Video tours or 3D virtual tours

Virtual tours vs video tours

Video tours or 3D virtual tours? That is the question.

A couple of days ago, I was in an estate agency Facebook group and someone had started a poll as to whether or not they should do video tours or 3D virtual tours.

3D virtual tours are created by popping a camera on top of a tripod. It then takes 360-degree images of a room. I’m not au fait with the technology of it all so I apologise if my explanation isn’t spot on. But what it does is create a 3D virtual tour so you can walk around the property, created by all these stitched together images.

A video tour however is created sometimes by a mobile phone or even professional photography equipment, mounted on some sort of gimbal which stabilizes it. You can then create videos from it and show the parts of the property that you really want to emphasise.

It really surprised me in the Facebook group poll because so many agents were recommending the use of the 3D virtual tours.

In my experience, clients often don’t enjoy the 3D virtual tours from a user perspective. One reason for this is that, in this day and age, around 80% of people property search on their mobile phones. It used to be tablets were a very big part of that percentage but that is no longer the case, meaning we’re only using these small screens. Once you click on the virtual tour part and then you try and get around on this relatively small screen, it becomes quite a faff, it’s cumbersome and a slow process.

However, when you click the button to view a video tour, it gives you a lifestyle impression. It gives you all the emphasised parts of the beautiful elements of the house that you really want people to see.

One agent I spoke to said that the problem with 3D virtual tools, in his opinion, was that you’re able to zoom in too closely on certain details. If you’re a first-time buyer and your dad is a particularly concerned father, as often they are, any sort of settlement crack could become a cause for concern and ‘subsidence issues’. It all becomes a massive headache before they’ve even ever viewed the property.

However, if you create a video tour, even with the estate agent themselves presenting it, you’re getting to emphasise the lifestyle so instead of selling the features of a house you’re selling the features and benefits and that is what true salespeople should be doing, in my opinion.

I don’t think if you use a 3D virtual tour on a mobile phone, you’re doing a good service for your seller because you’re simply providing far more detail than a buyer needs to see. They may be useful tools on a listing, unless you come up against somebody who doesn’t agree with them and instead offers video tours and can sell a lifestyle.

It’s only my two pennies’ worth but I would urge all of you to go onto a mobile phone and search for properties that use 3D virtual tours and just experience how tricky and faffy it is to walk around those properties compared to the ease and the almost Netflix-like quality that you can get with a video tour. It’s so much simpler to just press a button, sit back and passively receive the information because after all, that’s what we’re all used to doing with YouTube, even TikTok is evidence of that. It never would have existed before but our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Maybe that’s another reason why the sales of tablets have started dropping.

I know even in our household we have always had a tablet but a couple of years ago it broke, as they are wont to do and we’ve never found the need to replace it because the size of mobile phones has gotten that much bigger. Actually you can do everything you need on there.

If you’re an advocate of the 3D virtual tours, please let me know why. I’d love to see the positives of it because right now if I came up against someone that was flogging one of them to a seller, I’m pretty sure I’d win the listing.

Let me know your thoughts. I’m always interested to hear and always interested in a friendly discussion. Don’t forget to subscribe.

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