VIRTUAL TOUR vs VIRTUAL REALITY: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
March 25, 2017 | Richard Sites
Virtual tours have been a part of the real estate world for a long time. They come in various forms but have now been joined by Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Let’s take a look at the differences.
Virtual tours, as used in real estate, come in 3 different forms:
1. Still photos
Many times a virtual tour is simply a collection of still photos set to music and with some sort of movement added, usually panning across the shot from side to side.
Others zoom in or out on the photo. Both of these tricks are designed to make the picture look as if it was moving.
Sometimes a virtual tour will add video to help create the actual “feel” of the house. Video can be very realistic, especially when narrated by the agent rather than set to music.
Now, we are seeing live videos using Facebook Live, Instagram or Periscope. These live feeds allow buyers to capture the feel of the home “as it happens”.
Agents can also use these live feeds during open houses. These allow agents to broadcast “live” and to walk through the house. Of course, the drawback is viewers need to also be “live” to see the broadcast unless it is saved.
Aerial tours are the future of real estate photography. Here’s a 4K video I had done for one of my listings at 16 Marina Gardens Drive in Palm Beach Gardens. Since one of the main selling features is the waterfront location and the ocean access a high definition, aerial video is really the best way to showcase the home.
And with the maneuverability of drones, you can fly in, under, around and through a home to show it off.
Virtual reality, not augmented reality, is different from a virtual tour. In the virtual reality world, the viewer wears some sort of special goggles or headset which allows them to see a property in 3-D and move through the space as if they were actually there.
There are some 3-D programs out there right now which duplicate this experience, but the true VR experience is done with these goggles.
My prediction is that VR, like QR codes, is never going to catch on for a couple of reasons.
First, you have to wear a headset or goggles and I don’t picture women doing this.
Second, you do this is an office environment which means there are none of the other senses helping to cement the buying decision. For example, there is no curb appeal with a VR headset on. Buying decisions are made when all the senses are involved not eliminated.
In the VR world there are no scents or aromas and no birds singing in the back yard. There is no sound of water as it splashes into the pool from the spa or fountain. There is no soft music playing in the background. And these sensory stimulation are critical to the buyer.
If you don’t believe me, visit any of our new homes for sale in this area and look at how they are staged. Great care is given to creating a pleasing environment not giving you some goggles to wear.
The Take Away
When it comes to selling your home, stick to the basics and your house will sell. Provide a good value and your house will sell. Stimulate the buyers senses and the home will sell.
If you would like to have a conversation about getting your house sold, contact me at 561.762.4073.