At Scene3D we’ve created a commercial property virtual tour for hundreds of spaces, including everything from pop up studios to multi-story office blocks. One of our key commitments is to use this wealth of experience to help educate potential clients on the benefits of virtual tours, so they can make an informed decision when it comes to marketing their property.
Are you looking for a way to make your commercial space stand out in the decision-making process? A virtual tour of your commercial property can help it stand out to new prospective clients.
In this article, we’ll explain:
- Why use a virtual tour to market your commercial property?
- What commercial properties benefit from a virtual tour?
- Virtual tours Vs video tours
- How to create a virtual tour
Why Use A Virtual Tour To Market Your Commercial Property?
Virtual Tours Get Your Commercial Property Noticed
When potential tenants are searching for a new space the process tends to go something like this: the agent will conduct a market survey to show their client what options are available, the client will narrow down a “shortlist” of properties, the agent and the client then go out and view the shortlist in person.
No one wants to waste time viewing a property that isn’t fit for purpose, so in the current climate tenants are very selective about which few properties they go and view (COVID has further exaggerated this). When selecting which properties to shortlist, clients will quickly disregard properties with poor imagery or incomplete information.
Virtual tours give the client the opportunity to explore your commercial property remotely, giving a comprehensive and detailed view of your space. Potential tenants will be far more likely to shortlist your property if they are confident about what is on offer.
Virtual Tours Make Your Commercial Property Memorable
When searching for the right home for their business, a client will often view a wide range of properties. This can sometimes lead to ‘property fatigue’, where every building starts to blend into one.
A virtual tour gives a client the chance to experience your commercial property at their leisure. By spending time exploring your space in a similar manner to an in person viewing, clients have the opportunity to form an emotional impression of your property. This makes your commercial property vastly more memorable than competitive properties using pictures alone.
This means it will be firmly in their mind during the decision making processes and can easily be referenced when deciding between properties.
Easily Connect With Potential Clients From Further Afield
When marketing a commercial property it can be important to consider potential tenants from other cities or even overseas. Often businesses are looking to expand into new territories, new markets and to take advantage of new talent pools. However, the geographical distance to these new areas can cause some logistical headaches.
A virtual tour makes it easier for potential clients to view a property from wherever in the world they are, helping them decide if an in person viewing is worth the travel. Once the client has had the opportunity to view the property in person they can use the virtual tour as a reference to answer any questions they have and save on further unnecessary visits.
A virtual tour can also be helpful if a client is a larger organisation where approval comes from out-of-town or overseas executives.
Virtual Tour Of Summit House – Created On Behalf Of The Office Group.
What Commercial Properties Benefit From A Virtual Tour?
As we’ve covered already, one of the great aspects of a virtual tour is the comprehensive & detailed view it offers of a property. This can have its drawbacks however, as a virtual tour will not just show the good but the bad and the ugly as well.
This means it’s important to consider if a virtual tour is the right tool for your commercial property. For example, older or run down spaces in need of updating can often not present as well as newer, more modern properties. Generally (although not exclusively), virtual tours work best for commercial spaces that are ready to go with fresh decoration or a refitted interior. This remains true for both furnished and unfurnished offices, whole buildings or specific floors / areas of a building.
Size is another important factor to consider when planning for a virtual tour. Virtual tours are great for featuring a particular suite or office but trying to showcase a very large space can sometimes be confusing for an end user if not labeled & linked correctly. Some virtual tour software will now offer users a navigation menu, making exploring a larger property a more streamlined and user friendly experience.
Virtual Tours Vs Video Tours
At a glance, a video tour and a virtual tour seem like a very similar product. They are both designed to market a commercial property online, they both can deliver great results when used correctly and they both are growing in popularity. The reality is that video tours and virtual tours are vastly different types of media, each with its own uses and advantages. A well rounded marketing plan has room for both.
A video tour often works best as a tool to catch a potential tenant’s eye, using clever editing, shot selection and framing to quickly highlight some of the best features of a space. Video tours are generally used early in the sales process to gain interest in a property and should tell a story about the space while showing off the highlights. It’s a good idea to include captions, a voice over, or both, to give context about the property and guide the viewer’s experience.
A virtual tour, while also great to gain initial interest, really comes into play later in the sales cycle and the decision-making process. A virtual tour can be hosted directly on your website or property listing to aid in lead generation, it can be sent directly to a client or agent prior to the shortlist selection, and it can be used as a reference after an in person viewing.
Virtual tours and video tours are often thought of as interchangeable but when utilised correctly they can be a powerful 1, 2 punch to the competition.
How Create A Virtual Tour
Doing It Yourself
Advances in camera technology and virtual tour software mean producing a virtual tour without professional help is now a reality for many businesses. It can still be a time consuming and tricky process if you’re not ready, so before you create a virtual tour it’s important to make sure you’ve done the necessary preparation.
Firstly, consider what kind of virtual tour you’d like to create, will it be a 3D virtual tour or a 360 tour? (we have a great blog post outlining the difference that you can read here).Then consider what equipment you’ll need. It’s now possible to create a virtual tour using only a smartphone and a virtual tour application so that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to spend thousands of pounds on fancy camera equipment. It is important to ensure the virtual tour does the property justice however, so spending some time researching the best tools will pay dividends in the long run.
Finally have a plan for how you want to capture the property including a tour route through the property and any points of interest you may wish to highlight. To help you construct a plan here are a few best practices to follow:
- Make sure you schedule a time to photograph the space when no one is in the building and the property is tidy.
- On the day of the shoot, always first walk the space and clear clutter. Make sure to open all blinds and doors, turn on all lights, and make the space look presentable.
- Determine where you want to start and end the tour before you begin.
- It’s also important to make sure each photo transitions smoothly to the next. You need to make sure a door or entry point is open in the shot to make the transitions flow.
Hiring A Professional
Shooting a virtual tour in-house, while often more cost effective, can have its own risks. If not produced correctly it could lead to a subpar end product that doesn’t do justice to your commercial property. If you want to ensure a high quality virtual tour that showcases your space in the best possible way, then working with a professional is often the best way to go.
A professional virtual tour provider will be able to advise you on aspects such as the best time of day to shoot, the best process to produce the tour, what kind of key pieces of info to include, to name a few. A professional will also often have the latest equipment and the experience to make the most effective virtual tour possible. This service is usually priced on a per square foot basis while some charge a base fee up to a certain size, then per square foot after that (we have a great article that explains what your virtual tour is likely to cost – you can read that here).
The reality is that while it can initially seem more costly, entrusting a professional virtual tour provider is often more cost and time effective while leaving you with a far superior, bespoke end product.
We hope that has been a helpful overview of how best to implement a virtual tour into your commercial property marketing strategy. If you want to learn more about virtual tours we have a great learning hub full of a range of useful articles. Alternatively if you’d like to speak to one of our experts they’ll be able to answer any questions you may have. Click here to visit our contact page.