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If you have a rental property, whether it’s an AirBnb, basement suite, or apartment building, virtual tours are a great investment. While they are more commonly used in real estate sales, in a rental property, a virtual tour can be used multiple times as a property cycles between rented and vacant. Most frequently, we hear people asking about Matterport tours because they are well known by realtors. In fact, when Anikio first got into the virtual tour business, we began by investigating the use of a Matterport camera. After much research, we chose an alternative that we believe makes virtual tours much more accessible to landlords and property managers.

What Anikio vs. Matterport for Your Rentals?

In case you’re already familiar with Matterport, we’ll just give you the reasons we chose to use a different platform, and why we believe that Anikio offers a better solution for your property’s virtual tour. If you’re not familiar with Matterport, it’s enough to consider them a leading competitor in this space. But you can learn a bit more about them below.

1. Cost

There are two components of what a virtual tour will cost you: the creation/photography cost and then the ongoing costs to host the virtual tour.

On the creation side, this is a wash. Anikio pricing is in line with most professional level Matterport photographers. We will spend quite a bit less time on site in most cases, but a significant amount more in post production and editing off site so there may be a time savings if you typically would accompany the photographer but the pricing will look similar. We do offer upfront discounts for combining our virtual tours with standard photography and savings on rental advertising that give Anikio virtual tours an edge in the rental market.

The ongoing cost is where we can really make a difference and is the number one reason that we chose not to partner with Matterport. A professional Matterport photographer, i.e. one using a Matterport Pro or Pro2 camera, will be paying $90/month or more to host the tours that they create. A landlord or property manager can expect to pay $50/year for every Matterport virtual tour of your properties, usually after the first year. And what if you have a tenant stay for three years and don’t need the virtual tour online for two years? Yes, you still pay.

On the other hand, Anikio offers you several options that can be suited to your needs:

  • Integrated Tour –  Keep all your rental information and resources in one place online. Link to the listing from anywhere. We host and keep your virtual tour, and you only pay $20 to reactivate the virtual tour when the property becomes vacant again. No ongoing subscription costs when the virtual tour isn’t active and we offer free listing credits (equivalent to 2 re-activations of the virtual tour) that further save you money.
  • Standalone Tour – Most comparable to the Matterport model. If you want to be able to embed the virtual tour on your site directly, we offer this as a separate option. We can still integrate right into your Anikio listings as well, but you have a direct, shareable link to your virtual tour separate from the Anikio listing link. In this case, our hosting cost is $40/year and negotiable for multiple listings.
  • Self-Hosted Tour – If you already have a website, we can build the virtual tour to be hosted directly on your domain. You just specify the URL where the tour will be located and we will provide you a ZIP with all the files you need to DIY. Your tour, your files, your server. No ongoing hosting fees, just a one-time $50 charge to create the package for you. You can still embed it, share it on social media, include it with your Anikio listing, and do anything you would do if it were hosted by us or Matterport.

 

Quick Example: Virtual tour of a 900 sqft apartment used for 5 years (tax not included). Property vacant 3 times in that period. Listed on Anikio. Using 2021 pricing.

  • Matterport*:  $229 + $50/year x 4 years + $20 listing x 3 = $489
  • Anikio Integrated (Virtual Tour only): $140 + $20 listing x 3 + $20 tour renewal x 3 = $260
  • Anikio Standalone: $140 + $20 listing x 3 + $40/year x 4 = $360
  • Anikio Self-Hosted:   $140 + $20 listing x 3 + $50 build fee = $250 (+ the hosting fees you’re already paying for your own website)
  • BEST VALUE: Anikio Tour + Photos Bundle: $240 + $20 listing x 3 – $20 listing credit x 2 + $20 tour renewal x 3 = $320 (plus photos at an additional $130 value)

* Matterport pricing approximated from several photographers’ websites for a single property.

Comparison of 5-Year Virtual Tour Hosting Costs on Anikio vs Matterport

2. Branding & Differentiation

How has Matterport become so well known? Because they put their name all over the place on your virtual tours! A custom branded feel for your virtual tours can include your logo and even bring people right to your website, include information on the rental property, and more. If you’re a small property manager without a dedicated platform, we can even include photos and other information (for example, about the building, location, etc) to build your tour into a standalone interactive website. We can even compile tours to run on your domain so that you truly own the tour.

3. Live Guided Tours

Simply put, Matterport doesn’t offer this. But with Anikio’s Live Guided Virtual Tours, not only is your tour available 24/7 to potential tenants anywhere, but you have the ability to walk guests through, essentially sharing a view and a video conference all at once. Tour them around or let them take control to look and ask questions as they view. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this feature is something our early adopters have loved!

4. Amazing Hotspots

Anikio can create hotspots out of anything from a piece of furniture to a book on a table to floating text and more. Our hotspots can do more than just bring you further along in the room. They can start playing audio, video, open a link, pop up a window with information, show a detailed view or 3D model, and more! A rental with a gas range? Highlight it! Your virtual tour is, in essence, a sales tool. If there is additional information that may excite a potential tenant, it should be included!

5. Proprietary

A Matterport tour is created within its proprietary camera in a proprietary format that can’t be used elsewhere. What happens if Matterport, unlikely though it may be in the tech world, goes out of business? Or is bought by a company (as they just were in 2021) that has other plans? We speak from experience because that happened to our former platform! Luckily, Anikio maintains ownership of the original images and can recreate the existing virtual tours on our new system. But if we had been locked into a proprietary format like Matterport that went out of business, all those virtual tours would be gone. And even if the company providing the engine for our new virtual tours goes kaput, we still have the car! And of course, with a proprietary system, you are locked into their pricing until you want to reshoot your virtual tour.

6. Local

While a lot of great local people use Matterport’s platform to create virtual tours, a lot of the ongoing costs go directly to Matterport in the US, not to a local source. We’re based in Saskatoon, Canada and profit goes to putting food on the table and buying formula for little Mikali!

Other Great Features of Anikio Tours

While we’re at it, here are a couple other cool things we can do in an Anikio tour!

Embedded Photos and Videos.What if, in a virtual tour of your store, users turned and found you waiting at the desk? And then, with a click, you come to life and tell them a bit about your business, products, or the location? With Anikio, that level of multimedia is possible and more. We can embed photos and regular 2D videos so, for example, the TV on the wall could be playing an advertisement for your business or guests could click on a product to see a larger photo of it complete with a buy now button.

Adaptive HDRAdaptive HDR is an incredible breakthrough for rooms with bright and dark areas, such as a mood-lit room with bright windows. It mimics your retina to adjust exposure depending on where you’re looking, so if you’re looking near the windows, the brighter areas will look perfect and the darker areas will look dark. Look away to the darker spots and the windows will be overexposed and bright but the dark areas will be lit correctly.

Live Panoramas. Live panoramas morph from one view to the next. Picture a balcony filmed during the day slowly shifting into sunset or night as the user looks around. A stunning way to show an exterior and lighting features that will captivate.

Generate 360 Videos. Of course you can share a link directly to the virtual tour or Anikio listing on social media; likewise with Matterport. But we have the capability to generate a 360-degree video that can be watched by your guests without ever leaving Facebook or Youtube. The video navigates around and moves from scene to scene, but at any time users can click, drag, and look around just like they’re in the actual virtual tour.

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