Whether or not you’ve experienced a virtual tour online, this article will show you what a virtual tour is, how we make them, and 10 creative ways virtual tours could be useful to you.
Since May of this year, our studio has been offering Enhanced Virtual Tours to our architectural clients. We’re very excited about this service because it nicely fills the gap between still photography and motion to showcase architectural spaces from a 3D first-person point of view.
Here’s an example of a recent clubhouse we scanned for Prometheus Real Estate Group.
As you can see, our virtual tours are a collection of 360° scans compiled into a 3D showcase model that allows you to walk around, zoom in on details, and jump between large areas of the project by looking at the floorplan view. You can also take quick measurements of anything captured thanks to the point-cloud data captured during the scan. Just click the little “measure icon” to try it out.
The LINCOLN BARBOUR STUDIO Difference
The way we make virtual tours is very similar to how we do any of our photoshoots. If we’re scanning for marketing purposes, then we will start with a location scout walkthrough with you to determine the scope of the project and the best time of day to capture the spaces. We will outline production needs like prop styling, permitting, and shoot day logistics.
For small projects like homes and businesses under 10,000 sq/ft, we will capture the space in a single model. For larger projects, like multi-family and hotels, we recommend breaking out virtual tours to separate models to highlight key areas of interest.
Unlike photoshoots, the capture of a virtual tour is done in a single spin of the 360° camera. There is no retouching (yet) and lighting is limited to very basic on-camera lighting. Fortunately, the cameras we use capture images in HDR and do a beautiful job of blending exposures for a pleasing look. Still, the one-shot nature of the shoot means staging, and camera position is vitally important. Fortunately, we have 18 years of architectural photography experience to help guide you to the best way to get a fantastic looking virtual tour.
Here are 10 Ways Virtual Tours are Useful
Virtual Tours first became highly useful in the real estate market. Allowing homebuyers to virtually walk-through a listing before visiting a home in person saved a lot of time and wasted effort for the client and the realtor. These types of virtual tours are pretty much the standard now for real estate listings.
However, like you, many businesses and marketers are starting to see the value of virtual tours for their industry. Here are 10 great uses for virtual tours we think will become just as common as real estate:
1. Colleges & Universities – Potential students seeking higher education will love a virtual tour of campus life and amenities. The virtual tour would be especially useful for out-of-state students who can’t make the visit in person easily.
2. Museums – Virtual Tours of Museums are a great way to bring awareness and peak interest of potential visitors. It’s especially useful for out of town visitors who can research their museum visits on their vacation. A good virtual tour could sway their decision to see the museum in person.
3. Recruitment – Even though the pandemic has shifted the idea of a workspace, eventually corporations will want to bring their team members back in. In a competitive space for talent, a virtual tour of your cool office will make hiring a lot easier.
4. Retail – As the seasons change, a virtual tour of your shop can excite your loyal customers to coming back and seeing your new inventory. Plus, our enhanced virtual tours can be exported to your Google Business listing.
5. Tourism – Virtual Tours are a great way to bring attention to tourist attractions like sporting arenas, famous homes, gardens, natural areas, and monuments. It’s a great way to sell advertising space at venues because the advertiser can previsualize how their ad will look in real life.
7. Hotels & Resorts – There is a ton of potential to increase room and event sales with quality virtual tours. Virtual Tours are fun and will help out of town guests get a real feel of your property. Plus you can tie in other marketing tactics like special offers placed as Easter Eggs in the virtual tour’s point of interest tags.
8. Restaurants – If your restaurant is on Google, then you need a virtual tour to show up in your search results. It’s easy for us to export a virtual tour of your restaurant right to Google My Business.
9. Remodeling Projects – No matter if you’re remodeling a kitchen or a whole building, virtual tours of as-built conditions can be super helpful in determining the scope of the project. You can show sub-contractors what they’re working with without a site visit. Plus, data collected can be converted into as-built drawings such as floor plans, elevations, cross-sections, and more.
10. Humanitarian Causes – A virtual tour could be used as a powerful example of a need for humanitarian non-profit organizations. Showing existing conditions in 3D can help drive donations and support.
There are just a few of the useful ways virtual tours can be used. But there are so many more creative ways a virtual tour can change how you share your projects.
If you are in need of a virtual tour for your business, please contact us today for a free estimate. With 18 years of architectural imaging experience, we guarantee you will be well taken care of and get the best virtual tour possible.