How To Use A Virtual Tour?
(6 min read)
Welcome back to another Momentum Monday!
In this week’s blog, learn how to properly use a virtual tour and explore all of the full capabilities. Let’s dive in!
Types of Virtual Tour Cameras
Before we discuss how to use these virtual tours, we should first talk about the many different ways that they’re captured. Matterport, a virtual tour hosting platform, uses an exciting variety of different cameras! Now, depending on each camera, the virtual tour will look different.
We use Matterport as our virtual tour provider. They offer many different cameras, as well as a stellar hosting platform that allows us to post to Google and many other sites straight from our account!
Without Matterport, it would be a lot harder to shoot these tours. Matterport’s system makes shooting virtual tours very simple. Check out their superior cameras and virtual tour equipment on their website!
RICOH THETA Z1
This camera acts as an entry-level solution for 3rd party companies. At only $400, this is a perfect camera if you’re starting up your virtual tour agency. The Theta Z1 is perfect for shooting small spaces within 4-8% accuracy. This is not as accurate as some of our other cameras, but this one is perfect for beginners.
RICOH THETA V
A step up from the Theta Z1, the Theta V offers 20-25 megapixels and impeccable outdoor lighting. Again, this is a solid beginner camera for those on a budget. Still around the $400 mark, the Theta V is still a solid option either way you slice it.
INSTA360 ONE X
The best camera for starting out in the virtual tour world. The INSTA360 not only offers the very best out of all the novice devices, but this is capable with more features and accuracy to get the perfect virtual tour for your clients. The camera also offers high resolution and capability, but only at small spaces…think less than 2,000 square feet.
Pro2 3D Camera
The golden standard of virtual tours. This is the camera that Momentum 360 utilizes. The Pro2 utilizes a tripod, and comes with 4k capability as well as floor plans and the Matterpak. Starting at $3,395, there’s a reason this camera is priced accordingly. It also shoots within 1%, meaning it is the 2nd most accurate virtual tour camera on the market. If you’re a seasoned virtual tour photographer, you should consider picking up the Pro2.
This is the holy grail of virtual tours. If you thought the Pro2 was good, then wait until you hear about Leica. Starting at $18,000, yes you read that right, this camera shoots with 0.01% accuracy, making it the most accurate virtual tour camera in the world. It is not even close. The Leica is great for scanning large and outdoors spaces, as well as projects that require the high accuracy. If you’re an expert virtual tour provider shooting high-level virtual tours, then you might want to pick up the Lecia, but at a steep cost, so be aware.
Now that we’ve covered all the virtual tour cameras that Matterport offers, it’s time to dig deep into the experience and how to properly use virtual tours!
Using a virtual tour on a desktop is different than using it on a mobile device. It can seem pretty easy at first, but if you follow this guide it’ll make your experience much better.
- Click the Play Button
When your virtual tour loads, you’ll be prompted to the virtual tour’s name, along with an option to explore the 3D space. There’s a sleek background that previews the business as well. It’s a very nice touch by Matterport. When you’re ready to jump in, click the play button!
2. Click “View Fullscreen”
As soon as the virtual tour loads, it’ll show a brief dollhouse view, then the view will zoom to the starting point of the tour. Try not to be overwhelmed, we’ll make it easier to view these tours. Since you’re on desktop, you have the option to view the entire tour in fullscreen. This is better than just viewing it by default, as you’re able to see all the neat features inside the tour that you may have missed if you didn’t press full screen. Click the “View Fullscreen” option on your bottom right.
3. Click “View Floorplan”
So now you’re inside the property, but you don’t know if this is the true starting point, or better yet, the starting point that you want to start at! Click “View Floorplan”, this will allow you to get a birds-eye view of the entire place. You can truly see how large, or small, the building is from this view. It’s incredible that the cameras can map out the entire space like this!
4. Click “View Dollhouse”
Taking this one step further, if you select “View Dollhouse”, you’ll be able to see a side-view of the property and how many floors there are. This is great if you work in the real estate or construction business. It provides tremendous insight into how the building looks, with width and height generally speaking. Whether you’re building a space or tearing it down, this view does a great job at showing you the whole place in its entirety.
5. Get Familiar with Space
From this view, you’ll be able to figure out where exactly you want to start checking out the tour. Use your cursor to get familiar with the space and see all the neat features that this view provides. Drag your way to your desired spot and then simply click once to get back inside the property.
6. Happy Exploring!
Finally, we’re here! Go crazy. This is when you can explore the entire place at your leisure. Now that you’re using the full screen view, it makes it so much easier to see the place as if you were actually there in person! It’s a fascinating feature that Matterport has.
Tap the screen to virtually walk-through the property and see everything that it has to offer. Using your two fingers on your cursor, you can actually zoom in on objects. Desktop’s zoom isn’t that impressive, it benefits more so in the mobile experience.
Now if you go through the tour and notice these little dots on your screen, don’t be alarmed, they’re there for a reason. These are called “Mattertags.” Mattertags allow virtual tour users to add their tags to a property, to give more context to the viewer checking out their space.
A cool little feature of these mattertags is that you can embed YouTube videos and website URLs inside of them. So if you have any content that you want to show off, now is the time to use it! These mattertags somewhat help local SEO too, we just haven’t figured out how much yet.
Some interesting Matterport stats that we found with mattertags:
- Online, Houses with Mattertags receive 40% more interest than houses without.
- Viewers will spend 300% more time viewing a listing with a virtual tour than one without
- Virtual Tours receive over 9 Million hits per day worldwide (2018) up from 4 Million in 2014
Now if you don’t feel like clicking your cursor each virtually step you take, you can click the play button inside the tour that simply reads “play.” This will take you on a virtual tour …of the virtual tour.
Mind blown? Yep, us too.
When comparing virtual tour experiences, mobile virtual tours are more convenient than desktop. In our opinion, we make it a priority to make the mobile experience just as great as the desktop.
Because 60% of Google searches come from mobile devices. If our experience on mobile sucks, then we’ll be missing out on the majority of potential business!
From a consumer perspective, there are many ways to explore virtual tours to their full capability. Let’s check out the best way to view virtual tours on mobile devices.
- Click the Play Button
Just like desktop, when you load the virtual tour, you’ll see a background image along with a play button to the business. It’ll also give a message saying, “Presented by (insert your virtual tour company). Very nice touch again by Matterport we must say. It makes virtual tour companies like us feel good when it says that it’s presented by Momentum 360, it makes the tour look more professional. Anyway, just like desktop, press the play button.
2. Click “Open Highlights”
On mobile, you’ll already have a limited view, so make sure you take some time to check out the main points of the tour. You do this by clicking the ^ icon arrow on the bottom left. This will give a brief slideshow of the different rooms inside the virtual tour. By checking out these highlights, it makes using the virtual tour a lot easier on mobile. So get comfortable, grab a snack, and swipe through the different key elements on the virtual tour.
3. Pick Starting Point
From the highlights page, you can actually click on the image and start your tour from there. This is great because it creates a unique experience each and every time a consumer views a virtual tour. Not every view of a virtual tour will be the same. So once you take some time to familiarize yourself with the property, click on a room that interests you and start viewing it from there!
Here are a few more interest Matterport stats we found!
- Hotel Virtual Tours increase online bookings by up to 85%
- Virtual tours offers more features than any other Virtual Tour on the market !
- Captured with a top of the line HD DSLR Camera and advanced post processing techniques.
4. Happy Exploring!
Just like the desktop view, it’s time to enjoy the virtual tour! Click everywhere and anywhere, go crazy. Personally, we like to click and follow a general path throughout the property, and then go into some of the small areas that the property has to offer. However, to his and her their own. So check out the virtual tour anyway you’d like!
Just like desktop, mobile also offers mattertags that give more insight into the property. These are pretty much the same as on desktop, so just click on the tags and see what pops up! If anything, the mattertags are more precise on where they’re pointing to. If the mattertag is trying to point out something small in particular, we believe it’s easier to view this on mobile. Again, these tags can include other links, videos, etc. The possibilities are endless, so make sure you check out all the tags inside of the virtual tour.
Unlike desktop, mobile offers a better zoom capability for the entire tour. If you compare desktop to mobile, you’ll be able to zoom in much more on mobile than desktop. So if you’re using a virtual tour for your shop, make sure your camera can zoom in accordingly. Think about it, if you’re a retail store, why wouldn’t you want customers to check out absolutely every single one of your items? That’s the whole point of the tour in the first place!
So… Why Consider Getting a Virtual Tour From Us?
Momentum 360 has been the leading-virtual tour provider in Philadelphia since our inception. Why? Because we deliver a top-quality product at a reasonable price. We take pride in helping small-businesses rise and get more traction. We lived through the struggle that most business owners go through on a daily basis, that’s why we get along with them so well.
If you’re looking to grow your online presence with a quality virtual tour, look no further.
Our owners Mac Frederick and Sean Boyle have over 20+ years of digital marketing experience and are ready to help take your business to the next level! Our team members have also worked at Google and Facebook before, so we have the most up-to-date knowledge in the business. All to help your business rank at the top of Google and kickstart your journey to be a future lead generation machine!
We hope this blog informed you on Virtual Tours, what equipment to use, and How to Use Virtual Tours for your small business.
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If you have any questions or concerns, leave them in the comments below! From everyone at Momentum 360, thanks for the love and until next time, build Momentum!