Has it ever occurred to you to see the photos of a house, to imagine it one way and then go to see it in person and find out that it is completely different from what you thought? I’m not talking about rooms that are smaller than what they appear to be in an image. This is something that happens quite often since most photographers use wide-angle lenses to capture most of a room. What I’m talking about is the layout of a property. For example, by looking at the photo of a kitchen, you guess that the dining room is adjacent. Or by looking at the photo of a bedroom, you imagine that it is on the upper floor instead of on the lower floor.
Such a thing happened to me every time a real estate agent was sending me the photos of a house for sale whose floor plan was the same as the one I was hired to stage. The purpose of sharing this information was to give me an idea of how the competition staged the neighboring houses. Inevitably, every time I went to visit the soon-to-be property for sale to take photos and start creating the home staging plan, it surprised me how different it was from how I imagined it.
Obviously, the same thing happens to buyers as well, because what you see is not always what you get. This is a typical example of how interior photography, although absolutely indispensable when it comes to selling a house, is not capable of delivering all the information a buyer needs about a property.
Take this townhouse in West Seattle for example.
This townhouse was in a complex where an identical property was already on the market. After seeing the photos of that listing, I imagined that the rooms were structured differently from what they actually were. This is quite common especially when the spaces are so small that it is very hard to convey the information with a static image. Fortunately, my agent was far-sighted and asked me to do a 3D virtual tour of his property on top of the professional photos. And here it is:
The beauty of 3D virtual tours is that nothing is left to the imagination because you can virtually walk inside a house and see everything, even the most hidden corners.
3D virtual tours are a win-win for both sellers and buyers
While real estate photography tells you the story of a house from the most attractive point of view (the goal of every photographer is to produce images that attract the largest number of buyers – as it should be-), 3D virtual tours tell you the same story while maintaining a neutral point of view. This means that they show everything you need to know about a home.
For some realtors this is a problem though. Their objection is that many buyers decide not to visit a home when they realize that it doesn’t offer what they are looking for. This, however, is not a bad thing, on the contrary, it is a very good thing because it auto-select only the buyers who are really interested to see the house in person and eventually make an offer. The result is a considerable time (and stress) saver not only for the buyers and their agent but also for the sellers and their agent. Besides, with each virtual tour it is possible to order a floor plan of the house, which is undoubtedly an added value in terms of marketing and promotion.