A new reality for digital marketing in real estate: 360 Photography

360 photography ricoh theta

Sep 2019

Virtual tours and 360 technology have elevated digital marketing on real estate projects by giving users a more intimate look at the physical experience of a space. This form of augmented reality helps developers raise capital, brokers quicken leasing times, and helps the public with wayfinding and exploration.

What is 360 technology?

Augmented reality is the step between a flat, two-dimensional rendering and a fully immersive virtual reality experience. It sits on top of something you already use in your reality. Imagine holding your phone on an empty lot and seeing an entire project before you that doesn’t exist. While the land in front of you is full of grass and weeds, your phone shows the exterior and interior of a stunning, mixed-use development and how its design and appearance impacts the surrounding area.

Before AR really took off, virtual reality was popular with architecture firms by putting on a pair of goggles to explore the interior and exterior of a building. While this provides an immersive project experience, it requires expensive equipment and takes up a lot of studio space. It’s less convenient to use virtual reality, because you have to be in a certain place for the experience.

With augmented reality, this experience is far more attainable. It allows developers and architects to sell their vision of a project before it evens breaks ground. 360 technology has unlocked the doors to so many ways you can experience a space.

This technology didn’t even exist several years ago, and now it’s become far more accessible and easier to use than ever. During its initial introduction to the mainstream market, the technology was extraordinarily expensive, and required a specialist to operate it. But now, a large portion of the population holds the tools to unlocking it in their hands; smartphones.

In short, augmented reality is the future, and accessibility is its superpower.

Impact on real estate

This form of augmented reality, though relatively new, has proved to be a worthwhile investment. By making both residential and commercial property tours available remotely, AR can help speed up decision making.

In addition to existing space, it also plays a role in proposed projects. Flat renderings cannot always provide a perfect look at what a developer or architect is proposing on on an empty lot, or dilapidated old building. But with augmented reality, looking at both smaller touches and the big picture are far easier. Just how will the wooden beams look with the brick walls, and large bay windows? What will visitors and patrons see when they look around? How will it feel, visually, to look from the brick of the building to the river behind it? These questions can be answered before the project is even built.

In addition to helping developers and architects raise capital faster, this technology can also benefit brokers by quickening leasing times. Perhaps there’s an out-of-state client that is looking to open a new office as quickly as possible to keep up with growth in a prospective city. Photos and videos may help, but a virtual, three-dimensional tour of the space in real time with stunning graphics and accurate visuals can be the key to a smart, solid business decision.

360 technology and its deployment through augmented reality is changing the way that consumers, customers, and businesses are consuming visual information about real estate.

Why this will impact your next project

Augmented reality can really hit a homerun in the marketing of a project. You know that your space is beautiful, unique, functional, and cutting edge – but how exactly do you show your audience?

Flat renderings or bullet-points on emails and brochures can help connect potential investors, buyers, tenants, and partners to your project. But 360 photography, tours and, video takes them to an entirely new level.

For the average client, customer, or tenant, leveraging this sort of visual material was financially inaccessible a few years back. But now, it’s far easier to to bring a project to the edge of technology in the real estate space.

How we inject this technology

At Authentic Form and Function, we deploy 360 technology in a few ways. We can capture 360 photography and video ourselves, or convert architectural renderings into stunning 360 visual experiences.

We’re also a Matterport-enabled partner, meaning we can compile 360 tours of a space and showcase a seamless virtual tour online as well. Matterport, a real estate industry leading in 3D technology, recently announced support for 360 cameras, including the Ricoh Theta series that we utilize for onsite visits.

No matter the project type—from new development hinging on architectural renderings, to an adaptive reuse space that can leverage a 360 tour—augmented reality is now taking shape as a must-have on any real estate destination on the web.

Experience 360 technology today

To experience a piece of this technology today, simply browse the tour above. Or, if you’re curious about exploring a space yet to be entirely built, we invite you to view Houston’s m•k•t project to see various methods in action.

Have questions about how augmented reality can come to life for your next urban project? Don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

360 photography ricoh theta

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