360° Virtual Tours – Real Estate
In the spring of 2016, I offered Virtual Tours for Holiday Houses, with a focus on 360 degree and drone aerial photography. Holiday Houses, Hostels and retail agencies struggle with an effective way to portray their real estate online or catch the attention of a potential client.
Never before has it been more difficult to stand out in the mass of real estate agencies, which makes it more and more important to enhance the online experience and offer clients an experience that distinguishes itself from your competition.
Additionally, up to 81 percent of research is done online before a customer enters your business, meaning that if your product or website does not stand out, you might miss out on 81 percent of potential customers (Study).
Virtual tours create more trust and conversions
A virtual tour might be the answer to your worries. A 360-degree video, photograph or virtual tour of your business, real estate or product increases uniqueness and the customer experience of a product immensely. A Google study shows, that customers see a business 94 percent more trustworthy if it offers a virtual tour and businesses that do observe that 41 percent of these place searches resulted in an on-site visit. 41 percent might not sound as much, but the typical web-to-real-life conversion sees numbers around one percent as much, meaning this conversion boost is massive and should not be underestimated.
Case Study: Realtor and 360 real estate listings
Realtor, an American real estate listing website, experimented with 360-degree listings and found that those listings were 90 percent more likely to be viewed compared to listings with “normal” photographs (Source).
What types of the virtual tour are there?
1. 2D Virtual Tour
A virtual tour can be created depending on the situation and application. If you want to reach a broad mass, it might be a good idea to post a virtual tour of your business/real estate as a 2D version either in Google Maps or on a website.
2. Augmented Reality
Another good application due to it’s “wow-factor” is a virtual tour using augmented reality, which offers a broad range, as well as almost everyone, is using a smartphone nowadays. One could, for example, enhance traditional leaflets or floor-plans to deliver a breathtaking interactive experience for customers.
Try it out: 3D Models can be integrated into websites like this model below. Try to rotate and have a look at it! If you are on your phone you can even place it into your room and explore it in 3D!
3. Virtual Reality
If you intend to offer a high-quality experience for a small group of people, a virtual reality tour might be the best option. Virtual Reality offers a way more immersive experience, but due to the need for complex hardware, it might be limited to a small group of people.
What do I need for a virtual tour?
A virtual tour can be done on a budget and as a professional virtual reality production alike.
1. DIY: Streetview App – cheap and fast
Using, for example, the Google Streetview app, it is relatively easy to create a virtual tour yourself and directly upload it to Google.
But be warned, smartphone cameras are oftentimes not offering a good picture quality, and your tour will only be visible on Google Maps and not your homepage, in ads or Youtube as it should be your goal.
To create an experience that truly stands out you will need a professional camera.
2. 360-degree photography including drones – Good for the average usage
Using a special camera set we will be able to take professional 360-degree pictures and enrich the virtual tour with custom videos, information, and tracking – to give you, for example, an impression which features users clicked how often, or what needs improvement. Furthermore, a drone aerial footage can truly capture sizes or the environment of your listing.
3. Virtual Reality Virtual Tours
Using the newest technology, it is possible to create a breathtaking virtual reality experience. VR is shown to be way more immersive for customers than traditional 2D media and will stick far longer than traditional media. Additionally, it is only possible to portray sizes in this way, as 2D media is always just a picture, and not experience itself (like VR).