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To Some Thieves, a 3D Tour Is Like Online Shopping

A Faberge egg on the mantle? The location of a home safe? Agents should take steps to protect their sellers’ privacy and safety when they create 3-D listing tours.

SAN FRANCISCO – 3D home tours can move listings quickly – but it’s not worth the tradeoff if they also invite thieves.

Real estate professionals can take steps to protect homeowners’ privacy when marketing properties digitally. Robert Siciliano, co-founder of security firm Protect Now, says criminals can theoretically identify personals details that appear during 3D and 360 degree tours. He recommends excluding “anything that would be considered of worth or value,” such as game consoles, firearms and art.

Siciliano says agents should be especially careful recording children’s rooms that could reveal private family details, and home offices that often house sensitive financial documents.

Virginia-based agent and Peer Reputation CEO Steven Wynands says he uses a simple explanation when talking to sellers: “The easiest thing I can tell them is, ‘Make it look like you would want it to look in a magazine.’”

Jeff Nitschke, a real estate photographer based in Idaho, says he uses a written checklist for clients that helps “get folks in the right frame of mind.” Among other things, the checklist encourages homeowners to “hide personal photos, artwork, jewelry or any sensitive items that you don’t want seen.”

Peter Schravemade, a strategic relationship manager at BoxBrownie, says his company’s technology allows users to edit items out of real estate imagery, including 360-degree tours. In one case, Schravemade says a home had a valuable piece of art that he digitally removed from the home’s listing imagery.

Schravemade says agents should exclude things like safes, safe rooms, bunkers and security systems, providing the software enables you to do it.

Nitschke says Matterport, CloudPano, Kuula, RicohTours and some other platforms have blurring and editing options; however, Zillow 3D Home tours only allows individual spaces to be excluded.

Source: Inman (09/10/21) Dalrymple II, Jim

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