Articles and Information -
360° Real Estate Photography
What is Virtual Reality, and What is a Virtual Tour?
Virtual Reality is to immerse the viewer into a scene or place. A Virtual Tour is a way or method to immerse the viewer into the scene.
A virtual tour should be 360°s, so a viewer feels as if they are sitting in the middle of the room, house, restaurant, or hotel grounds, and have the ability to look "in the round," as if they were really there.
This gives your client perspective. They get a clear idea of the place or subject. After viewing a virtual tour, a client will have more confidence in visiting, or not visiting, a property. Photos are important, and should be professionally taken. But photos do not give a complete presentation and you will not be able to convert those clients who need more information to make a decision. Photos only show the best parts. That is why a virtual tour offers credibility. 360° full screen virtual tours can show all the parts. When you show your clients virtual tours, they start to believe in you.
What is not a Virtual Tour?
Sometimes businesses advertise that a slide show or a video is a virtual tour. A slide show however does not give the viewer the perspective that a 360° virtual tour can give. A common mistake is when a real estate professional shows a client a slide show, calling it a virtual tour, when in fact, the slide show is created from the same still images available for viewing anyway. That is bad business because you wont meet your client's expectations.
A good tip for your business is to only use a slide show if the images in the slide show are not available for viewing elsewhere. Also, if you are to use a slide show, they should accomplish these two goals:
- To allow further communication of the property, more than the pictures can communicate. This can be done with either descriptive text on each image, or voice over.
- To allow the viewer to see and learn effortlessly, and without wasted time. Sometimes images stay on the screen too long, and sometimes images pan, or move on the screen without offering the viewer more perspective or information.
Audio - Good or Bad for Property Presentation?
Audio, in the form of music, played with property video presentations, slide shows, and 360° virtual tours, should not be a focal point of any tour. In fact, I recommend you leave it out. If you have music playing on a webpage, the music takes up an enourmous amount of band width. But if you want, or if you can't talk your client out of using music, make sure the music is a looped to help with download times.
Also, remember that viewers are multitasking, such as talking on the phone, listening to the news, etc., and therefore music on a webpage may not be cenvenient. Furthermore, if the viewer does not have an excellent sound system, the music may sound like an AM radio.
Lastly, a good rule of thumb is that if you are going to include audio, make sure it adds value to the client's visit to your website, like professional voice over with good written content. Or try using clear text on images. Voice over that provides a detailed property description, including features, benefits, advantages, really can help to provide an outstanding presentation. Make sure that your script addresses the four personality types. And make sure the script is not filled with property cheerleading and gobbledygook.
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