A new local company is making use of technology that may be helpful to those buying and selling a home.
Pine Tree 3D was started last month by three Western Washington University alumni, Robin Dittrich, Tim McEuen and Rory McMahon. It offers three-dimensional, virtual reality productions as a better way to show spaces and depth for people who can’t visit in person. Instead of seeing many photos of a home online, potential buyers can see the house stitched together to show room size and flow.
The trio came up with the idea thinking it would have solid applications in the local market for buying and selling homes. Potential buyers can better narrow their search so that when they do come and visit, they can be more efficient by looking at their list of finalists, McEuen said. The business has already expanded into other areas such as yachts, where it can be difficult to describe to potential customers with words or regular photos.
Chuck Occhiogrosso of Coldwell Banker Bain in Bellingham is excited about the new technology.
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He has been in the real estate business locally for 30 years and started seeing the 3D technology about four years ago. He was impressed by what it offered at the time, but found it to be cost-prohibitive. Now that the price has come down, he is starting to use it to show his client’s homes. Price is determined by the size of the project, but some 3D scans on a house can be done for around $200.
Last year he had at least four out-of-town buyers who made offers even though they hadn’t set foot in the home because the market was so competitive. As this technology becomes more common, he expects it will help buyers save time. Instead of flying in –or driving a distance – to look at 20 homes over a weekend, the list will be down to five or six because the 3D will give potential buyers a chance to zero in on the houses they are really interested in buying.
“Seeing the flow of a house is very important to people, so with this technology you can get that perspective,” Occhiogrosso said.
Pine Tree is also seeing other uses for its services, including companies who want to highlight their stores as well as tourism promotion. The company recently put together a 3D production of the Sehome Arboretum watchtower.
The source for reoccurring revenue is expected to be in real estate, given the turnover of homes being bought and sold. People like the idea of being able to virtually walk through a property, concentrating on spaces and where rooms fit.
“It’s like a 24/7 open house,” McEuen said. “It’s the next way to view homes.”
Along with new technology, McEuen said they also want to promote environmental awareness – the company plans on planting a tree for every sale in support of the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association.
For information, visit the company’s website or call 509-669-4294.