Virtual Tours for Buildings Not Built Yet

3D Tours for Lease-Ups: Showcasing Apartments Before They’re Built with Virtual Tours!

July 2, 2018 11:21 am Published by Leave your thoughts
Last Modified: May 22, 2024 4:29 pm
Reading Time: 9 minutes

We all know how great 3D tours are, and we all know how much our team here at Market Apartments LOVES 3D tours. Why? Because they’re effective! They not only boost leads but also keep users on your page longer, enhancing conversions by up to 80%!

But what if your building is still a work in progress? Can you still offer an engaging virtual tour? Absolutely! In this detailed guide, we’ll discuss how you can craft an enticing 3D tour even before your building is complete, and we’ll delve into why providing virtual tours during the construction phase is a game-changer for lease-ups.

Engage Potential Residents During Construction

We’ve talked a lot about 3D virtual tours, but what if your building is still under construction and you don’t have a ready unit yet? The period before your building is complete is a golden opportunity to secure leases. Waiting for plumbing and electricity to be installed is not an option when you want to maximize occupancy rates.

However, you can’t exactly give a tour of the construction site with all its raw elements! But thanks to new technology, you don’t have to wait for your building crew, you can offer your potential residents a virtual tour so they can see what the space will be; not what it is at the moment.

The saying goes: dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Well, we say: showcase what the space will evolve into, not its current construction phase!

Understanding Apartment Lease-Up Marketing

A lease-up property is one that is still under construction, and apartment lease-up marketing encompasses all the marketing strategies you can use to promote and lease your newly constructed or renovated apartment building. With lease-up marketing, we want to generate interest, attract prospective tenants, and sign leases for the available apartments during the lease-up phase.

During a lease-up, the objective is to fill your building’s units as quickly as possible to maximize your occupancy rates and start generating revenue. Lease-up marketing is crucial because your new building won’t have an established reputation or any existing residents that might bring you referrals.

There are a lot of strategies you could use to market your lease-up, but we want to discuss why a virtual tour is so effective, even (and perhaps especially) when your property is still under construction.

Accuracy and Realism of 3D Virtual Tours

3D virtual tours are highly valued for their precision in showing what future apartment builds will look like, playing a key role in apartment marketing. Advanced rendering technologies and detailed architectural inputs make these tours a realistic preview of what to expect.

High-resolution images and accurate spatial data provide potential residents with a clear and interactive view of the apartment before it’s even built. This accuracy builds trust with potential tenants and enhances their ability to imagine the space as their future home, which is essential in competitive rental markets.

Additionally, the realism of these tours comes from the careful attention to detail in the digital modeling process. Architects and designers work closely together, using real building plans and design specifications to craft these virtual environments.

Why Offer Virtual Tours Before the Building is Finished?

  1. Generate Early Interest: By offering virtual tours before the building is completed, you can generate excitement and build anticipation among potential residents. People are often eager to get a glimpse of what the finished product will look like, and providing them with a virtual tour allows them to visualize themselves in the space and envision their future home.
  2. Pre-Lease Units: Virtual tours give you a powerful tool for pre-leasing units. Interested individuals can explore the floor plans, amenities, and overall ambiance of the building, even before it’s fully constructed. This early engagement allows you to secure leases in advance, increasing your occupancy rates and reducing the time it takes to fill vacancies.
  3. Competitive Edge: In a competitive rental market, offering virtual tours before the building is finished sets you apart from other properties. It demonstrates your commitment to innovation and providing an exceptional leasing experience. Prospective residents will appreciate the convenience of being able to explore the property from anywhere, at any time, giving you an edge in attracting and converting leads.

Creating an Apartment Virtual Tour Before It’s Built

The idea of offering a new apartment lease-up tour before a building is built is intriguing. In general, a lease-up tour can be a smart strategy to spark interest and pre-lease units before a building is built. By utilizing virtual tours, digital marketing, and incentives, you can design a successful pre-leasing campaign that will position your building for success.

You might be thinking, “But don’t I need a functional unit to create a virtual tour?” The good news is that you don’t! We’ve been using a comprehensive 3-step process that turns photos of your new construction into an immersive 3D virtual tour. Let’s dive into the details:

Step One: Create a cubemap

First, you need a cubemap of your apartment. A cubemap is a set of six individual images that capture the entire environment from different angles. These images cover all directions: front, back, left, right, top, and bottom. If you’re unsure about what a cubemap is or you don’t have one for your building, reach out to your multi-unit apartment marketing firm! Chances are, your architect has one for you or can easily create one!

As an example, we took a cubemap from the recent Pyeong Chang Olympics:

Virtual Apartment Tours for Lease-Ups!

Step 2: Turn Cubemap into an Equirectangular Image

Now, we’ll take the cubemap and convert it into an equirectangular image. An equirectangular image is a 2D representation of the entire 3D environment captured in the cubemap. It’s a flat, rectangular image that contains a distorted panoramic view of the space. While this term may sound complicated, don’t worry—this is where our expertise comes in. That’s why you hire an apartment marketing agency anyway!

Our programmers took this cubemap and turned it into the very strange-looking, aptly named “equirectangular” image. Don’t worry, no one will see this image!

Equirectangular image of Pyeong Chang Olympics we used to create a virtual tour

Step 3: Enjoy your new virtual tour for your lease-up!

With the transformed equirectangular image, you’re ready to create your virtual tour. Utilizing specialized software and tools, the equirectangular image is mapped onto a 3D model of your apartment space. This process creates a fully interactive and immersive virtual tour that potential residents can explore on your website. They can navigate through rooms, zoom in on details, and get a realistic feel for the future apartment. It’s like having an open house experience, even before the building is completed!

Yep. It’s pretty magic. Check out the finished product below!

3D Virtual Tour of Pyeong Chang Olympics Made From Cubemap

Can Updates be Made to a 3D Tour and How?

Absolutely, updates to a 3D tour once it’s created are possible and often necessary as the construction project progresses. This adaptability allows for the integration of real-time changes and enhancements, keeping the virtual representation up-to-date with the actual state of the development.

For example, should there be an upgrade in fixtures or a layout change in the apartment design, these modifications can be swiftly reflected in the 3D tour. The update process typically involves adjusting the underlying digital models and textures used in the tour, which can be done by the technical team responsible for the virtual tour’s creation.

As new amenities become finalized or decorative details are decided upon, these elements can be added to the tour to enrich the prospective tenant’s viewing experience. This is done by incorporating new images or updating the interactive elements within the tour software.

Costs of 3D Virtual Tours

The cost of a 3D virtual tour depends on many aspects, including visual complexity, project size, and technology. Basic 360-degree virtual tours cost $300–$500. These are usually enough for small residences or buildings where consistency isn’t important.

More complex projects with interactive aspects, high-definition rendering, and comprehensive customization can cost more. To enhance immersion, these advanced tours may incorporate 3D modeling and virtual reality. Such tours can cost $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the scope.

Service providers also differ in their pricing models. Some may offer a flat rate, while others could charge based on the square footage of the property or the number of rooms to be included in the tour.

Comparison of 3D Tours, AR, and VR in Virtual Property Showcasing

3D tours, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) each offer unique benefits in the realm of virtual property showcases. 3D tours provide a straightforward, accessible experience that doesn’t require special equipment; users can explore properties via a computer or smartphone, navigating through high-resolution, 360-degree images of the space. This method is highly effective for giving potential tenants a realistic view of the property’s layout and design before it’s built.

In contrast, AR and VR offer more immersive experiences but require additional hardware, like VR headsets. AR enhances the real-world environment by overlaying digital information onto it, useful during in-person visits to a construction site, for example, to see the finished layout overlaid on the existing space.

VR creates a completely immersive environment, ideal for engaging potential tenants deeply, allowing them to feel as if they are walking through the apartment, which can be more persuasive and emotionally engaging. These technologies, while more complex, provide a deeper sense of presence and space, potentially accelerating leasing decisions by enhancing the viewer’s connection to the property.

Best Platforms For Hosting 3D Tours of Apartments

For hosting 3D tours of apartments, several robust platforms stand out due to their user-friendly interfaces and powerful features. Matterport is widely recognized for its high-quality 3D imaging and virtual experience creation, making it a top choice for property marketers. This platform allows users to navigate through properties seamlessly, providing a realistic sense of space and design.

Another excellent option is Zillow 3D Home, which integrates directly with listing pages, enhancing the visibility of virtual tours to potential renters browsing online listings.

Additionally, Realync is a notable mention for its real-time virtual tour capabilities, allowing leasing agents to interact with potential tenants live, which can significantly personalize the viewing experience.

Enhancing Your Virtual Tour

It’s time to think creatively to enhance your 3D tour. You don’t want a standard virtual tour of your residence that makes potential tenants lose interest. You want to engage them, capture their attention, and create an unforgettable experience. But how exactly do you achieve this? We have plenty of strategies to help you impress your audience!

Increasing interactivity is a proven method of making your virtual tour interesting. It’s important to engage viewers’ attention in a way that sparks their curiosity and encourages exploration. Consider adding clickable hotspots or icons to the tour to encourage visitors to learn more about specific features, amenities, or room details. Making it interactive helps motivate your viewers to stay actively involved in the tour.

To highlight the apartment’s incredible amenities, elegant finishes, or stunning design elements, you need to go beyond the ordinary. Show off what makes it unique! Get creative with visual cues that catch the eye, text overlays that beckon viewers to discover more, and handy pop-up info boxes that reveal hidden secrets. By emphasizing what sets your property apart from the rest, you’ll have viewers eager to know more.

To elevate the engagement level, consider adding a friendly voiceover. Imagine a warm and knowledgeable narrator guiding viewers through the tour, providing insights about each room, and pointing out the coolest features. It’s like having a personal guide accompany you on the virtual journey. This narration adds depth to the experience, ensuring viewers stay engaged and truly immerse themselves in the virtual tour.

Navigation plays a crucial role too. We’re not just taking viewers from point A to point B. We’re giving them the freedom to roam, explore, and curate their own adventure. Imagine offering viewers an interactive floor plan that allows them toexplore different areas of the apartment with a simple click. It’s like having a virtual map at their fingertips, granting them the freedom to navigate and delve into the spaces that catch their interest. This interactive floor plan adds a personalized touch to the virtual tour and enhances their overall enjoyment.

By harnessing the power of interactivity, highlighting the apartment’s unique allure, adding a captivating voiceover, and providing seamless navigation with an interactive floor plan, you’ll weave an enchanting experience that leaves potential tenants spellbound. So go ahead, create a virtual tour tailored to the tastes of your target audience. With this captivating experience, you’ll captivate viewers and ignite their desire to make your apartment their new home. Get ready to witness the magic unfold during your pre-leasing period!

Post Your Property Tours to Social Media!

The best part of having a virtual tour is how shareable it is! People want to see your apartments. They want to get an idea of the space and decide if it will be the best fit for them. This gives you a chance to get the word out about property features, creating a virtual reality with video and images that can highlight the space. Potential tenants will be able to see themselves in your community and imagine their furniture, family, and lifestyle in the apartment. Since video tours like this let you give people a clear glimpse into what your apartments will be like when they are finished, you can start generating interest and signing leases ahead of time! 

Don’t let the construction phase of your building hinder your leasing efforts. Embrace the power of 3D tours to engage potential residents and showcase the future of your apartments for rent. By leveraging technology and implementing a strategic pre-leasing campaign, you can generate excitement, secure leases in advance, and set your building up for success. Offering virtual tours before the building is finished provides a competitive edge and allows potential residents to envision themselves in their future homes. So, why wait? Start creating your 3D tour today and unlock the leasing potential of your upcoming lease-up!

Remember, at Market Apartments, we’re here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you create captivating 3D tours for your lease-up, get a head start on your lease-up marketing, and optimize your pre-leasing campaign for success.

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This post was written by

Isabella Housel

Isabella Housel is a passionate and versatile professional writer with a deep love for words and a commitment to crafting compelling content that engages, informs, and inspires. With many years of experience in the industry, she has honed her skills across various genres, from creative storytelling to informative articles and technical documentation.

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