Following the hype of virtual reality apartment tours, came the 3D apartment tours. Unlike full virtual reality, 3D apartment tours have actually become rather popular as a go-to experience that sits on multifamily property websites. Whenever you search for an apartment tour in Los Angeles, New York, Boston or Chicago, you have most likely seen the use of 3D virtual tours on the likes of property websites or listing platforms like Apartments.com.
If you haven’t yet seen one, the typical 3D apartment tour will be a manipulation of still images onto a floor plan that allows the user to click through the apartment to ‘see what they want to see’ on their own. At first glance, 3D virtual apartment tours are flashy and do capture the attention of a website visitor. However, once you get into the experience, a prospective resident does not receive anything beyond an altered and filtered experience from the point-in-time that the 3D tour was created. The big complaint, gap, miss, and downfall of 3D apartment tours? They rarely show more than just the model unit and do not instill any trust or transparency. While 3D apartment tours do look good on a website and do get eyes and clicks, there’s an inherent lack of personalization, call-to-action, and, ultimately, conversion.
Why does the functionality of 3D virtual tours stop at simply being a fancy marketing tool for website? First of all, prospective residents want to see “their” unit. Due to the cost of 3D virtual tour cameras or of hiring a consultant to capture, edit, publish, and host the 3D tours for you, these experiences are not cheap. Nor are they quick to produce with the average 3D tour for a multifamily unit taking over 2 hours to capture then additional time to build the 3D environment. Those two factors combined are why we typically only see a 3D apartment tour of just the model unit, or on some occasions, a couple floor plans and an amenity or two. Another pitfall of 3D tours? They cannot capture outside. Therefore you cannot use them to showcase outdoor amenities or balconies.
At the end of the day, consumers today are desiring real-ness and authenticity. If you want authentic virtual tours for your multifamily community, look to DIY video tours and live virtual tours for your onsite teams.