BRYCE CLERK AND SEAN RADIGAN ADMIT that it took a while for their new venture, 3D Interspace Solutions, to take off. The Fort Myers–based company provides high-tech 3D real-estate showcases that help potential buyers virtually experience a property for sale. But despite its cool factor, new technology like this isn’t always quickly adopted by real estate agents, says Radigan.
“If they find a winning formula they’re going to stick with it,” says Radigan, an agent himself at Royal Shell Real Estate. “But there ended up being a handful of Realtors who wanted to try this, and we slowly got a small pool of people. And if they can see the worth and value in something like this, everyone else follows suit. There’s always a domino effect.”
After bringing in just about $3,100 in its first year, 3D Interspace Solutions is averaging about $5,000 a month in revenue this year and has done more than 100 scans with 100 more pending. “Business is definitely steady at this point,” says Radigan.
While working as an engineer in Southwest Florida, Clerk gained experience with sophisticated 3D laser scanners that capture all kinds of information about a building. “I was always wondering if there was some sort of relative application for this in real estate or new construction,” he says.
The equipment he used was too costly for a start-up venture. But while attending a conference in February 2015, Clerk met the founder of Matterport, a 3D media company unrolling a more affordable scanning camera. An investment of around $5,000 for the camera and supporting equipment got the business partners started, and Clerk’s previous experience helped him feel comfortable with the new camera quickly.
“It was brand spanking new Silicon Valley technology,” says Clerk, “and we didn’t see anyone doing something similar here in Southwest Florida.”
The company officially incorporated in April 2015. While Clerk handled mastering the Matterport camera, Radigan started talking up the technology’s potential to fellow real-estate agents.
The two joined local Realtor associations, and Radigan’s own Royal Shell team started using the 3D scans, which helped them sell a few properties occupied by seasonal renters and unavailable for showings. “I can definitely attest that the scans help to sell properties,” says Radigan.
Having a 3D experience as part of a listing can save agents time by weeding out buyers for whom the property isn’t an ideal fit and reducing the need for frequent open houses. It also helps a listing stand out.
“If you have 10 open houses along McGregor Boulevard at any given moment and you have people going around to each of them, the one they’re going to most likely remember is the one they can see an entire 3D model of afterward,” says Clerk. “Agents can stay competitive by giving people a tool like this so they can refresh potential buyers’ memories.”
Clerk recently scanned a 44-foot catamaran that’s on the market and sees the technology’s potential for showcasing other listings of larger boats with interior cabins.
“We’re also getting inquiries from architects and other people asking about different ways to apply this type of technology,” says Radigan. “So we’re hoping to expand beyond just real estate. It will be interesting to see what different companies like interior designers would be able to do with this.”