Virtual Tours vs. Static Renderings


According to CDN, approximately 96% of real estate buyers begin their search for a house on the Internet. This means they visit real estate agency websites to browse the selection and schedule tours of homes.

  • But what if, instead of static images posted on web resources, they could watch videos created with 3D technology or even immerse themselves in digital tours through VR headsets?

That would be ideal: seeing with their eyes an object located hundreds of miles away without leaving the comfort of their homes. And that’s the key advantage of Virtual Tours vs. Static Renderings.


Digital Tours: The Next Generation of Real Estate Advertising

To effectively sell properties, it’s crucial to capture the interest of potential buyers in the property they are considering. Virtual tours provide an immersive experience that allows them to:

  • Take a virtual stroll through both the exterior and interior.
  • Examine the furniture and even interact with it.
  • Access detailed descriptions of all the items.
  • Study the layout and design.
  • Receive guided narration throughout the tour.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities offered by digital tours.

Incredible Detail

Virtual tours offer incredible detail, thanks to being created using professional 3D software like 3DsMax. As a result, each element is meticulously designed to replicate real-life shapes and proportions.

  • This means that visitors to these tours can experience impressive detail, enticing them to explore the digital world for as long as possible.

With carefully crafted textures, topology, and realistic lighting (considering all sources, such as windows and lamps), the virtual environment truly comes to life, even when viewed on a standard monitor. And when the tour is experienced through a VR headset, it opens up even more possibilities.

Ability to Interact

Users can interact with objects using input devices (whether classic mice and keyboards or VR controllers). They can open drawers, windows, and doors, turn lights on in rooms, adjust faucets, and more.

  • If the input device includes haptic feedback, users can experience tactile sensations, enhancing the sense of immersion.

These features make virtual tours an ideal marketing tool in the real estate industry. However, it’s important to consider a few drawbacks before deciding to invest in such a project.

Drawbacks of Digital Tours

To create a digital tour, you will need the help of experts and patience, as the process can be quite time-consuming. The development timeframe depends on several factors:

  • The scale of the project.
  • The level of detail required.
  • The number of objects within the location.
  • The technology and rendering quality.
  • Adaptation for VR equipment.

If we consider a version with average detail and accuracy, the project may take about a week to develop. However, a highly detailed version that involves modeling all objects from scratch rather than using stock files could take over a month. By the way, the project’s price also depends on these factors.

Project Cost

The cost of creating and fine-tuning visualizations for architectural objects (3D tours) varies depending on several factors, which include:

  • Size of the building, surrounding area, number of rooms, etc.
  • Number of hotspots and their density.
  • Need for tags and additional signs for objects.
  • Rendering quality and time spent configuring scenes.
  • Extra tasks for visualization of premises (change of lighting, etc.).
  • Additional settings for positioning and moving the camera in digital space.

All this affects the price tag of the project, which can vary from several hundred to thousands of dollars. For complex orders (for several visualizations within one project), the price may be personalized.

Technical Limitations

Not all real estate platforms support 3D tours, especially websites that use outdated tech stacks.

For this type of visualization to work correctly, it’s essential to include specific modules for streaming rendering or players capable of running the prepared tours. This drawback can be a reason for real estate agencies to refrain from using digital tours.

Alternatively, it’s possible to use CGI scenes with detailed furniture and static objects to provide a basic understanding of the property’s interior and exterior.


Static Visualizations: Available to Everyone

When comparing Renderings vs. Virtual Tours, the former holds an advantage in several cases, such as:

  • When there’s a need for a commercial presentation of the concept without much detail, e.g., through images on the website.
  • If the focus is on highlighting a specific detail in construction.
  • To emphasize a unique feature in architecture.
  • To publish property visualization in the portfolio of an architect or designer in social networks, on profile websites.
  • When the project budget is limited, and it is not reasonable to spend it on 3D tour visualization services.

Furthermore, static visualizations do not require a separate engine since the underlying framework of the website handles the graphics processing of this type. There are also a few additional advantages worth mentioning regarding traditional visualizations.

Speed of Preparation for Publication

The terms of preparation of static images are shorter than visualization of 3D tours, provided that exceptional detailing of the object in the scene is not required. That is, in a shorter time, you can get several static images that will partially convey the charm of the original.

Consequently, real estate agents can publish this content more quickly and start promoting the property. This is a significant advantage for commerce, including pricing for such projects.

Minimal Cost

To estimate the project budget, you can refer to the table below, which provides average pricing for services:

Primarily, this applies to static scenes, although their cost can be significantly lower than the values indicated in the table, thanks to order customization.

While the advantages are quite clear, the drawbacks of static visualizations are worth mentioning separately.


Step Back: Drawbacks of Static Images

It’s understandable that even in a fully immersive 3D tour, you won’t be able to capture a real estate property’s full grandeur and aesthetics. However, when it comes to static images, the situation is even worse in this regard. There are several reasons, such as:

  • Presenting a subjective perspective of the room or location.
  • The image distorts reality with added effects.
  • Users are unable to interact with digital objects.
  • There’s no possibility of changing the perspective even partially.
  • Static images appear basic compared to interactive ones.

All of the above applies specifically to commercial renderings that focus on cost-saving by compromising the quality of the images. If the budget allows, working with professionals like GENENSE and ordering AAA-level projects is advisable.

However, in any case, the primary drawbacks of static images cannot be eliminated completely.

Insufficient Detail

No matter how much the client may desire it, conveying the full aesthetics and environmental details through a static image is impossible. As a result, potential clients cannot fully evaluate the property remotely as they would in a virtual tour. Instead, buyers will still have to visit the location for a firsthand experience with the object of interest.

This leads to another drawback of static images.

Minimal Engagement

A photo will never generate the same level of interest from potential buyers as a  3D rendering of a property, let alone comprehensive 3D tours. It fails to capture the user’s attention, urging them to explore other digital tour platforms.

Consequently, you risk losing even the most forward-thinking clients by relying solely on static 3D images for showcasing real estate.


Final Thoughts

Technologies constantly evolve, introducing new user interaction models with content, both conventional and marketing creatives.

Currently, “360” visualizations are actively developing, competing with static images. Although, this kind does not push them out of the market but expands the opportunities for promoting real estate in the network.

  • If you want to enhance the effectiveness of your work in the real estate industry, focus on innovation.

Entrust your digital tour visualization project to GENENSE and achieve high-quality results. It will help you increase sales and take your business to a new level!

Contact a GENENSE manager, and we will implement your concept in the highest possible quality!



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