Virtual tours. We all know you need them to market your multifamily community. We all know they are a great way to reach prospective residents in different areas. Even more, virtual tours are a great option to accompany in person tours and help qualify prospects before they tour in person. There are endless possibilities on how to use virtual tours to better market your community. However, things get a little more complex when landing on what type of tour is right for your community. Consider these questions:

  • Is it a 3D virtual tour your community needs?
  • Is it a 360 virtual tour?
  • Do you need to look into real estate virtual tour services?
  • Or should you create do-it-yourself (DIY) video tours?

It’s a lot to think about. In the end, the answer may not be one instead of the other but how these powerful tools can work together. Let’s look specifically at 3D virtual tours for real estate and DIY video tours.

3D virtual tours for real estate are a great top of funnel marketing tool to convert the initial interest on a listing platform or website. However, when it comes to taking that inbound lead and working with them through the lead-to-lease process, there are a few options that may work for your communities. Do-it-yourself video, both live and/ or pre-recorded, is the way to go.

Rather than think of these video types as a “versus,” consider that 3D virtual tours in real estate perform one task, DIY video tours perform another. Both are important and work hand in hand.

3D Virtual Tours

3D virtual tours for real estate are a fantastic top-of-funnel marketing piece. On a website or listing page, they are exactly what you’ll need to convert a simple website visitor into an interested lead.

Depending on your 3D virtual tour for real estate pricing, 3D cameras for real estate can produce well-done marketing pieces. Now, they are usually fairly expensive to have multiples – so for floor plans that number in the 30s-70s, you may have to pick and choose. That being said, a few of these video tours are still normally enough to give your audience that initial glimpse into what your community has to offer. And that’s what they are supposed to do. Virtual tour software that produces 3D virtual tours or 360 virtual tours are producing top-of-funnel results. They aren’t going to get you a signed lease, but they get leads in the door. Once that happens, a more personalized version of virtual tours need to come into play.

DIY Video Tours

To bring a prospect the rest of the way through the leasing funnel, you’ll need to provide a more authentic and transparent view of the space. Even the best 3D virtual tours for real estate lack the same authenticity and transparency a pre-recorded or live DIY virtual video tour offers. Live video in particular is the most transparent experience next to the prospect being there in person. While 3D and 360 virtual tours can be photoshopped or fabricated, there’s not much you can hide in a DIY live tour. Control is in the hands of the prospect. They can ask to see specific areas of the space. For example, if you have a smaller closet, you may just shut the door and hope they don’t ask to see it. But with a DIY live tour, they’ll ask and you can’t hide it. So while they might not like the small closet, they’ll like your transparency. Now, 3D virtual tours don’t HIDE things either. It’s just not an authentic, real view of the space. There isn’t a real-time aspect that caters to the prospects’ wants and needs. It doesn’t answer their questions or show the space exactly how they want to see it. That level of realness is important as it starters to build trust in an impactful and meaningful way.

Why Trust Matter

It may seem inconsequential, the trust factor. Why can’t a well-made 3D virtual tour for real estate provide the same things a DIY tour provides? No matter how good or expensive, and if you look at real estate virtual tour pricing, it can be very expensive, your 3D tour is, it doesn’t provide the transparency of DIY. And that trust and transparency is not only what converts leads to a signed lease, it is what makes them satisfied with the experience. They are going to see their exact unit, ask their question and want answers. They will know if the unit doesn’t live up to what they were previously shown during the live tour.

From the physical aspects of the home to the vibe of the community, everything the leasing professional promised must be the reality of the move-in experience. When Realync asked residents in a recent SatisFacts survey whether their apartment home was what they expected, 56% said it was as expected, 35.4% said it was better than expected. That’s right – over 91% of respondents said the apartment was as or better than expected following their virtual tour experience.

Learn more about if live tours affect prospective residents’ decision-making when signing a lease 

While a 3D virtual tour for real estate can do a lot for a multifamily communities on the front end, it’s not going to have those sorts of results. That only comes from real, transparent, authentic DIY virtual tours. So, don’t think of these two as competing. They both have their place in your virtual leasing strategy, working hand-in-hand to bring those casual website visitors all the way through to happy new residents.

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Close more leases, market more effectively, engage with residents and, as always, keep it real. Do you have a question or suggestion? Or want to learn more about what you read? Email us at We’d love to hear from you!