The latest “shiny new toy’ to hit real estate marketing are “3D Tours”, most often provided by companies such as iGuide and Matterport.
The biggest selling point of these types of tours is that you can see the layout and flow of the home, which IS the number one thing that a perspective buyer is seeking online. Oddly enough, that is also the reason our video tours have been so successful over the past dozen years.
Our feeling is that a walk through video tour gives a far better view of that flow and layout, not to mention the views of the exterior and immediate neighborhood. And overall, an infinitely better user experience.
What are the differences?
3D Tour: Takes considerably longer to shoot. 1 1/2 to 2 hours for an average sized house.
Walkthrough Video: 30-45 minutes
3D Tour: Mostly covers interior imaging. Exterior imaging (when available) is a 360 degree spin tour of the house only, similar to the 'spin around' tours that were popular over a decade ago.
Walkthrough Video: Covers interior, full exterior and immediate neighborhood, such as driving down the street, etc. Can also include nearby amenities such as parks, shopping, schools, etc.
EASE OF USE
3D Tour: Creates frustration for the consumer as it is aggravating to navigate and time consuming to learn. It’s easy to make the wrong “click” and end up in the basement bathroom when you were on the third floor.
Walkthrough Video: Creates emotion. Buyers buy homes based on emotion. That’s a fact.
3D Tour: Takes thousands of “clicks” to navigate through the house (once you figure it out).
Walkthrough Video: Takes one “click:. The PLAY button. Sit back and enjoy.
VISIBILITY ON LISTING SITES
3D Tour: Not all real estate sites make it easy to find these tours. You have to hunt for the link.
Walkthrough Video: The #1 real estate site on the internet, ZILLOW.com, rewards listings with video by ranking your listing (with video) at the TOP of new searches for a particular community. They also place a prominent “video” link on the main photograph so it’s dead easy to find. Nashua Video Tours is a “Select Zillow Certified Photographer”, which allows us to upload your full, branded video tour to Zillow at no charge to you! Not only do your listings garner 3-5 times more views, it helps brand YOU, the Realtor® and helps you obtain more listings.
3D Tour: Due to the length of time it takes to scan a property, costs are higher, usually starting at $250 for a 2,000 sq foot house.
Walkthrough Video: For homes under 5,000 square feet, a full walk through video starts at $300.
SEARCH ENGINE VISIBILITY
3D Tour: Not SEO friendly (Search Engine Optimization). Your tour will never be found on a search engine such as Google (usually the first place a buyer goes to search for properties).
Walkthrough Video: Video is the hottest thing on the web, and videos get indexed by all major search engines within hours, and most rank near the top of searches. Many times they're even accompanied by a thumbnail image, calling even more attention from the viewer.
3D Tour: Can’t effectively be used on social media. Most posts on Facebook show up looking like a meteor flying through space. Hardly a call to action. Most people can’t even figure out what it is!
Walkthrough Video: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter all love, embrace and promote video. Facebook videos begin playing as you scroll down a timeline, grabbing the interest of a viewer instantly. Share with one click!
YOUTUBE AND VIDEO SITES
3D Tours: 3D tours are interactive 3D spaces, therefore cannot be uploaded to video sites such as YouTube. The only possible way to utilize the vast userbase of YouTube with 3D tours is to manually navigate through the house while taking a 'video' of Matterport tour, which creates a less enticing interface than the original tour.
Walkthrough Video: YouTube is the #2 most visited search engine on the internet (even though not technically a search engine). Your video can be uploaded to your branded YouTube channel, but it is also uploaded to our YouTube channel, which is one of the most visited real estate video sites online with well over 8300 subscribers and over 5.1 million views! Your listing will begin receiving views instantly.
We carefully considered offering 3D virtual tours, and after speaking and demonstrating the technology to dozens and dozens of potential buyers, the response was less than enthusiastic. Most found it aggravating to navigate, confusing to understand, and did not want to take the considerable amount of time it took to figure it out and navigate through a house.
We truly feel that a walkthrough video tour of a property, in just about every way, is an infinitely better experience for a buyer. And at the end of the day, isn't that what matters most?