What does a virtual tour look like?

A virtual tour package consists of several high-resolution photographs, called “giros”, gathered in a complete tour package. This high-quality user experience displays multiple locations on a site, changing views via thumbnails. A virtual tour is a visual tool that replicates the experience of visiting and walking around a property. Virtual tours, such as video tours, 3D virtual tours, and interactive 360-degree virtual tours, allow prospective buyers to interact with the home and see features in detail without having to be on-site, and have become the norm along with the use of photos and floor plans of the advertisement.

Agents use virtual tours to promote their ads to out-of-town shoppers, minimize the number of in-person visits, and differentiate their ad from the competition. One of the reasons why many agents avoid virtual tours is because they imagine that they need complicated, high-end photographic equipment. In reality, you need a panoramic or 360-degree camera, which is more affordable and easier to use than ever before. Agents should consider purchasing one to create virtual tours on a regular basis.

Choose a virtual tour software provider and see if they offer their own cameras and lenses or discounts for buying a camera. The tripod must be level to ensure that the images are uniform. This applies to any image, video, panoramic or 360-degree photography you can take. Do not attempt to create panoramic or 360-degree images without a level place to place the camera, otherwise the lines and angles of the shots will not be straight.

If your tripod does not come with a built-in spirit level, you can download a leveling tool on your smartphone. Level the tripod by adjusting the legs until the bubble is centered between the lines. Upload your images to your software program to create your virtual tour. When prompted, follow the steps to add static or panoramic images.

The software will join still images for 3D virtual tours and assemble the panoramic photos for 360-degree tours. The words “virtual tour” have become a general term used to describe any non-static representation of a property. These can be video tours, 3D virtual tours and interactive 360-degree virtual tours. A slideshow of photos of ads with music is not a virtual tour, as it does not recreate the experience of being inside or walking around a property.

While we will focus primarily on how to create 3D and 360-degree tours, video tours are still an effective way to show buyers what it's like to be inside a home. A virtual tour gives potential buyers the ability to experience what it would be like to visit a property in person. To create a journey, agents must obtain the right equipment, take images, and upload them to the route creation software. Virtual tours are best for agents who want to show an ad using the most advanced marketing tools, promote their properties without relying entirely on in-person presentations, and compete against similar listings in their market.

A virtual tour is a simulation of an existing location, usually composed of a sequence of videos or still images. You can also use other multimedia elements, such as sound effects, music, narration, and text. It distinguishes itself from the use of live television to affect tele-tourism. Your audience should be at the center of your virtual tour.

For property developers, this is quickly becoming an essential way to show customers what spaces look like. International schools have also begun to take advantage of this technology to bring out the campus, courses and culture. That way, queries that come through virtual tours are already more likely to become. In short, you'll know exactly why you should start using virtual tours to grow your business.

In many ways, this experience resembles the crude 3D video games of the 1990s; in fact, several participants compared virtual tours to the 1993 video game MYST. While video games have progressed dramatically since then, virtual tours remain stuck in a very similar paradigm of interaction. Loading times are slow, the number of points with 360° coverage is often limited, and movement speeds (both turn and forward or reverse) are limited to ensure that users do not have vertigo. In a physical space, users can (unconsciously) choose how fast they turn their heads and how fast they walk.

This is due to the unknown “sixth sense”, called proprioception, or the ability to be aware of the position and movement of one's own body in space. Modern video games offer a limited, but still powerful, ability to control movement speed via the common dual-stick control system (the left stick for moving through space and the right stick that controls the camera angle). The distance the joystick moves from the center controls the speed of movement. Although this process is more conscious than turning your head quickly, it is still a relatively intuitive design.

Even mobile games like Fortnite have controls that can be used to move a character through a 3D space using a virtual version of the dual joystick setup. However, virtual tours seem to be stuck in an outdated paradigm of control. Some tours solved this orientation problem by labeling each arrow with the room it was leading to. This approach worked well for tours that only had one 360 image per room; however, for virtual tours that offer relatively free movement within space, it would be very unwise to have so many labeled arrows.

When free movement is enabled, place the text label for room names so that it does not get in the way (for example,. Some routes allowed users to teleport from one part of a space to another. One focus was a gallery of images labeled in the form of a filmstrip at the bottom of the screen to allow faster access to specific rooms. Others offered a bird's-eye floor plan view or a 3D dollhouse view that allowed for reduced context and quick navigation.

Even so, these solutions were riddled with bugs and stuttering performance, and users often became disoriented and lost their spatial knowledge when zooming in or out of these high-level views. Filmstrip-style navigation was often ignored; many of our participants interacted with it only after they were asked about it (at the end of a task or session, so as not to prime the user beforehand). Users of these virtual tours longed for an expert-led and guided experience, not dominant audio narration, but thoughtful details revealed on demand. For example, a virtual art gallery focusing on a single artwork rather than a 3D space-based approach, offered an interactive tour of a single painting, zooming in on several parts and offering expert information on brushstrokes, symbolic themes in painting, and how painting related to the artist's life and other works.

This example demonstrates that moving in space is not a precondition for an effective journey, but that what makes a “tour valuable to users is a rich detail and meaningful context”. Storytelling ties the threads together by integrating your company's unique vision, values, and selling points into your virtual journey. While the positive sentiment towards the option to take a virtual tour was fairly consistent, many users went about their businesses without interacting with the journey, demonstrating that they weren't really interested (and also demonstrating that one of the first UX rules “don't listen to their customers, observe their behavior instead). As Google already has the Street View feature on maps, they decided to allow users to extract the virtual view from a given location and insert it into their website or mobile app.

Google Street View certified virtual tour providers can also help you upload your 360° photo to Google to increase your local search and ranking. For example, many tourists in Italy are offered virtual reality tours for Oculus that allow them to explore ancient monuments restored to their full glory in 3D. Although it can be considered as a virtual experience, it is rather a journey in which you, as a spectator, have no control. Full-service virtual tours are often more expensive than interactive floor plans due to the photographer's expense, high-end equipment used, such as a DSLR camera and specialized software.

While some industries naturally use virtual tours more than others, the truth is that almost any company can benefit from a virtual tour and everything it has to offer. Even so, there are opportunities to provide valuable experiences by focusing on guided, experience-oriented tours, rather than the free exploration of a 3D space. You may think that virtual tours are only for visiting famous places, museums and historical sites, but this couldn't be further from the truth. A well-done virtual tour of your restaurant will always encourage your customers to consider taking a visit and, if they enjoy their first visit, they will definitely become returning customers.

In addition, virtual tours create great social media content that can be easily liked and shared, providing the company with free but invaluable advertising. We conducted a qualitative study with 16 users to discover the good, bad and dizzying aspects of modern virtual tours. . .

Roberta Meisels
Roberta Meisels

Subtly charming zombie aficionado. Subtly charming music guru. Amateur tv lover. Avid web junkie. Hipster-friendly tv ninja. General bacon fanatic.

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