What is a Virtual Tour in Real Estate

Selling a house is often not possible without a visit by a potential buyer of the selected real estate property, however, looking through 10-15 houses per day is very often too tedious and time-consuming for the buyer. In addition, not every property can be included in the list of potential houses for viewing.

For a long time, the only thing that can attract the buyer’s attention to the house from a huge MLS database was real estate photography and videography, but recently, another modern technology has been added to the traditional photo and video filming – a  real estate virtual tour, which allowed the buyer to examine in detail the proposed real estate object even before his physical visit. There are 2 virtual tour technologies – 360 virtual tour and 3D virtual tour.

360 virtual tour vs 3D Matterport virtual tour for real estate

In fact, both technologies solve one problem – to provide an opportunity to inspect the house online, but they differ in their capabilities.

360 virtual tour is a set of panoramic images taken with a 360 camera, which are then combined into a virtual tour in special software. In fact, this is a set of photo frames between which you can navigate online.

The advantages of such a tour are the price and speed of its creation. The photographer simply needs to take a small amount of 360 photos indoors and combine them later.

The disadvantage of this tour is its quality. Usually, due to the small number of 360 photos, it is impossible to see any room from any angle or perspective, and the movement between 360 photos is not smooth, which negatively affects the client’s experience of using the virtual tour.

Real Estate 360 Virtual Tour Example by PRO Studio

3D virtual tour ( 3D Matterport virtual tour)  is the creation of a 3D model of a house using 360 photographs and 3D data from a special camera. This virtual house (dollhouse view) can be rotated in space, you can enter any room and see the house plan right away.

The advantages of such a tour in its quality, in order to create a high-quality 3D model of the house, 5-10 times more than 360 photos are used, and as a result, this gives a better smoothness of movement around the house and a greater number of viewing points.

Another advantage is the possibility of any measurements within the model, you can measure online the height of ceilings or the width of windows.

Thanks to the presence of 3D data about the house, you can easily draw a house plan with the exact dimensions of each room

The disadvantage of such a tour is the complexity and, accordingly, the price. Because the photographer needs to spend more time on the property in order to create a high-quality 3D model.

Real Estate 3D Matterport Virtual Tour Example by PRO Studio

Quality of 360 virtual tours and 3D Matterport virtual tours. Cameras.

An important role in the quality of a 3D virtual tour is the quality of the image received from the camera. Many companies try to lower the price of the virtual tour by using low quality 360 cameras, which produce blurry images with low details.

The second important point is the sensitivity of the camera. Cheap cameras fail to perform well in dark areas of the room, the image becomes grainy and “dirty”, and the overall appearance of the room becomes faded with low contrast, which will not generate positive emotions about the house from potential clients.

In our work, we use top-level cameras so that the quality of virtual tours is as high as possible. 

Number of shooting points

Another important indicator of the quality of a 3D Matterport virtual tour is the correct shooting points. It is very important to take a picture exactly where the buyer wants to stop, look around, or change direction. Therefore, we always take as many 3D shots as possible in order to move around the house as realistic as possible.

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