What are your virtual tour options?
After several weeks of researching and experimenting with virtual tour applications for commercial real estate, I’ve found a few solutions that are most suitable in terms of quality, price, ease of use, practicality, post production, and turnaround time.
These options are: Matterport 3D scans, virtual tours created by connecting 360° space views for a walkthrough effect, and HD video tours. I’ve included examples of all three.
Let’s start with Matterport since it seems to be a hot topic at the moment. Matterport is a three-dimensional camera system with technology that scans the space and generates a 3D model. Sounds cool. However, this requires scans of the entire space to be taken in a grid-like pattern every 5 to 8 feet apart with special guidelines for large repetitive or empty spaces. Which is why pricing is usually quoted per square foot with a fee minimum.
The second solution is a custom virtual tour created by connecting panoramas using software capable of stitching the images and providing a 360 view. This is a practical option for presenting certain areas with a walkthrough effect and other areas with a single 360 view accessible from the thumbnail highlight reel. This is a great alternative to Matterport for larger spaces. It’s more cost-effective and it focuses on areas that represent the overall space or building being featured. It’s also unlikely for someone to navigate through a virtual tour step-by-step of a large space. Making the walkthrough effect unnecessary in certain areas.
The third option is a HD video tour, which we shoot in 4K resolution for drone footage and video footage taken at ground-level with a DSLR camera. This is a great way to highlight a property directing the viewer to see specific property features and view the space in the order you prefer them to see it. It also allows for more dynamic movements through the interior space and exterior. This could work well for any size space. Combined with aerial video you can leave the viewer with a sense of the surrounding developments, entire site, and interior highlights.
Lastly, the custom virtual tour application mentioned as the second solution is capable of combining all three types of tours into a single tour creating endless possibilities.
I’ve listed my comparison notes below for decision making based on property type, size, budget, and desired tour features.
View and compare the Matterport tour above with the virtual tour linked below of the same space created with 360° panoramas in an alternate app:
Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour.
Written by Sheryl D. Thomas