. Do you think those matter to real estate agents or really it's going to depend on the client?

[00:47:49]
Tom Sparks: They matter. The majority of my clients want images that all look consistent. They don't want to have 10 images look great and two of them look bad. None of my clients would have accepted that bathroom with the weird colored walls that were delivered.

[00:48:10]
Tom Sparks: - Yeah, quality matters, especially if you're paying for a service, you want value for that service. If you feel like you're not getting value for that service, you're going to have an issue with it. They may hook, line and sink or somebody in with that $299 price.

But I wonder how much repeat business they're going to get where somebody's like this is a great value. Especially taking that out, I'm not the greatest photographer and my company doesn't provide top of the line best pictures in the world. However, my customer service skills, to quote the famous Mike Tyson is "impeccable."

[00:48:51]
Tom Sparks: There's a huge missed opportunity with VHT/Matterport on the customer service side. The experience I had.

[00:48:59]
Dan Smigrod: - That's hard to differentiate yourself because you can say, "hey, we provide impeccable customer service as opposed to the others that don't provide impeccable."

But until somebody actually places an order and maybe goes through some of those pain points that you experience was "oh, I just paid. When is my tour?" "Oh, okay, my tour has been scheduled. Oh, gosh, it's four days after the time I call to get my tour schedule." "When do I get my digital assets?" "Oh, that was four days later versus overnight."

Those are all pain points that equal customer service. But until somebody actually goes through that, can you actually tell them to say, "our customer service is better?"

[00:49:42]
Tom Sparks: - Well, that speaks to customer retention and how to keep your customers coming back. My customers come back frequently because of the customer service.

As I was going through those pain points, I was like, well yup. This is Matterport, three weeks to respond to a trouble ticket or saying that there's a photographer assigned but not having that information available. I would just say "no, we don't have anybody assigned it." I wouldn't say "yeah, we do, but I can't tell you who it is because I don't know."

[00:50:09]
Dan Smigrod: - Interesting. Today is Tuesday, February 28, 2023. Tomorrow Wednesday, March 1, 2023, I think I'll start in the We Get Around Network Forum (www.WGANForum.com), a list of ways that Matterport Service Providers can differentiate themselves from Matterport Digital Pro from Matterport/VHT Studios. Because I think there are very clear ways to say, "this is how I'm different." Just picking one little small thing is, if you're the agent and you place an order at 10 am on Thursday, your expectation might be that you're going to have this shot and have the deliverables by Saturday, not Friday of the following week.

[00:50:58]
Tom Sparks: - Yeah. One thing I did learn out of this, which I might use, and I might tell my guys to use it, is the photographer was very meticulous when he was out front and on an unlevel surfaces, he had his level app on his cell phone and he was leveling the top of the Pro3.

I was like, "oh, that's a good idea." Matterport, I assume correct that a little bit if you're slightly off, but that was one of those things that was like, "oh, that's a good point."

[00:51:30]
Dan Smigrod: - Cool. This brings us to -- you mentioned to me that you received a survey from VHT Studios. I thought maybe you could open that survey. I understand you haven't filled it out yet and just take us through the questions and tell us how you would answer those survey questions?

[00:51:48]
Tom Sparks: - Sure. Let me get it pulled up here. I'm going to find it.

[00:51:55]
Dan Smigrod: - A reminder. You can see all the digital assets that the Tom was delivered from Matterport/VHT Studios. Just go to: www.WGAN.INFO/SparksMediaGroup Tom is very prolific posting in the We Get Around Network Forum (www.WGANForum.com) We gave him his own short code to go find all his posts.

If you look for the one that has $299 in the headline, that's the topic we're talking about today. "I Paid $299 for Matterport Digital Pro Bundle for a Real Estate Listing: What Every Matterport Service Provider Should Know." Look for that topic and then you'll see all the deliverables. In addition, I'll just point this out, Tom, as I know that I posted all the photos, all 25 photos in We Get Around Network Forum. But the We Get Around Network Forum does do a little bit of compression.

I put a link to a Dropbox so anyone that really wants to see the actual images that were delivered -- not how they're displayed in the We Get Around Network Forum -- you can go to the original images. Also you can see the same house -- the same listing -- shot by Tom using a Matterport Pro2 Camera, Matterport Pro3 Camera and Matterport AXIS Smartphone Rotator or Ricoh THETA Z1 360 camera, Insta360 ONE RS 1".

This house is probably the most photographed house with a Matterport solution of any listing and you can see the differences. I think that's interesting in itself.

[00:53:39]
Tom Sparks: - The video I'm going to put out here shortly has links to all those and it also has a link to -- I use Google Drive. So it has a link to the Google Drive of all the actual images so people can look at them.

[00:53:51]
Dan Smigrod: - You got your survey from VHT Studios. What are the questions? What are your answers?

[00:53:59]
Tom Sparks: - The survey I was telling you at the beginning of the call, it annoys me too because it gives you a 1-10.

But what is good and what is bad? I'm going to assume 10 as good and one is bad on this? Ordering experience, I'm going to give it a 9, 10, maybe nine. Just because it's easy to order.

I just wish they would have put that field in there that says, "what time do you want us to show up" or "what time do you want us to be there?" Scheduling. I'm going to give it a four, and that was timed from ordering to the call from the photographer, I never got a call, I did get a text. Photographer's availability.

[00:54:45]
Dan Smigrod: - One of those details: it's just like if you tell me you're going to text me, I'm expecting a text. If you tell me you're going to email me, I'm expecting an email. If you're going to tell me you're going to call me, I'm expecting to call.

It sounds like they still don't have at a tactical level -- operationally, all these things worked out -- surprisingly.

[00:55:04]
Tom Sparks: - Yeah, especially I don't know. They have to be rolling out to a bunch of people. That's on their website and that's a pretty popular website. Photographers availability to shoot at your desired date and time.

I'm going to give that as zero or a one because they didn't give me a choice. They worked efficiently, dressed appropriately, I'm going to give that a nine or 10. He was fine. Overall professionalism of the team, I'm going to give that a five just because that to me also speaks to Photoshopping out power lines and delivering bad bathroom walls, "Were they delivered in a timely manner?"

I'm going to give that a seven. "Satisfaction with final photography services?" I'm going to give it a four or three. I'm very black and white, so usually.

[00:55:57]
Dan Smigrod: - I thought these pictures were in color. ;-)

[00:55:59]
Tom Sparks: - Usually it's either going to be a zero or a 10. I'm trying to be fair just because we come from a Yelp world and I would hate to get like a one-star Yelp review. "Overall experience with VHT Studios?" seven. "Would I use their services again?" Nope. I'm not an agent.

[00:56:28]
Dan Smigrod: Well, it'd be fair. You're a Mystery Shopper. You went out and you shopped.

[00:56:35]
Tom Sparks: Well, to be fairfair. They were offering this $299 package and they didn't have any limitation on square footage, from what I saw.

[00:56:49]
Tom Sparks: If I have a 10,000 square foot listing come up, maybe I might have used them instead of sending one of my guys out and having to pay. But I'm very loyal to my photographers. I would still do that anyway, but there could be some advantage if they're offering $299 as a flat rate when you're doing 100,000 square feet.

[00:57:09]
Dan Smigrod: This is just an interesting thing for Matterport Service Providers to consider. If Matterport Digital Pro -- VHT Studios -- does not have the square footage and you get 10,000 or 15,000 square foot listing. You might consider just engaging them to shoot it and still do everything else yourself?

[00:57:37]
Tom Sparks: You would have to get access to be able to edit the Matterport tours, so that would be a big thing too. I would like to be able to edit the Matterport tours.

[00:57:43]
Dan Smigrod: That's a good question because you don't have access to the Matterport tour. Were you able to have the Matterport tour transferred to your account?

[00:57:50]
Tom Sparks: Well, I came in as a homeowner. They should offer -- a short sightedness for them -- They should offer a B2B solution.

[00:58:00]
Dan Smigrod: Well, but that's Matterport Capture Services On-Demand, so they have a product for that.

Incidentally, I think one of the things that is totally confusing because you notice every time I say Matterport Digital Pro, I also say VHT Studios and I noticed the the email that you shared from VHT Studios and posted in the We Get Around Network Forum (www.WGANForum.com) says "Matterport Capture Services" in a couple of places.

[00:58:28]
Tom Sparks: Right here, "Capture Services Coordinator"...

[00:58:34]
Tom Sparks: Here's another thing with the survey form, I'm clearly registered as a homeowner. They sent me up as a homeowner or not as an agent so these don't apply to me. Maybe they could have stuff geared towards homeowners or property owners.

[00:58:48]
Dan Smigrod: I'm sorry, I took you off screen share. Were there any other questions that they ask that you're dying to answer?

[00:58:53]
Tom Sparks: No.

[00:58:55]
Dan Smigrod: Sum up the experience for us. You got 30 seconds to two minutes. A Matterport Service Provider comes up to you and says, "hey, Tom, I understand that you did the $299 Matterport Digital Pro bundle. Were you happy?"

[00:59:16]
Tom Sparks: No, I wasn't happy. There was more to be desired. I had high expectations and not just coming from a photography business owner, but coming from a customer who's paying for a service. I was totally disappointed by the missed bathroom scan.

I was totally disappointed by that one shot of the bathroom that had the walls all discolored and I was disappointed about the number of images and those are the three points for me where I was, as a person paying for the service -- by way of WGAN my gracious sponsor -- I would be disappointed. I wouldn't use it again.

Even if they made it right. Because think about this. You clean a house as a homeowner, you have kids or wherever. You get your house all nice and tidy. Somebody comes out and does it and then you're, I can breathe in, everything comes out of the closet and the kids tear up the house and then you have to have a service provider say, "hey, we miss something, Can we come back?" I really hammer that in with my photographers.

Don't miss anything because you're inconveniencing the agent, you're inconveniencing the homeowner. It's a huge deal.

[01:00:36]
Dan Smigrod: Do you want to send them a message and see if they'll come out? Not that you'll actually take them up on that, but just to see if they'd come? Well, I guess you said, you figured if they ask, they would show up, so it's not worth asking them.

[01:00:50]
Tom Sparks: You know what, I'm going to fill out the form and I'm going to put those comments in the additional comments section and I might send them an email and I'll just follow up in the We Get Around Network Forum and put their response to see how they handle it.

If they're offering to come back out or if they're offering for a partial refund or if they're just like, "deal with it tough."

[01:01:09]
Dan Smigrod: I really don't want $29.90 back. Our accounting team would not know how to deal with that return of funds.

But I am curious about whether they would, in good faith, come back out, even if we're not going to take them up on that. Tom, thanks for being on the show today.

[01:01:29]
Tom Sparks: Thanks for having me. I think this is our third time. I was going to ask for a parking spot out front with my name on it, but I think that unique link that you provided me is gracious enough, so I appreciate it.

[01:01:42]
Dan Smigrod: Awesome. We've been visiting with Scan Your Space. Founder and CEO Tom Sparks, Scan Your Space a division of Sparks Media Group. Website is www.ScanYourSpace.com and also: www.SparksMediaGroup.com You can email Tom:

[01:02:07]
Dan Smigrod: info@ScanYourSpace.com And, in the We Get Around Network Forum: @ScanYourSpace on YouTube. Tom has an awesome YouTube channel. Not hard to find, just Google. [Sparks Media Group] YouTube channel.

[01:02:24]
Tom Sparks: Sorry, Sparks Media Group.

[01:02:25]
Dan Smigrod: Excuse me. That would be hard finding it based on how I say it. So Sparks Media Group YouTube channel. Awesome.

As soon as we're done with this show, Tom is going to publish nearly an hour of his experience at every step of the way -- recording it -- and what was happening.

That'll be on the Sparks Media Group YouTube channel and published in the We Get Around Network Forum and again, you can find all Tom's content www.WGAN.INFO/SparksMediaGroup takes you to the We Get Around Network Forum organized by the tag: Sparks Media Group

[01:03:07]
Tom Sparks: It's not just an hour of me talking on that video. There are comparisons between the VHT Studios Tour versus mine and their photos versus mine, so there was little more than just hearing me blabber on for an hour.

[01:03:17]
Dan Smigrod: It really is awesome if you're a Matterport Service Provider and you want to do a deep dive into Matterport Digital Pro.

For that matter, if you work for Matterport or you work for VHT Studios: you want to improve your product and service, watch Tom's video. He's giving you a gift on how to improve the Matterport Digital Pro service.

For Tom Sparks in Suisun City, California, I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum and you've been watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
Post 2 IP   flag post
ron0987 private msg quote post Address this user
I read thru this quickly but did not see, which MP camera was used by the photographer from VHT? Sorry if it was covered and I missed it.
Post 3 IP   flag post
102885 3 3
This topic is archived. Start new topic?