The future of design: virtual tour software

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The future of design: virtual tour software

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
HOUSE 1764:  Patios by ENDesigns Architectural Studio
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Technology continues to evolve, paving the way for a more streamlined process regarding… everything! And that includes the worlds of architecture, interior design and decorating, and even property development and –selling. 

One of the ways in which architects, designers and estate agents make their works more accessible to us regular folk is via virtual tours. In the past, prospective buyers were taken on a physical walk-through of a property, but new technology is changing all that. With virtual tour software, videos and walk-throughs, buyers can now explore a house on a virtual level anywhere in the world, at a time that is most convenient for them – without leaving their own home! 

1. What is a virtual tour?

To put it bluntly, a virtual tour is a simple sequence of photographs edited together (such as a series of pictures of a living room, from floor to ceiling and wall to wall) to make up a perfect, 360°, horizontal field of view. 

Thanks to virtual tours, potential property buyers can discover the ins and outs of a whole house without actually setting foot inside it. 

ENDesigns Architectural Studio from Nelspruit is one of the latest professionals to introduce these interactive virtual tours to grow their client base. With a rich background, an extensive group of experts and more than a decade of experience, ENDesigns Architectural Studio operates throughout the entire South Africa. 

2. The advantages of virtual tours

• A virtual tour saves time and costs for both professional (i.e. estate agent, architect) and client by allowing them to explore a property on their own time.

• It allows one to discover important architectural details, spatial features and finishes.

• Virtual tours make a listing ‘come to life’ in a way which no brochure or photographs ever can.

• Virtual tours enhance a professional’s business as they can put them on their own websites. 

• It allows a property to be shown all day, every day, to an unlimited amount of prospective buyers. 

3. Who benefits from virtual tour software?

The short answer is everyone – architects, interior designers, developers, estate agents, private clients, property investors, quantity surveyors, etc. 

But virtual tours also extend beyond the world of property purchasing. Hospitality, for example, is another industry that has benefited greatly from this technological evolution. More than 75% of travel tours are researched online before being booked, and that includes the accommodation, attractions, etc. With a virtual tour, one has the experience of already being there.

4. Virtual tours and property marketing

Marketing a proposed development is crucial. And honestly, a set of image renders and animation does not present the same sense of realism that a top-notch virtual tour does. Virtual tours place a potential investor in a certain space and allow them to better envision themselves owning that particular space. 

And let’s not forget that a virtual tour is also fun, which extends its marketing even further by word of mouth. 

5. The process of virtual tours

So how does a virtual tour get started? After a project discussion with an architect or property developer, a basic 3D model is designed from the architect’s detail drawings, but without materials and finishes. That is then sent for approval to ensure the structure’s basic details are correct, etc. 

Once approval is gained, the correct materials and finishes are discussed and applied to the 3D model. This will ensure greater detail for the design to make it look as realistic as possible. 

After natural environments are added and post-processing are applied, a playable virtual application is generated. This is then uploaded for the relevant target audience (i.e. buyer, developer) for viewing purposes, says the professional.  

Speaking of inspiring homeowners, let’s see these 7 interior design trends for 2019!

Find the FREE DOWNLOAD link to the interactive 3D game on the professional's profile page!

What are your thoughts on how virtual tours are influencing the process of looking at (and buying) properties?
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