In the early stages of a new property development or renovation, visual marketing assets are in limited supply. Commonly, a property will provide still image renderings to prospective renters as a means to help paint a picture of what a space will look and feel like. These images are effective tools at doing just that, but they are limited in their marketing potential in the long term because as soon as you can take a real image of a space they are replaced.
Before we get into the 3D walkthrough animations, it might be helpful to look at the “alternatives” that they can be typically compared against.
Another type of rendering we see that is often labelled as a “virtual tour” in the early stages of development is not exactly that, but rather 2 or 3 360 degree panoramic images in a single space that you can jump back and forth to. Here is a great example of one such 360 Tour:
Another really great tool for marketing teams to use. Matterport tours can give a very detailed virtual tour of a space for a prospective renter and they continue to be more affordable and readily available every year. However, just as with many marketing assets, Matterport is only available once a building is completed.
Additionally, there are advantages to maintaining control of your customer’s journey, and while a very great tool in some use cases, Matterport tours leave the user in control. Lastly, at this time, it’s not possible to integrate a Matterport tour into Facebook or other digital advertising mediums and have them viewable.
Our favorite marketing asset for early stage market-rate development is the 3D walkthrough rendering, or 3D rendered video tour. Briefly explained, it is an animated walk through your digitally rendered spaces.
A 3D Walkthrough Animation allows you to design a space however you want, make the camera move however you want, and control the journey of your prospective renter through your space.
We have found these photorealistic animations can be used effectively both during lease-up, as well as after a building has been completed. They make for really great social media ads and posts that capture the attention of prospective renters.
RESI digital advertising teams have found video ads, such as these to be one of our best performing ad types, in terms of engagement and cost per result.