As more industries shift to remote working during the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses are having to make fundamental changes to their everyday processes.
For commercial real estate, that means that property tours are not always possible, but leases continue to expire, and space decisions need to be made.
While there’s nothing like experiencing a space in person, virtual tours have come a long way and offer a close equivalent. In the era of physical distancing, there’s never been a better time to take advantage of this technology.
Read on for an overview of different touring tools, what they offer, and why you should use them. WHAT IS A VIRTUAL TOUR?
A virtual tour is simply a digital recreation of a physical space, be it a new office, industrial warehouse or high-end shopping experience.
New specialized cameras can shoot still and 360 video. These images and videos are then stitched together to create the sensation of walking through a space either online through an app, browser or VR headset.
Some technologies also allow architectural drawings to come to life if a space hasn’t been built or renovated to completion. Clients can tour a site in high-resolution 3D, with graphics that provide navigation and additional information.
Of course, not every virtual touring tool is the same. Below, we’ve outlined three popular options.
PHOTO REALISTIC TOURS
A virtual touring solution can provide an immersive 3D experience, without having to worry about owning and operating the actual hardware.
Companies deploy local scan technicians who are trained and equipped to capture any property in 3D. The scan is then provided to the user for their own purposes.
A “play walk-through” feature uses a predetermined series of scenes to allow the user to view a space in a virtual guided tour.
The “dollhouse view” feature creates a 3D recreation of the entire space, while the “floor plan” section displays floorplans created directly through 3D capture.
The tour can be viewed on a phone, desktop, or through a VR headset for the full immersive experience.
VIRTUAL WALK THROUGH
Designed with the test-fitting process in mind, these tools allow a team to customize and share floorplans for specific tenants, providing a real-time look into key decision metrics like head count and open space.
Once a test-fit is ready, it can be transformed into a 3D experience with one click.
Clients can look through a 3D tour of a site, complete with accurate panoramic outdoor views and customizable design themes.
GUIDED TOURS AND COMMERCIALS
You can bring a site to life with videos that show off a space in unique and interesting ways.
Options for storytelling and place making include everything from short testimonial videos with animated graphics to full-blown site marketing productions.