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: 669 Unique Visitors
9,130 WGAN Members in 149 Countries
Last 30 Days: 33,351 Page Views | 16,412 Unique Visitors | 33 New Members
We Get Around Network Forum
Quick Start | WGAN Forum
3D VUZMatterport Service ProviderMSPMy JourneyNewbiesReal Estate AgentsReal Estate PhotographersSuccess StoryTranscriptWGANTV Live at 5

Transcript-3D VUZ/Howard Witz: My Journey as a Matterport Service Provider18978

WGAN Forum
Founder &
WGAN-TV Podcast
Atlanta, Georgia
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
WGAN-TV | Howard Witz: My Journey as a Matterport Service Provider (and Real Estate Agent) | Guest: 3D VUZ Owner and Chief Photographer Howard Witz (@3dVuz) | Episode #198 | Thursday, 10 August 2023 | |

Matterport tour courtesy of 3D VUZ from this Single Property website (courtesy of 3D VUZ)

Video: 3D VUZ Owner and Chief Photographer Howard Witz on WGAN Standard Membership | Video courtesy of WGAN-TV YouTube Channel | 4 February 2019

WGAN-TV Transcript | Howard Witz: My Journey as a Matterport Service Provider (and Real Estate Agent)

Hi All,

[Transcript (below) ...]

Are you a real estate photographer and real estate agent thinking about adding Matterport?

On WGAN-TV Live at 5 (5 pm ET) on Thursday, 10 August 2023, my guest is Howard Witz. Howard is a Matterport Service Provider and associate real estate broker:

✓ Brooklyn-based-3D VUZ Owner and Chief Photographer Howard Witz
✓ Brooklyn-based-Compass Real Estate (The Belisario Team)

Howard will tell us about his Matterport Service Provider journey, plus I will ask Howard what he would do differently if he was adding Matterport today:

WGAN-TV | Howard Witz: My Journey as a Matterport Service Provider (and Real Estate Agent)

Some of the questions that I will ask Howard:

1. Tell us about 3D VUZ today: 3D VUZ |
2. Tell us about your real estate biz: Compass Real Estate (The Belisario Cruz Reyn Team at Compass)
3. Deeper dive into Matterport and related services
4. About the journey as a MSP. How did you learn about Matterport? When? How did you get started?
5. If you were starting today with Matterport, what would you do differently?
6. Matterport related tips for developing business (new business and client retention)

Howard Witz

3D VUZ Owner and Chief Photographer
✓ 36 years in Business, is a NYS Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker
Compass | Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker
✓ Born and raised in Brooklyn
✓ Graduated from Sheepshead Bay High School in 1981
✓ Attended Wagner College in Staten Island, majoring in Business
✓ Many real estate agent/broker awards
✓ VERY HIGH “Listing to Sold” ratio
✓ SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist)
✓ married for 32 years to Realtor (Lynn Hirshman-Witz)
✓ 3 sons (Landon) and twins (Adam & Austin)

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



Howard Witz Contact Info (Servicing All of NYC, Long Island & New Jersey)

3D VUZ |
Howard Witz on Compass (The Belisario Team) landing page
✓ Mobile: 917-846-5300 |
Howard Witz on LinkedIn
Howard Witz on Facebook
Howard Witz on Instagram
3D VUZ Contact Us page (scroll down)
Post 1 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
Founder &
WGAN-TV Podcast
Atlanta, Georgia
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
WGAN-TV | Howard Witz: My Journey as a Matterport Service Provider (and Real Estate Agent) | Guest: 3D VUZ Owner and Chief Photographer Howard Witz (@3dVuz) | Episode #198 | Thursday, 10 August 2023 | |

Transcript [WGAN-TV Live at 5 show (recording) above]

- Are you a real estate agent thinking about adding Matterport? Stay tuned.

Hi all, I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the [].

Today is Thursday, August 10th, 2023, and you're watching WGAN-TV Live at 5. We have an awesome show for you today: My Journey as a Matterport Service Provider and Real Estate Agent.

Our subject matter expert today is Howard Witz. Howard, good to see you. Thanks for being our expert on the show today.

- Thank you for the invite, Dan. I appreciate it very much.

- Howard is Compass Real Estate Associate Broker, based in the greater New York City area, and also, the Owner and Chief Photographer for 3D VUZ.

A little bit of interesting spelling, so on the website: Howard, why don't we do a snapshot of understanding a little bit about where 3D VUZ is today, and then also your role as Compass Real Estate Associate Broker. Let's begin with 3D VUZ.

Tell us about 3D VUZ today. What services do you offer?

- All right, well, I am a proud Matterport Service Provider, New York City, Long Island, parts of New Jersey, travel a little bit. Matterport is part and parcel to the center of my real estate business and my wife's real estate business.

And I look at Matterport and real estate as sort of like a seesaw.

You know, you can't sort of be up on both sides of a seesaw at the same time. So my two businesses sort of run neck and neck, and they keep me very busy. Obviously, with all the changes that took place over the last couple of years, it changed a lot. It evolves. I am --

- So, let's focus--

- I'm running two shows at one time.

- Awesome. Let's focus first on 3D VUZ, and let's assume that I am a real estate agent in the greater New York City area. I am interested in Matterport, and perhaps some other services.

So tell me about the services that 3D VUZ can offer me.

- Okay, well, obviously, Matterport being at the core of the business, we don't look at it as a real estate photographer that offers Matterport.

We're a Matterport Service Provider that offers all the photography; ancillary businesses. So we definitely put it right in the center of everything; a 3D tour.

We use Matterport Pro2 Cameras. So we've always been at the higher end of the equipment ladder, take beautiful digital, fully-edited shots for brokers.

We give floor plans and when the property allows, we definitely will get a drone up there and give an agent a full package of the Matterport. -- I call it a full media package, the pictures, floor plan, drone and the Matterport tour.

Single property websites for agents as well that are interested in that depending upon what company they work for, they may have some rules involved, but individual websites, agents love them. And we were using WP3D Models WordPress Plugin. We still are. Just changing the soup a little bit, changing the recipe.

- Okay, WP3D Models: a WordPress Plugin to display Matterport tours. Did I hear video? Do you offer video as well?

- If you're referring to real estate videos, those 30, 60, 90 second videos, I can do it, and I have done some, but in the timeframe that we're allowed to shoot, we don't have usually seven, eight hours, nor does the schedule allow to say at a house all day.

We try to figure out what the best bang for the buck is, and at this point, we've moved towards the Matterport more than the video.

- Okay.

- We'll talk a little bit about that later on because the video versus Matterport is the big conflict that most agents are looking at now, and they're making decisions based on their marketplace.

- Okay, so I'm hearing Matterport, photos shot with the DSLR camera.

- Nikon all the way.

- 2D floor plans. Do you offer other kinds of floor plans as well?

- Right, one of our vendors that we use, and I'm assuming I should be throwing out my names 'cause I love every one of my vendors, literally. I have such a great working relationship with [$90 credit: www.WGAN.INFO/CAPTUR3D]

- [$90 credit: www.WGAN.INFO/CAPTUR3D]

- Yeah, we're going to throw a little line on that. So CAPTUR3D provides floor plans as well, and from their platform, you order a 3D, you get a 2D floor plan as well. Single level properties, like apartments or condos, ranch homes, commercial properties, look amazing on a 3D floor plan.

If it's a multi-level house, there's multi-level 3Ds. It starts looking a little convoluted.

- Okay, so those are the services that you offer; that 3D VUZ offers. I think I heard your coverage area, all of New York City, all of Long Island, some of New Jersey.

- Correct. You know, I don't think that there should be a limit, other than realistic time travel. If I have to drive an hour or two to my first job or to a job in the middle, that's a client that's given me more than one job, I would definitely take care of that client.

If I have to drive 50 miles, that's not a problem at all.

- Okay.

- I'm on the phone, I'm returning calls, I get to do my other work in the car.

- And then Howard, the kinds of clients. We've obviously mentioned that you do work for other real estate agents.

We'll talk about your business with Compass. You mentioned your wife, Lynn, a real estate agent as well. What other categories are you doing Matterport, in particular?

- Matterport is obviously always, for our marketplace, 95% residential real estate. There are rentals. There are commercial spaces that we shoot. One of my favorite types of spaces are art galleries. We've shot some daycare centers.

We've shot high schools. We've shot spaces where the owner of the space or the business owner wants to get eyes on their space.

So for example, I walked around in Manhattan. I shot a crystal shop. I shot a barbershop. I shot a dim sum restaurant: all in the same area. And I don't even charge them because it takes 10, 15, 20 minutes.

But I got to cross market that this tour was provided by Howard Witz from Compass Real Estate. So I try to do a little bit of back and forth with that. There is a big market for any kind of space where people can, that the owners of the property want to see eyes on.

- Okay, awesome. I'm going to come back and ask you about tips and tricks. And I think that is a great example of a tip or trick for cross-promotion. Is there anything else about your Matterport Service Provider business today, the snapshot today to talk about? I want to say you're incredibly prolific. You do a lot of Matterport tours.

- I've done about 2,500, 2,600 on my Matterport account now. I have a Matterport classic account [before 2019], and I have 1,600 live Matterport tours on there now.

I shoot for other Matterport people, so I've done work for them. I've deleted some, so we lose the [view Count stats], when you have -- I'm trying to get up to a million.

I'm trying to get up to a million individual views. I'm up to 975,000. So I've shot a lot, and I feel comfortable shooting any kind of space. Catering halls and large open spaces are great opportunities for these also.

- Okay, awesome. I'm going to come back and ask you about your journey about getting started with Matterport, but before we do that, let's talk about Compass. At Compass, you're a Real Estate Associate Broker: your real estate coverage area?

- Well, real estate is a little different. In real estate, I grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. I started selling real estate in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. I stayed around Brooklyn, and you move outside a little bit. Buyers versus sellers, I'll list your property, anywhere around the New York City area, because I do consider myself a listing broker. I like to handle and represent the seller, so that I could do the Matterport and get great marketing pieces and all that. I don't really work as many buyers. The buyers would be the more local portion of my business.

If I'm going to show you a house, Dan, it's probably going to be in Brooklyn. If you said, "I want to buy in the Bronx," I would refer you to one of the Compass associates up there.

But my marketplace for real estate, 90% Brooklyn, 10% Manhattan. My wife is a REALTOR so she handles the other areas that I don't and obviously, we refer to each other's business.

- Okay, so can you give us some sense of the scale and scope? Are you doing multimillion dollar--

- Brownstones.

- Brownstones? Are you doing condos? Is there --

- Oh, currently, in the seesaw of business, my real estate business is a little bit lower. I'm really mostly handling referral clients and referral sellers. At this very time, I have a couple of nice condos and co-ops, single family houses in Staten Island, mostly single family houses in Brooklyn.

In the past five years, I could say, I've handled multimillion-dollar townhouses, commercial properties. My market values currently would be from $200,000 to $2 million. Brooklyn, the price ranges are anywhere from, like I said, the low $200,000 area, well into the high, close to eight figures: $5 million to $6 million properties, are sprinkled all around.

The brownstone market, the Victorian home market, the Williamsburg townhouse market, Brooklyn is 75 or 78 different communities.

Whether the Greenpoint, Williamsburg market. When I was a kid, you wouldn't even drive down there. Now, there's multi-million-dollar townhouses and condos in the vacant lots that we wouldn't even park our car there.

So the marketplace is very fluid. Brooklyn is a big spot. And I would say that my personal sweet spot is single family homes: Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, the Southern portion of Brooklyn.

- And do you have any particular market segment that you focus on?

- Well, like I said, not necessarily. I would say that if you are a homeowner, and again, in my business, I've been selling real estate for 36 years, and I have a million friends, family, people that grew up in Brooklyn.

My referral base right now is mostly going to be people who are selling their single family homes to retire and move out of Brooklyn.

I'm 60-years-old, so most of my friends are in my age group. The brokers that I work with on my team, and if I could please mention them, the Belisario Cruz Reyn Team at Compass, Lou Belisario. I worked with Lou's grandfather 35 years ago. Now, I work for his grandson.

- So, for clarification, you're a Compass Real Estate Associate Broker, based in Brooklyn and you're on the Belisario Team.

- The Belisario Cruz Reyn Team at Compass, three top brokers: Lou Belisario, Joe Cruz and Jeffery Reyngach.

The three of them joined forces and made what turned out in one year to be the number one team in Brooklyn. We have 20 to 24 agents just like myself, whether they're salespeople, newer in the business, or associate brokers a little bit longer in the business.

I'm just astounded that I'm part of this team. They are that good. And our team coverage is all of New York City. We probably speak 20 languages on our team.

- Yes.

- That's one thing to do in Brooklyn.

- So even before you joined Compass, have you won every award there possibly is to win in real estate?

- Well, awards are not given out by the state. So it's not that the state knew that. The New York State Department of State said, "Oh! Howard sold a lot of houses."

It wasn't working like that. When I first started in real estate, I worked for Century 21. I wore the gold jacket, if you can remember back that far, the Century 21 salesman, because we weren't in a politically correct world yet. The Century 21 salesman wore a gold sport jacket.

It was the number one corporate emblem on the planet. Century 21 gold was the greatest thing to start in the business with.

- And so what kind of awards did you win?

- I will, I will. And at Century 21, we had our own awards. At one point, I won an award for the most sales in Brooklyn for that quarter. They want to rotate the award winners as well.

I left Century 21 and went to Fillmore Real Estate: 22 years at the biggest company in Brooklyn at the time, family-owned business.

Big shout-out to John Reinhardt, Mike Reinhardt, the MacBride family; they gave me the start at Matterport. I'll go into that when we have that opportunity; 22 years there, I won pretty much every award there.

That was 400 brokers. It was the greatest place to work at the time. It was like walking into the sales meeting there, you were walking into the Hall of Fame.

It was like a baseball player who's in the business a year or two or in the game a year or two, walking into a Hall of Fame meeting. There's Babe Ruth. There's Mickey Mantle.

These were the biggest brokers in Brooklyn, at the time. And they gave me the opportunity -- when Matterport came out -- to break in. And we'll go into that, how that started. But yeah, we win all these awards, and I sell, I can sell ice to an Eskimo when my mind is set to it. So that's why I did good in real estate.

- Million Dollar Club. Chairman Circle. Any possible award for selling real estate?

- Well, there's levels, you know, there's always levels, and listen, there's great brokers working there, there was always somebody a little higher than me.

I never won that award where I was the best one. But I won the most important award: the Lou Belisario Award.

When Lou Belisario, the grandfather passed away, the family dedicated an award every year to the person that best exemplified Lou Belisario's persona.

The guy was literally like a legend. So when I won that award, Dan, that was the highlight of my real estate career then. Because you're not only winning an award, it doesn't matter how many houses you sell, to be recognized as a gentleman; to be recognized as a leader; a mentor to other people; it is very important.

And that award opened up a ton of other opportunities, because you won the Lou Belisario Award: people sort of like you at that point.

- So I have a $2 million brownstone in Brooklyn. I'm thinking about selling it. Why do I reach out to Howard Witz -- Real Estate Associate Broker at Compass, and say, help me. There's so many agents, brokers, why you Howard?

- Well, I always say that it's an honor to be selected by a homeowner to handle your property. That's usually a homeowner's or a person's biggest asset. And their most valuable property would be their home.

So if somebody contacts me, and they don't know me, which happens, you know, they look you up online or you sold a house down the block, or they kept your postcard from 10 years ago, when they call you, you have a limited period of time to make an impression on them to move forward. I would try to recommend listening: you have two ears and one mouth. You're supposed to listen twice as much as you talk.

I don't think a homeowner wants to hear you ramble on about all your awards and your accomplishments and all me, me, me, I, I, I, there's no "I" in "team" …

It's not like that. I would want to listen to what they have to say about where they want to go, why they're selling, you know, a little bit of history of the house, why they're where they are in their lives. I want to make an appointment to meet with them.

And now, it's gonna be time to talk about business. I think, and again, I'm going to speak as a Matterport person and a real estate person.

I think that real estate brokers can sound all the same. "I sold a lot of houses." "I live right here!" or "I've been in the business 20 years" or "I know this one." After a while, Dan, you're the homeowner, you are listening and you're like, "I'm hearing the same thing in a different voice. "What didn't I hear?"

So I like to take the opportunity, and I know I have a very short window of time to show them a Matterport tour on my iPad: not on my phone when I go to a listing appointment, and I don't use a laptop either, I want it on an iPad, right? Check this out. This is what we do.

This is where we start. All the brokers are going to have a photographer. All the brokers are going to take pictures. I like to talk to the seller about, I'm going to spend money. I'm going to invest. Forget about time, I'm going to invest money. I'm going to have skin in the game. This is New York City, this is Brooklyn. There's a totally different vernacular. You literally have to get right into their eye -- quickly

- - so they know that you're on their team. And that, [Dan gets in Howards eye] thank you.

I think that the seller wants to hear that you're going to promote their property, and how you're going to do it. I've seen it, and I'm doing real estate training and from my own experience, 99.9% of the brokers will not mention Matterport tours or virtual tours, in any discussion in the beginning.

I think that that's what separates me. And I pointed out to them, I hope you speak to five different brokers today. "I'll give you $5 for every time you hear the word Matterport."

I'm keeping all my money, because the brokers are not talking about it because it costs money. And based on commission in the market, some areas are a 2% area, some areas are a 6% area.

The brokers may not want to invest any money, any hard money into your marketing. I'm exactly the opposite. And I make sure the seller knows: I'm gonna be spending money, day one, I have skin in the game, and I'll obviously talk about Compass. I'll talk about my accomplishments. I'll talk about my team. Because it's all about teams right now.

I could be the best broker in the world. If I work alone with no help, I'm ineffective, and I'm not going to sell the house. I could be a decent agent and I'm on that team, and if the team -- and it is a team -- it's very, very, very, very effective to point this out to a homeowner.

- Okay.

- And then it's not about commission because take a listing at 6% that another broker was pitching at 4%. It's not the commission. They have to trust you. They have to maybe like you. But they have to trust you.

And I feel that I'm trustworthy; because I am. But I feel that I get that point across quickly, and I go on to the next topics, you know?

- So this is a good backstory, and before we jump into the journey as a Matterport Service Provider, if you're interested in visiting with Howard about listing a property for sale: or his cell phone gives it out freely: 917-846-5300. Let's switch to your journey as a Matterport Service Provider.

Now that we have some context of where you are today with 3D VUZ and where you are today with Compass as a Real Estate Associate Broker in Brooklyn, tell me about the journey. When did Matterport first show up on your radar? How did that happen?

And then why did you decide to buy your first Matterport camera?

- Dan, I almost remember it. Like, when I saw the first Matterport dollhouse, I felt like Ralph Kramden on the Honeymooners. I was like, "Whoa." I could not believe what I saw. And it was a Matterport ad that got emailed around in our company.

I'm a photographer at heart. I'm not a crazy photographer. I don't take cameras on vacations, but I always like photography. So I got into the Matterport right away. I wasn't afraid to make that investment. And again, selfishly, you know, go back to the part of, I'm a real estate broker at Fillmore. I had my own office. I had 20 agents working with me, but I'm still a selling agent.

I saw Matterport as a selfish tool that would propel me past the four or five brokers in my company that I can never get past. It's all a matter of listing.

You have to have listings. "You have to list to exist!" You have to literally coin that you have to list to exist. So if you don't have listings, you are not in the business.

And I felt Matterport when it first came out, boom. I've never been so excited about a product. So I reached out to the company and I bought the camera that day, that day.

- Was it the first day that you received it?

- The first day I heard of it, I literally got in touch with Matterport. I think the company was in Illinois, or my salesman was in Chicago or something, or in Illinois. Went online. Ordered the camera, it was like [$4,500] at that time, whatever the price was. Walked right into the President of Fillmore Real Estate at the time, John Reinhardt.

Big shout-out to John Reinhardt, because I'm going to tell you now that John Reinhardt is the reason that this all became so big for me. I came into John Reinhardt to say, "John, look at this." He's like, "Dude, I saw it already." He saw it already, and he was thinking of ordering the Matterport camera, for the agents to share -- 400 agents.

You know, Dan, you can't share camera gear. It's not something you pass around like that. I told them that I would help out. You don't have to spend $5,000. I already ordered mine.

Now, I'm thinking to myself, "It's for me, and it's for my wife who's a REALTOR." My wife is Lynn Witz; Coach Realtors. Coach was just bought by Howard Hanna, so it's Howard Hanna Coach Realtors.

I felt that my wife and I would have a very, very good advantage in getting listings in our communities. John said, "I tell you what Howard, I want you to shoot for all of us and I will pay you." I went and incorporated, got a tax ID number and went into business.

When I started shooting for Fillmore, John was paying the bills. I was not a photographer, I was not using a camera yet. I was just doing the Matterport, and we were hiring other photographers to do the stills and the floor plan.

And like I said, I've been a broker for 35 years. All of my friends are in real estate, even outside brokers. So some of them would say, "Howard, can you shoot for me?" And you know what happens, Dan, I'm shooting for my competitors. But in our world, and again, every real estate community is different and every company is different.

We, and I believe in, we hug the other brokers. We're friends with all the brokers. We go out. Even the competitors that took my listing, all right, I took their listing. We are all friends. So they felt that they could call me and say, "Hey Howard, can you shoot for me?"

And my boss was like, "Yeah, no problem." You shoot for them, whatever you're doing. It turned out to be a nice little business. And then it just kept growing and growing and growing and growing.

- I want to say it started in 2014 or 2015?

- I bought my camera in February, 2016.

- 2016.

- So I must have seen that first ad around New Year's, around January, and I got my camera [mid-February 2016].

- So I think what I'm hearing is about seven years that you've been doing Matterport.

- Correct.

- You mentioned that you were only doing Matterport when you started, but today, you offer DSLR shot photos, floor plans--

- Yeah, that was a nice evolution.

- Aerial. Why is it that you started to add other services?

- Well, the funny story is that when I started doing -- I'm sorry, prior to Matterport, I'm a real estate agent, I got a listing, I called my photographer. I had a favorite photographer.

I won't even mention his name because I'll tell you why I got my camera, and it's why I'm not mentioning his name. So I would do the Matterport and the photographer would come and do the stills and the floor plan.

And it was a little silly, because even though Fillmore Real Estate was generously and graciously paying for the Matterport and the photography, I felt it was sort of a waste of money on their part to have two photographers showing up at the same time.

So, I not cash poor, I went out to B&H Photo -- it's the greatest place in the world -- and I bought myself a Nikon D750 and a 14 to 24 lens, I bought that granddaddy of the best real estate lens that money could buy, looked impressive, took great shots, and I did not know how to use it.

I wish I could run upstairs and get my favorite T-shirt. It says, "Everyone's a photographer, until -- M -- when you turn it into a manual."

- Manual.

- So my biggest thing was, and I'm going to make a statement now, that the real estate brokers that were in Manhattan, the large companies, Douglas Elliman, Corcoran, there was no Compass yet, Brown Harris Stevens, Bond, these were companies that were part of REBNY: the Real Estate Board of New York.

Those were the largest companies in New York. Their photography, their websites, their photos, the window pulls the grand, the wide angles, perfect verticals, everything was great.

Dan, I couldn't do that with -- I'm going to say the pictures were inferior, and window pulls being especially.

So you asked me why I'm into it. I went out and got my camera gear, and I asked that photographer, and this is such an important part of my conversation with you, is that I asked a photographer who I gave over 150 jobs in a two-year period.

Totally, I'm trying to work -- he was our one photographer. Yeah, what's the word? I'm sorry.

- Exclusive. Exclusive.

- Exclusive. He was our exclusive photographer. And I'm the manager in the office, so I'm the one calling for all the other brokers' jobs. I asked this guy to give me five minutes. I think we were at 320 Ocean Parkway, a two-bedroom apartment; empty. I didn't have an owner there.

I didn't have a broker there. It was just me and him. It was a small unit. I did my Matterport before he got there. I opened the door for him. He did his pictures. I said, "I just bought this camera. I just, please just gimme five minutes.

What the hell am I doing? How do I get window pulls?" That's all I asked him. And you know what? He wouldn't even answer my question. He told me to go on YouTube and look, best advice I ever got. Never called him again, ever, never used him again.

I literally must have bought this guy enough -- I must've paid him enough to buy him a car. He couldn't give me five minutes. And not only did I learn from that interaction, my entire world is the exact opposite that I help my competitors. I'll go into it later on. I've helped three, four, five people start Matterport businesses.

They're my local competitors. We would help out. Do you need a charger? This guy didn't have a tripod. I couldn't believe this guy wouldn't help me, but I did learn. And now, I feel my pictures are amazing. I am so proud, I'm saying it.

I don't want to sound like a jerk. I'm saying it because I am very proud that my pictures are gorgeous. So if I'm in a $20 million townhouse, and I mean $20 million, not $2 million, $20 million, $24 million. I shot a house in the Hamptons that was $27 million.

The girl said, "Your pictures were amazing!" And it's part of real estate, in the seesaw of real estate and photography, real estate is a thankless business sometimes.

Dan, I could show you, remember, you're going to give me your listing for $2 million. Let's say the house is only worth $1.7 million And I showed it 65 times, and I did 25 open houses. I made videos, drone, Matterport. I had interviews. I did everything humanly possible, and I'm a nice guy. I bought you dinner, right?

I brought whatever, I swept your front. I do what I have to do. And then you don't give me the listing back, you give another broker the listing with a price reduction. So that's an ugly part of real estate. Let's say you're a buyer and I showed you 65 houses, and I called you and went, "Dan, hey, I had a great listing just come up."

And you're like, "Well, you know, I saw that same listing and I called another REALTOR and I'm in contract."

You want to kill somebody, but the reality is that that's the thankless part of real estate. I have never experienced that with Matterport. "Thank you, Howard. Thank you, thank you! The pictures are great! The floor plans are gorgeous! The seller loves Matterport! Here's a bottle of wine. Here, we got you a gift card to ..." people thank you.

And it's part of the reason I do it more. My seesaw, I want to be on the happy side. It's not all about money. You want to be happy in life.

- So, you mentioned--

- I hope that wasn't a tangent.

- I love it, Howard. You mentioned shooting Matterport for competitors. Do you have other real estate agents/brokers that have any angst because they're asking you to do Matterport and photos--

- Awesome question.

- But, you're also an agent?

- Awesome question. So, when an agent that I do not know contacts me, they found me on Google or 100 ways that they find 3D VUZ, and they call me up. Within the first minute of the conversation, if I'm talking to you, Dan Smigrod, a real estate broker, I'm going to say, "By the way, just for transparency purposes," because I don't want you to Google my phone number or Google my name and say, "Hey Howard, what's this Compass? Oh my gosh."

I'm going to tell you that I've been a real estate broker for 35 years, and I own 3D VUZ, the photography company. The reason that my pictures are going to be better is because I am a real estate broker. I'm on your team. I know what the broker needs. I know what the seller is going to ask for. I think I know what the buyer's going to be looking at.

I think that I'm a better photographer because I am a real estate broker. However, it has happened where a broker from a very large company in Manhattan, literally, however he got to me, I didn't go into the whole, "I'm a real estate broker" thing.

And when I got to the house, he goes, "Stop right there!" He actually said it like in the meatloaf song, he went, "Stop right there!" He goes, "Are you a REALTOR?" He's like, "Look at me."

He goes, "Are you a REALTOR?" I'm like, "Yeah." I said, "I told you that." He goes, "I don't remember me saying that. And I really don't remember if I said it." He goes, "I don't want you in this house." Now, this is an example of a paranoid, old-fashioned, young guy, by the way, because I'm not going to make any personal comments. I thought he was maybe a little "on something".

That's how crazy he got, that I would be stupid enough to insert my real estate into my photography business. The seller will never know, the client or the homeowner, whatever, will never know. I don't wear a Compass T-shirt when I'm there.

I don't give my Compass business card. I do not even give them my last name. But it only happened once where a broker got upset with me. And I think I may have omitted that I did it.

- Okay.

- Now I'm very careful about that.

- So when you started out, you mentioned incorporating, you started 3D VUZ. Was there a reason that you just didn't operate as one company for both your real estate and for your Matterport Service Provider business?

- Okay, well, I always felt that being a business, you have a business name and you have a website and all that. It's funny, the photographer that I was mentioning earlier just uses his name, his name, and there's his phone number.

I felt having a business name legitimizes, if that's the right word, makes you legitimate. Having a website makes you legitimate, to some people. I don't think it matters at all. The best photographers that I've ever worked with do not have a business name, it's their name, it's them.

But when I started to branch out and not to work with my friends, but to work with strangers, if you want to use the word, or new clients, yeah, I thought that the domain was important, and funny you mentioned, my name's a little unusual. I thought having a five character domain name was the bomb.

- Yeah:

- But a lot of my people say [3D VUZ], and it makes me angry, so don't call me that. But I was actually even considering adding the E on, I own the domain name also.

- Yeah, okay.

- But I'd have to change it all around.

- So, you wanted to establish two different brands. Your brand as a real estate agent, your brand as a Matterport Service Provider.

That said, still when people reach out to you, real estate agents that perhaps don't know you, contacting you cold through to get Matterport and anywhere in New York City, Long Island, Brooklyn, some of New Jersey, you still disclose that you are a real estate agent for the reason that you've described, but you really try to keep your two brands totally separate.

- 100%.

- And I think what I'm hearing is, if you were probably going to give a tip for a real estate agent that was going to set up a Matterport Service Provider business that was totally separate, is don't cross the line trying to solicit a homeowner that you've just showed up to do photography or Matterport where you tried to get their --

- Dan, I've had people call me, I've had homeowners that I shot for because they know my name, and came into an open house. It happens occasionally, but I will say that it would never happen. And I'll give you an example.

- But what happens when that happens? Do you then say, "Oh, let, let me reconnect you with the agent that's doing it."

- 1000%. Let me go further than that, okay? Let's say you're an agent at ABC Realty, and I'm shooting your listing on Main Street, okay? I'm outside with my camera, right?

I'm outside with my Nikon, you know, I'm taking my pictures, and the neighbor comes over and says, "Hey, what're you doing? What're you doing?" "It's New York, bro."

They're like, "Hey, what're doing?" I introduced myself. Now, remember at that point, that neighbor, listen, if it was a normal, any other situation, I tell them, "Hey, it's none of your business. Take a walk." You know, I'm in New York, and it is none of their business what I'm doing.

Realistically, that's not the proper answer. So I might say that I'm obviously a photographer, and I'm taking pictures of that house.

Now, it may not be public yet that that listing is going live. It may not be public. The seller may not have wanted any of the neighbors to know that the house is being sold. So I'm really not supposed to say, "Well, they're selling their house and I'm taking their pictures."

So I have to figure out a quick way to say something. But the reality is, there's your answer. I do not say, "Well, why don't you give me a call later on?" I'll say, "Let me get the agent over here. Let me get my client over here." "Mike, come on over here. This gentleman would like to talk to you."

Now, what happens, Dan, and again, I know you're not a real estate broker, if I remember correctly, right? I'm a broker, it's literally in my blood. When that neighbor comes over to me, let's turn the tables around. Let's say I'm an agent and I'm putting my open house out right now--

- Stay, stay there. I'm curious. You're there at--

- Right.

- And you've been paid for by an agent. The neighbor is interested in listing their house for sale--

- Right, that's what I'm saying.

- Does that lead go to your client?

- Yes, sir, 100%. That's what I was just trying to say. And I'm sorry I was taking a little long to say it. If the neighbor comes over and says, "Hey, you're taking pictures. I'm thinking of selling my house." To me, Dan, that is a fork in the road.

That is a life choice to be an SOB, I almost said a bad word or to do the right thing. So now, when I call the agent over and say, "Hey, Mike, this gentleman's thinking of selling his house."

Now, Mike knows I'm a REALTOR. This guy just literally said, "I'm thinking of selling my house." That could be $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 in commission.

If I take that guy's name and number, I'm a dog, and I don't deserve any business from that broker anymore.

And I would be splattered upon, every broker would know that I stole a lead. I specifically look for leads, which is what I was trying to say, when I'm outside of property.

When someone walks by, they don't even say hello to me. Dan, you see how I'm talking to you now? Someone walks by and I'm like, "Hey, how are you? How are you doing? Are you guys looking for a house in the neighborhood? Because Mike here is the best broker in the neighborhood. Mike, come on over here. Mike, you have a business card? Give this lady a card?"

They go, "Howard, what are you doing? What are you doing?" Meanwhile, that lady called him and said, "My sister is looking for a house. It's not that one, in a different part of town." And Mike said, "Hey, thanks, Howard. I sold the lady a house." I didn't even meet her, you met her. Dude, that's what I'm here for.

- I call myself an ambassador.

- That's super-important that it's--

- Oh man, like a stonewall.

- When you show up as a paid photographer for a listing, any which way to Sunday, lead comes in, it's going to your client.


(Continued below ...)
Post 2 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
Founder &
WGAN-TV Podcast
Atlanta, Georgia
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
(Continued from above ...)


- It'll never happen in a million years, that I can't look at myself in the mirror in the morning, and be proud of who I'm looking at. That's if, and those are people that are thieves. They're literally stealing money from somebody.

And I'm very passionate about that. So I may literally bring somebody into the house to meet the agent, because I'm there for the agent.

And if the agent, and Dan, this is part of what I consider my Matterport business, is that not only am I a photographer, click, click, anybody could click, click. I'm going to help the agent make more money, not by taking a better picture, but by letting them think and making them think out of this box.

So if I give you the Matterport link, "Hey, I shot your house. Here's your link." I'm not helping them get hits on that link. I'm not helping them get that link in front of the for sale by owners that are in the area. I'm telling them, I take them out to lunch, take them out for pizza. It's a great thing to do to help.

And again, I'm saying I'm 60-years-old, I'm looking at my life. I love helping a new agent get a new listing. It's the greatest feeling in the world--

- Right.

- And it works.

- I want to separate two worlds: the first world is when you started out as a Matterport Service Provider. Obviously, you had a great story and great success because the overall broker for hundreds of real estate agents said, "Howard, that's great. I'm not going to buy the Matterport camera. I'm just going to engage you to shoot Matterport tours for all of our agents."

- I was a very lucky man. I'm saying it, I'm saying it, I was a very lucky man.

- So today, when you're talking to a potential client, a real estate agent said, "Hey Howard, I heard you do this Matterport, it comes right out of my commission. Why should I be doing this?"

What's your pitch to them as the Owner and Chief Photographer of [] that offers Matterport to a real estate agent that says, "Hey Howard, the number of listings are down, the inventory is down, the prices are still way high, houses are still selling, I don't need to spend another dollar out of my pocket to do Matterport."

What's your pitch? What is it that you say to real estate agents about why they should use Matterport?

- Well, that was two questions. So, one was an agent that was doing Matterport that wanted to buy his own camera, or an agent that was spending money on photographers or Matterport, and now, they don't want to spend that money anymore. There's actually a difference.

- Well, it's actually three questions. So, divide it up in whichever way is more comfortable for you.

- So the first part of that question that I'll answer is, the real estate agent, and I'm going to say a bad thing. "I can't afford to take pictures anymore."

I mean, it's like that. There are different companies. Some companies, like let's say an agent like myself, works for either broker A or broker B. Broker A gives me only a 50/50 commission split. But that broker pays for all of the marketing.

Other brokers, like a RE/NMAX kind of a company, get higher commission structures and they pay for all of their own marketing material. So let's talk about an agent like that, an agent that's paying for their own.

- The agent pays for clarification.

- Right.

- The agent is paying for all their marketing materials--

- Out of their pocket, out of their pocket. If the house doesn't sell, they'd lose the money. If the house sells, they get the commission. So here's how I look at it.

If I was simply a photographer, and my client, the agent said to me, "Howard, you know, things are a little tight right now. There's not that many listings, and I didn't sell anything this year, or I haven't had too many sales. I really can't afford to use your services anymore."

That happened to me a couple of times this year. I shot pictures for all of those agents again, and I did not charge them yet. Probably won't charge them. There are some agents that I will say, "Hey, good luck pal. You know, can't help you."

But my heart is, I'm so into karma, Dan, and I feel that if the agent cannot afford it anymore, what I want to do is to encourage that agent to continue on. I'll lay out the job for you.

Let me help you get back on track. And I may even sit down, and again, I've done it so many times because I want somebody to treat my kid the way I'm treating your kid. I've got literally that kind of thank you.

- There's a nuance there. I'm an agent, I can afford it. I'm selling $2 million listings. But I go, you know, every dollar I spend is going to come outta my pocket.

- Okay.

- I can sell that listing without a Matterport tour.

- Stop right there, stop right there. That's where, and I apologize, that's what I tell them, "Stop right there. Stop right there."

My educational pitch with Matterport is, it's not a buyer tool. Yes, it makes it easy for the buyers to preview houses. Yeah, it looks great. They can walk around, all that stuff. Tell the agent that's not what you're doing the Matterport for.

You're doing the Matterport to impress your seller. Period! That's who's paying you, your seller is going to pay a broker 4-5%

And they didn't even have a professional photographer. They didn't have a virtual talk. Things like that make the seller not like their agent. But even further, Matterport is designed to help agents get their next listing! Period! End of discussion!

If you have a listing right now, Dan, if you're an agent and you have a listing, congratulations, you got the listing already. In theory, you don't need to do Matterport. The seller already was impressed enough with you, right?

But now it's three months later, and listings expire, contracts expire. Dan, you may have only listed with me until the end of August.

Now, today's date is August 10th, and I'm starting to get itchy because I want to get that extension. Seller's like, "I want to interview other agents." Because they're getting postcards from agents or they're getting calls from agents saying, "I was looking online and I didn't see your Matterport virtual tour." It's a no-brainer.

Do the Matterport to make your seller happy. But the further one is, when you have a listing, and as the listing agent, I'm going to get all the buyer leads that come in from my site, my open house signs, my for sale sign, my Facebook page. Beautiful picture of the front of the house, right? Looks great, or a Matterport tour.

Now, the people that are looking at the house, let's say 10 people saw that ad. Three of them may have to sell their house, before they buy their next house.

Two of those people may have a family member about to list a house. One of them may be an estate attorney who has a client who has to sell a house.

There's a 1,000 scenarios where the Matterport tour on the listing, someone's going, "Whoa, my God, look at this. I never saw this before." Now remember, five years later, six years later, more people saw Matterport.

- Yes.

- When they first came out, boom, people's heads exploded.

- So Howard, you have an advantage of being not only a Compass Real Estate Associate Broker--

- Just say Compass agent --

- But the Owner and Chief Photographer of []. So, when you do a Matterport for your listing, can you speak firsthand that you actually get warm inbound leads that lead to--

- 100%, 100%. Because Dan, again, it's going to be like a real estate training class for 10 seconds, okay? You're an agent, you're at an open house, you're a brand new agent.

The ink on your license is not even dry yet. I'm an experienced agent in the office, I bring you in, because I wanna have somebody there to help me at my open house. I'll share it with you, right?

So now, you are in the house, you're a brand new agent, Mr. and Mrs. Smith walk in, and you're like, "Hi Mr. and Mrs. Smith, how are you? My name is Dan Smigrod, please sign in. You know, blah, blah, blah. You know, sign in my little book, and I want you to give me your email address, and you know, so I can stay in touch with you. But it's also, I'm going to send you a link to a Matterport virtual tour."

And what this is, Mr. and Mr. Smith, because I'm sure you're going to look at other houses today. When you get home, you're going to click this link and you're going to remember this house. And if you weren't sure, "was the bedroom blue or red," they can go back and look at it.

They just walked into the open house and they're already being introduced to Matterport, QR code scan here, blah, blah, blah.

- Does that convert to a lead?

- Right, but the point is, if I looked at a batting average, if I got 1,000 buyers over a two-year period at open houses, I got about 20 listings from those buyers.

I, as an agent, I'm going to say this to any real estate agent, who's listening today, you get more listing leads at an open house than anywhere else. Remember, you know, years ago, we would cold call, "Hi Mr. Smith, this is Howard Witz, Compass Real Estate. I'm wondering if you're thinking of selling your home now or in the near future."

Look, a lot of hangups, a lot of people don't like to get cold calls. If I send postcards out, I can send you a postcard and it says, "Hey, we sold all these houses. If you're interested in selling a house." People get postcards by the dozens. They tear them up.

When they walk into my open house, they are my visitor, that is a captive audience for the next couple of minutes. I don't want to dive on them and tackle them and hold them down and force feed a Matterport tour in their mouth.

But sometime, and again, I'm joking around here now a little bit. But during the open house in the first minute or two, I, as an agent, separate my buyers into the ones that own houses, and the ones that never bought a house before. I am a listing agent.

Every real estate agent in America and worldwide wants to get listings. I have the listing, 30 brokers want to sell it. It's my listing. I'm automatically getting at least half.

So now, I'm already getting paid. So now, an open house visitor comes in that owns a house, I want to give them a little extra attention. "Can I get you guys a cup of coffee? We have bottles of water."

I'm going to literally make them comfortable with me. I'm going to find out, "Do you need to sell that house before you buy your next house? Because if so, you're not buying this one. I understand that. But I'd like to apply for that job and tell you a little bit about --"

I'm in the guy's living room, they're not buying. My experience says they can't buy. The guy literally just said, "I can't buy a house until I sell this one."

- So I think what I'm hearing is three things. First, Matterport virtual tours help a real estate agent win more -- I'm going to assume -- bigger premium listings.

- If that's your market, yeah.

- Second is, it's the way to treat the person who is listing the home with you so that they get the ultimate experience. And I presume out of that is now what you're talking about, open houses or neighbors or referrals.

You're totally all in, that Matterport has helped you over the last seven years, increasing your business.

- Yeah. Without even a shadow of a doubt, I wouldn't be as confident. You know what, Dan, I'm going to say again, go to the seesaw. I'm not Lou Belisario, and Joe Cruz and Jeff Reyngach. These guys sell a lot more houses than I do.

And I'm saying it, listen, I'm in the business 36 years, I don't want to say I had my day, I was on the plaques, I'm on the walls, I don't need that right now. What I need to do is to have a consistent business, and my real estate business, if I have limited opportunities, for example, I'm not full-time every minute, every day in a real estate office pounding the phones.

If I'm in any situation where I get to chat with somebody, yeah, I'm bringing up Matterport virtual tours, 1000%.

- So you mentioned that you also do Matterport tours for your wife, Lynn. Does she get a family rate or--

- Well, I will tell you, I'm going to preface that by saying, and I need 10 seconds for this. My wife, Lynn, I'm in the business 36 years, she started, my twins are 22-years-old. She's been in the business 22 years.

I have 22-year-old twins, and I have a 28-year-old son. My three kids are amazing. When my twins were born--

- Landon, Adam and Austin.

- Landon, [and Twins] Adam and Austin. Right. Landon is 28. My son, Landon, works at North Shore Hospital. He works for Northwell Health.

My twins just both graduated college, one graduated Ohio State, one graduated Delaware. Landon has his master's degree from Hofstra [University]. My kids are doing great.

- Congratulations.

- They didn't do real estate. They only want to own it --

- Yes. But they're out there talking about Matterport for you. ;-)

- Yeah, I'm trying, yeah. I lost my train of thought there.

- I asked you if you had a family rate.

- My wife, yeah. So my wife, Lynn, my wife, Lynn, Lynn started when the twins were born. She said, "You know what, Howard, I'm going to go into real estate." She was an insurance broker previously. And I said, "Go right down the block to the closest real estate office and just start, because I'll help you."

Now, I'm in Brooklyn. She sells in Commack, [Long Island]. We have 50 miles between our marketplaces, [Howard Hanna Coach Realtors Commack] my wife went to work there. Her manager, Adele Rosenberg, is insanely amazing.

Her team there, the agents there were great. And when my wife started there, my wife could sell ice to an Eskimo kind of thing. And her father also, her dad was an amazing broker.

- All right, so I see a trend there.

- No, but I'm going to get into this now.

- Okay.

- My wife went into real estate, and when she started, I wasn't into Matterport yet. It was just a matter of doing things that I did in the city. Didn't always work in Long Island, and things in Long Island don't work in Brooklyn.

My wife elevated herself within 10 years to the number one broker. And they are a 700 broker company. By brokers, I mean associate brokers, salespeople, you know, REALTORS.

My wife [] is the number one REALTOR at Howard Hanna Coach Realtors Commack for the past 12 years straight.

So, she was the top broker, before I bought my Matterport camera. Now that I have Matterport, my wife, I can't even begin to tell you the amount of business that she does. And the Matterport is the biggest tool in her tool belt.

In her marketplace, she does an open house. 20 buyers will walk in, five or seven of them have to sell. She gets her listings doing open houses, but she's the virtual tour lady, I'm the virtual tour guy. I'm going to tell you about that a little bit later on. I want to start that up.

- Okay.

- But my wife is known for two things: virtual tours and her apple pie giveaway. Funniest thing in the world, last year we gave out over 500 apple pies, cherry pies, pumpkin pies. We do a pie giveaway. It's a way to get in front of people. It costs us thousands of dollars.

- Howard, I'm going to switch you back to Matterport, and I'm going to give you a new scenario here. I'm a real estate agent. I've been watching WGAN-TV Live at 5. I'm on the edge of my seat about whether I should buy Matterport or maybe I should use a service provider like 3D VUZ.

- Okay.

- Your thoughts?

- Well, again, always encouraging agents to use the platform, to use Matterport. Whether they're going to use me or use a competitor or buy the camera themself. I would ask the agent a couple of simple questions.

And your guideline was my original, when you first posted that a couple years back of: how many listings you get? How much is your market value? How much do you anticipate I'm making? And then you figure out how much of a marketing budget you need.

Marketing budget would be either hiring a photographer, a Matterport provider, or buying the camera yourself and doing the work yourself. In a self-preservation mode, I would always say hire a photographer because it's not just the Matterport.

- Well, I think I'm hearing a couple things there. First is, before you bought Matterport, you were a photographer enthusiast, maybe not a professional photographer, but you were totally all in as a photographer. So, does that matter if you're thinking about adding Matterport, that you need to have that affinity?

Or is it yet, when you bought Matterport in 2016, there really wasn't anyone doing Matterport in your area, and therefore all you had to offer was Matterport?

Today, 2023, would you, as a service provider, if you're going to offer Matterport, you absolutely have to offer photos, floor plans, perhaps video, aerial, full digital marketing, otherwise somebody is going to call a photographer that offers all these services?

Or can you just buy Matterport and just offer Matterport: not only for your own listings, but perhaps for those in your office, which you were successful with--

- Right.

- And then perhaps to even other competing agents if your broker is cool with that.

- Well, the answer would be, offering only Matterport as a business is a tricky scenario, because the REALTOR is going to say, "But I need pictures!" Or "I need a floor plan." And you got to offer these things.

As a Matterport person, I've tried, and in the beginning, remember, I wasn't trying to scale a business, bringing in new clients. I was servicing my friends. I was servicing my immediate 20 yards. I had a lot of people within a 20 yard circle.

Offering just Matterport is tricky because the broker is going to want photography, floor plans, drone and/or video.

- Is part of the question that a potential agent that's thinking about adding a Matterport camera, buying a Matterport camera, is to poll the other people in their office to see if they could just offer Matterport and not photos and floor plans, et cetera?

Or really, this is 2023, you got started in 2016 with Matterport. The world has changed, and if you're really going to offer Matterport, you really have to offer all digital marketing solutions that are expected.

- You know how I'll answer that, Dan? I'll say that it depends on the person, on the photographer or the person that you're referring to. If you are a meek, quiet, not -- I'm trying to use silly words like not aggressive, you know?

If you just provide Matterport as a niche market, you could be very successful in certain marketplaces. You can contact brokers that have beautiful listings on Zillow or StreetEasy. They already had professional photographers.

They don't have a Matterport. Yeah, you can solicit business that way. "I saw your listing. I saw your pictures. Everything looks beautiful. What I didn't see was a Matterport virtual tour. May I offer you that service for this listing for X amount of dollars?"

If you are consistently doing just that, there's a good possibility that you'll be able to make some money doing it, and just do the Matterport.

But what happens is, most of the photographers that are being called first, the person that took the DSLR pictures, do not have a Matterport camera.

And sometimes, reaching out to those photographers, "Hey, listen, if any of your clients ask for a Matterport, also, call me. I'd be happy to work with you."

So that's why I say working with your competitors is very important. But if an agent is saying, or if a Matterport provider is only offering Matterport, they're putting themselves at a huge disadvantage. First of all, forget the cash opportunities out there. You're already there. You're already at 123 Main Street. Stay another half hour, fly the drone. Stay another half hour, take some pictures.

Do what you have to do, or bring out your gimbal and do a video. You have to look at cash on that opportunity.

I have great friends in Staten Island. Mike Armao. Owns Xquisite 3D Tours. He's just getting started in Matterport. He's a great photographer, a great video guy. The Staten Island market, though, for whatever reason, they don't like Matterport as much.

So Mike is now going into New Jersey and into Brooklyn. He's my competitor, and we work together almost every day. He's a great guy, retired from the New York City Police Department. So, there are people out there that have the tools.

They're afraid to ask for it. It's a matter of asking for the order. So if you're only going to offer Matterport, you can do good. You just have to know your trade and have some good words. Do a couple of free jobs, build your business.

- So I think what I'm hearing really is, if you are a real estate agent and you're thinking about adding Matterport today, then you probably really need to be thinking about adding photos, video, aerial, floor plan, single property websites, Matterport.

- Well, that's an agent that's growing. An agent that has a listing, has already had photography done. Or an agent that's in an office, let's say I'm working for a year, there's a photographer that's working in our office or everybody has a photographer. But if that agent, again, I want to dissect your question.

If the agent is saying, "I've never offered Matterport to my sellers. I want to offer Matterport to my sellers. How do I do that best? Should I hire 3D VUZ or Xquisite 3D Tours or anybody, or should I buy my own [Matterport Pro] camera?"

I will advise them to hire me, because buying a camera and having that expense, it's scary, it's scary. I don't know too many real estate agents that bought a Matterport camera for their own inventory. I know some brokers that bought a Matterport Pro2 Camera for their offices' inventory.

And then what happens is, no one knows how to use the Matterport camera. No one has an iPad. "Where's the tripod?" "Where's the clamp?" "Who's paying for it?" "The tours are down." No one's running the Matterport business in their office. I offer that service.

- Yeah, I think that's a really interesting point to say, if I'm a real estate agent, thinking about adding Matterport, what I'm hearing, if I'm only planning to shoot my listings, easy-peasy answer: hire 3D Vuz.

- Hire somebody, yeah.

- Or hire another Matterport Service Provider. If I'm thinking about offering Matterport because "I have other agents in our office that I know would buy Matterport" ... then that may be a consideration.

But know as soon as you go by that Matterport camera and you start offering Matterport, the next question you're going to get is, "Do you shoot DSLR photos?

And oh, by the way, I'd like to order everything from one person. So if you're not doing that, let me call a photographer in my market that already is doing photos, videos, ariel."

- It's a rare scenario that somebody actually wants to buy the [Matterport] camera for office inventory. One of the big rental companies in New York City is UDR, a tremendous company. My two very good friends, Steven Oman and Katie Oman run that company.

They bought a Matterport camera, they probably manage 1,000 apartments. They probably have 30 to 50 vacant at any one time.

They shoot every one of their own listings. That makes sense, because at a competent level, they know exactly what they're doing with the equipment. They have a budget to use the camera and host it and all that, and they have the inventory to support that expense.

If you're an agent, generally, to have an account at Matterport, it's a little scary. And again, all the ancillary things that you need to do, I think that they're doing themselves a disservice. Because you know what? An agent doesn't have four hours a day to handle their media.

Farm that out to a photographer. And I have access to their account. I upload their pictures. I put their logos in the corner. I want to be their social media manager. I want to be their media manager and I want to be a coach to help their agents use it to get another listing.

- Win more and bigger premium listings. Before I move on, perhaps to our final question, for anyone that's interested in engaging you, they can send an email to: Again, that's

- Correct.

- Go to your website: I think, for that matter, I mean, what I've heard is you're happy to talk to anybody that has any questions about--

- 100%, I love when my phone rings.

- Matterport, and you really don't even care if they're competitors, because well "it raises all boats." Happy to have that. Happy to have that.

- Dan, that is such a great expression, and say it again, I know the "rising tide raises all boats."

We all win. You know what, when there's a guy doing Matterport in my neighborhood and it happens, and other brokers see Matterport, my services are now going to get picked up also because they want Matterport. It's just a matter of whether Matterport is a love-hate thing. In the real estate community, this is a very important topic.

There are brokers that do not like the concept of a virtual tour. I want my buyer. I want to meet my buyer in person. I want to schmooze. I want to walk them through the apartment because they can't make a decision on the virtual tour, based on whether they walked around the virtual tour, whether they want to buy it or not.

That's how the broker feels. And if that's their opinion, I respect his or her opinion. I do not agree with it. I do not agree with it, because he or she is talking about a different topic. I'll go back to what I was talking about.

The seller of that apartment, the owner of that condo, loves looking at their own apartment. And if they didn't have a Matterport, you know what happens,

Dan, is that when you have, let's say, a four month listing or a six month listing, a couple weeks before it expires, all the brokers are coming out of the woodwork, soliciting the listing. Here's my solicitation.

I want to say - boy, I almost said another bad word - I'm good at this. I would come up and say, "Hey Mr. Smigrod, I saw that your house is on the market, and your listing expired already. And I'm sure you're looking for another broker. I was looking online for your virtual tour and can't find it. Do you have a link to your virtual tour?" And I don't say another word, because the next question is, "what's a virtual tour?" "What's a Matterport?"

And I'll say, "Are you kidding me? You're telling me that your agent didn't do the virtual tour and do the 'house spinning thing?' I think a virtual tour is the most amazing thing in the world. I can't believe your broker didn't do that. You're asking $1.8 million and you didn't have a virtual tour."

Dan, I'm getting that listing, Dan, and I'll tell you what's happening, that other agent is not getting it.

There's an example of, "I'm an agent. I'm a broker with 35 years of experience, right? I'm the best broker in the world. I sold every house on this block."

Now, you and your wife decide to sell your house and you're going to interview me, but you're smart and you're going to interview two other brokers. And this other guy is in the business five days, brand new listing. But he just saw WGAN-TV. He saw this interview. He knows that he has to offer this to a client upfront.

So now, the guy with five days experience says to the seller, "What I'd like to do is to get my camera crew in here. We're going to shoot a virtual tour. It's very expensive, but I'm willing to make that investment. And here's a sample and blah, blah, blah."

And the other guy goes, "Yeah, how you doing? You know, I sold everything." I'm the [visual for top gorilla]. You know who they're giving the listing to, Dan? The brand new guy. I've lost listings, and I've had agents in my office lose listings. By not ... I mean brand new agents taking the listing from a seasoned veteran.

That's what Matterport is. Matterport levels the playing field, so that when a brand new agent is trying to break into this business, a brand new agent, I'm talking about a guy who never saw the house before, drives by and he sees a for sale by owner sign.

And he knows what he has to do or she knows what she has to do. She has to stop a car, knock on the door, take a breath, have her iPad opened to a virtual tour, say, "Sir, I don't wait to disturb. I know you're selling your house privately. I see the sign or I saw you on Zillow. May I just ask you,

I don't want to bother you. Do you have a virtual tour that I can just maybe take a quick look at the house, this way I don't have to bother you and come in?"

And you don't say another word. Who's the guy that said the next guy talks loses, right? You literally come in. It's like Babe Ruth walking into a baseball field. You know, you have to have confidence.

And the [Matterport] virtual tour gives a brand new agent the ability to knock a ball out of the park and secure a Listing. And you keep saying multimillion, it doesn't have to be multimillion. Most of this country is $300,000, $400,000, $500,000. I have two listings now under $200,000.

My next listing I'm taking next week in Staten Island is $750,000. It doesn't matter the price range. Every house deserves the best effort that the agent could make. And if the agent is smart, they need to have something -- boom -- to say, and Matterport is it.

And I don't care what anybody says, Matterport is the best listing tool ever, period. So I'll stand by that. I've gotten listings where I knocked on a door, I had no, when I say I had no business getting the listing, I didn't have a chance. I did not have a chance to get this listing.

And when it expired, I did exactly what I just said. I was shaking, because I knew the agent who I'm going after has a TV show.

The agent I'm going after has a Rolls Royce. The agent who's listing I was going to try to steal right now makes eight times the money that I make. I got the listing at a higher commission, and that makes you feel so good.

The house didn't sell. I'm not going to say I made the money, but the point is that when you're in the game, this is the leveler that every agent needs to use.

So, if you're an agent and you go on 10 listing appointments and you only get one of those listings, look at it like baseball. You're batting 100. If you get two of those 10, you're batting 200, you get eight of those listings, you've got eight -- The key is to get every listing that you want.

Dan, I've walked into houses, I don't want the listing. They're arrogant, they're overpriced, the house is ugly, they don't let people in.

They won't let me have a for sale sign. They won't let me do open houses. They only want to pay a very small commission.

They've literally given me eight reasons to say, "Guys, good luck. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you too. Here's my card, if I can help you out, give me a call." I've walked out of listings. But when I want it, the Matterport's my only confidence because I'm not a top level agent anymore. Like, I'll give you an example.

The guys that I work with, Lou Belisario and Joe Cruz and Jeff Reyngach, don't use me for Matterport. They get their listings anyway.

They are leaders in their business. But the agents in the office, in my opinion, that don't make $800,000 a year or $700,000, these are agents that are struggling to break that $100,000 or $200,000 a year income, totally possible.

In my opinion, the agents that use Matterport, my agent roster, my client roster, I don't deal with a whole lot of agents that don't make $100,000. Some of them sell $200,000 condos and some of them sell $2 million houses.

- Howard, my last question for you.

- Yes, sir.

- How come you're not enthusiastic about using Matterport to win more and bigger premium listings? ;-)

- I think I just need a little bit of a boost. I just need a little confidence in that? ;-) Dan, I'll tell you that this is ... I would say the right word. I feel very blessed that when I got into it, it was new that John Reinhardt from Fillmore Real Estate gave me the boost. I still shoot for John to this day.

I'm not happy, of course, about COVID, but COVID: business went through the ceiling. Terrible example of making money off other people's misery, but COVID boosted the business tremendously. And now, we're in a situation where people don't want to spend money.

Now, there are agents that don't believe in Matterport. There are agents that say "I could do it myself." And you know, there's another, I'm not worrying about the people that don't want to do business with me. I worry about the people that do want to do business with me. And I think I'm a great asset to their business. I call myself a coach.

My next line ... if you looked at my business card, it said janitor there. That's getting crossed out, and it's going to say, coach. Coaching agents is what I want to do. So if I got a brand new agent who calls me, I got a call today from a young guy, brand new agent. I'm shooting for him next Monday.

We're going to have lunch afterwards and I'm going to show him what to do with the tour. how to share it on Facebook. How to get the hit counter up.

I use the hit counter dramatically. Every day, I look at my hit counter. So if I shot a house for you and you only got 36 unique IP addresses, shame on you, because you're not doing your job right. If I try to help that agent, that agent's going to have 400 hits on there within a couple weeks.

Now, the agent is indebted to me. I don't have to worry about that. I'm charging X amount and my competitors are charging a lot lower. They will pay me what I'm charging because I'm helping them get more business.

- Yeah, Coach, I think we're going to have to have you back on the show, because I think we've always scratched the surface of this topic. And I hope you'll accept that invitation. We'll have to continue the conversation.

- I have something else I want to add. February, 2016, I got involved with Matterport. I had no idea what I had to buy.

I bought the camera. I didn't know anything else about the camera. I Googled Matterport cameras, and you know what came up? Come on! We Get Around Network, We Get Around Network, We Get Around Network, We Get Around Network.

Your [] and I'm saying, I don't care if you want to hear it, don't cut me off because it's going to be worth it. Your site is the best thing that happened to anybody that ever wants to get into Matterport, ever. Not only was the information at my fingertips, legible and really, really like, well put together, but there were opportunities.

You've introduced me to people over the years. I want to mention two of them, Shawn May Photography out of Philadelphia.

This is where, when I say people help each other, instead of putting walls up between competitors, Shawn was one of the guys I called to ask a question, "How do I do this? How do I do this?" You introduced me to Shawn. I still have the email on a project that was out there.

And then Shawn and I got to talking, and I asked Shawn about the same question. In fact, it was a week after the other photographer whose initials are DG.

I hope you're watching this. DG would not help me learn how to do window pulls. Now, he was in New Jersey anyway, but I'm in Brooklyn.

He drove an hour and a half out of his way, came to my office, hung out until 1 AM, and I learned in one night how to take pictures with window pulls and bracketing and all that stuff. So Shawn May, I love you. You're the best guy out there.

Shawn hires Matterport photographers all over the country. So if you're in an area, let's say, a Matterport photographer, Billings, Montana, get in touch with a guy like Shawn and there's other vendors in the same business that source out jobs.

Shawn May has a builder that needs a property shot in Montana, and he gets you the job. So guys like Shawn helped out a lot. Noam Benamy VirtourNYC.

Noam is a commercial real estate broker. Gave me a ton of opportunities, but we're not talking about shooting an accounting office. We're talking about 35,000 square foot plates of office buildings, 11 hour shoots, dozens of jobs, and these jobs came from your site.

Everybody I talk to, I tell them to join your site and most of them have. And they all come back and tell me the same thing that you are the man on the mountain.

You've heard me say this before. You are the most knowledgeable person in this virtual world.

So, if anybody out there is trying to learn this, you know, a couple dollars, you have to have your hand in your pocket to make money, spend whatever the [WGAN Memberships] are and read those Forums and participate. And then next thing you know, you are getting calls from people.

I got a call this morning from a guy in Massachusetts asking me if I know where Sheepshead Bay is. I'm like, "Yeah, I grew up there." You know, like how did that come through? It came through [The WGAN Find a Matterport Pro Map].

So I thank you, Dan Smigrod, for doing what you do because you are probably the biggest reason that I feel that I'm successful. And I say that sincerely, thank you very much.

- Thank you, Howard, appreciate it. And, We Get Around Network Forum, totally free., yes, we have some paid WGAN Membership tiers.

Thank you for your business over the years. Thank you, Howard, for being my guest today on WGAN-TV.

- I'm so excited that I got a chance to do this because I've watched all the others, and I'm never gonna be as good as Emily [Olman] or some of the others that you have out there.

But I feel that this helps me to grow, and I'm not necessarily looking for new business from this.

I like to be like, I like to coach, I like to spread the word, and if anyone has any questions, you can always give me a call. I've lent people my equipment.

I've had people run out of a cable, run out of a tripod. If that happens with you, I encourage people to share their knowledge, split jobs with people, and teach a new guy.

You know, when you see somebody selling their camera, give them a call and ask them why they're selling it. Maybe they just need a little boost. Had a couple guys that actually stayed in the business because of that. But whatever we can do to help out, you know, that's what I'm saying.

- Howard Witz, 3D VUZ Owner and Chief Photographer. Howard is also Compass Real Estate Associate Broker. You can reach Howard at 917-846-5300.

That's his mobile phone. If you're interested in talking real estate with Howard:

And if you're interested in talking about Matterport and the related photography business: for Howard in the greater New York City area.

I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. And you've been watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
Post 3 IP   flag post
102931 3 3
This topic is archived. Start new topic?