What is a virtual tour? Though navigating through a virtual tour may be simple and easy, there’s a complex process to each 3D property scan that goes on behind the scenes of this immersive and engaging new technology.
In today’s blog post we’re going to explore the history and technology behind virtual tours and why it’s revolutionising the way that millions of people do business.
What is 3D property scanning?
3D property scanning involves using 3D camera technology to capture a space. Special software then “stitches” these 3D scans together to create a digital version of a real-life space – from the smallest flat to the largest office block, we are able to 3D scan the space to create a virtual tour that’s accessible from any device, anywhere in the world.
Historically, 3D scanning was used as a surveying tool to allow surveyors and architects to have a visual representation of the space. For many years it was a tool that was used exclusively within that industry alone.
Around four years ago, people started to combine photography with the 3D scanning equipment to create a 3D virtual tour that has great commercial value for people outside of architecture and surveying – and that’s how commercial 3D property scanning was born!
How does the technology work?
When we conduct 3D property scans we use a special camera that captures both visible and invisible light to map the space.
The camera works by digitally capturing the dimensions of physical objects using a line of laser light. It scans the room, taking in the exact size and shape of it and it then uploads a digital 3-dimensional representation into 3D visualisation software.
Each of our 3D virtual property tours are captured in 4k quality photography and are so accurate, we are even able to take measurements from the model without having to revisit the site.
They offer an exciting, innovative and engaging way to view any space.
What are the benefits of a virtual tour?
When you decide to move homes or offices, one of the first things you do is visit RightMove or Zoopla to find a suitable property and arrange a viewing.
But how many times have you fallen in love with a property and upon visiting, found that it’s fallen far short of your expectations? That’s because it’s very difficult to accurately represent the size and shape of a property using pictures alone.
Similarly, property viewings are incredibly time-consuming. It can take months and countless viewings to find a suitable new home and if you’re moving to an entirely different location, this makes things even more of a logistical challenge.
These challenges are not exclusive to estate agents and home renters/buyers. 3D property scanning is revolutionising the way that people view properties for a number of different reasons. People can use 3D tours to decide on their next home, their wedding venue, which hotel to stay at, or even their university campus. 3D property scanning is an immersive, cost-effective way to save businesses and consumers time AND money. They allow the space to be instantly accessible for people worldwide, as well as people who find it difficult to travel due to health reasons or disabilities.
Similarly, a virtual tour has many added benefits for your website, too. They have been shown to significantly increase the time people spend on your website, which improves your website’s overall SEO.
They can be linked to your business page on Google Maps meaning that anyone who searches for you can have access to the virtual tour of your property. This technology can also be linked with Google’s ‘street view’ features, allowing an end user to virtually “walk” from the street into a business.
Check out this 3D property scan we did of Cubana, a tapas bar in Sheffield as an example:
Can I add more information to a virtual tour?
Absolutely! One of the main benefits of 3D property scanning is that they’re completely bespoke. You may want just a simple, 3D virtual tour of a building that shows people what each room looks like. Or you may want something entirely more complex.
Within each virtual tour, you have the option to add in “data points”. For example, for a wedding venue, as the tour enters the main room you can add in a data point of text that tells the viewer what the room capacity is.
Similarly, you could add in another data point with photos of what the room has looked like at past weddings so potential customers can see what can be done with the space.
You could even add in an audio file of potential music that could be played as the bride walks down the aisle. The sky really is the limit when it comes to the additional information you can add in.
Data-points can contain text, pictures, video, audio or links to external sources so there are a variety of ways they can be utilised to help showcase your business to the world.
How long does it take to create a virtual tour?
3D property scanning is faster than you might think. They roughly take from around 90 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the size of the space.
We pride ourselves on giving all of our clients an incredibly fast turnaround. Once we have visited the property to do the scan, we then deliver the completed work to you within 3-5 working days.
How much does a virtual tour cost?
One of the biggest misconceptions around virtual tours is that they costs the earth. And whilst each virtual tour is bespoke and therefore requires an individual quote depending on the intricacy of the space, 3D property scans start from as low as £200 + VAT.
As there are so many variables that can effect the cost of a virtual tour we wrote a fully guide to virtual tour pricing. You can read that here.
Get in touch
If you have any questions about 3D property scanning, we’d be delighted to help.
We’re experts in our field and we truly love what we do. We’ve helped hundreds of businesses across the UK to market their properties in a modern, innovative way.
View our latest projects portfolio and get in touch with a member of the team.