6 Keys to Successful Architecture Marketing With a 360 VR Tour

A stunning design is only as good as your ability to market it to decision-makers. And there’s no better architecture marketing asset than a virtual reality experience. You can use an immersive 3D environment to help a client step into the future with a fully-realized 360-degree space. 

Here are the six keys to getting the most out of a 360 VR tour for your architectural design:

1. Consult With (and Vet) a Team of Professionals

Contrary to public perception, 360 VR tours are efficient to create and simple to use—even for architectural design proposals. However, unlike the residential real estate market, architecture marketing can’t count on near-instant VR tours with a few panorama pics on an iPhone.  Your design doesn’t yet exist in physical space.  The tour will also become the cornerstone of your presentation—it’s got to showcase your design at its best.

You’ll want an experienced 3D rendering studio to craft a photorealistic, compelling 360 environment for the VR tour.  How do you find a team of architecture marketing professionals with expertise in 360 VR tour services? Start with advice from top publications, referrals in your professional network, or recommendations from friends. Look at online portfolios of immersive projects (especially if you can demo their VR experience).

2. Select Vantage Points That Highlight Starring Elements

A comprehensive VR tour should incorporate multiple viewpoints the user can navigate to explore the space. This can be done via a marquee of labeled thumbnails, clickable arrows to move through locations, waypoints on an embedded map, or some combination of the three.  The vantage points you ultimately select are a key architecture marketing decision.  Which elements of the design are most stunning up close? Which will shine when viewed from a unique angle? What position will give the most attractive long shot of the work? Pick these spots strategically to tell your story.

3. Bring the VR Tour to Life With Animations and Effects

A still-frame 3D architectural rendering can look sleek, for sure. But this is VR. Go for immersion by investing in animations of foot traffic or vehicles, ambient sound effects, realistic lens flares from the sun, and other living, breathing elements of a lifelike space. Imagine an exterior 360 VR tour in which the cyclists coast by while birds chirp and the nearby highway whirs. The immediate wow effect will make your presentation stand out.

4. Go With a Headset

Virtual tours can be easily conducted on monitors, televisions, tablets, mobile phones, or projector screens. However, all of these formats lack the immersive first-person feel that makes VR so compelling and unique. VR headsets are not complicated to set up or operate, but they’ll completely transform the tour experience. And all you’ll need is one piece of rented equipment—a proper VR tour is already built to utilize it. At Tangram 3DS, we offer technology that can help a whole room of people see what the person with the headset sees, for a simultaneous guided tour.

5. Consolidate All Architecture Marketing Material In One Asset

A robust VR tour is made up of much more than immersive 360 visuals. Get the most out of your best architecture marketing asset—the tour—by packaging every element of related collateral in one place.  Clickable labels, buttons, and signage within the 360 VR environment could lead viewers to promotional videos, activate recorded narration, provide trivia or project information, link to external websites, or provide downloadable collateral like brochures. This gives you an easy, one-stop, all-inclusive architecture marketing asset to pack for your presentation.

6. Make It Available to the Client Post-Presentation

The best part of a 360 VR tour is the exploration. It can’t be summed up in a flat, still rendering.  Help your clients to continue or revisit their exploration after the presentation is over by hosting the tour on your website, if possible, and distributing the link to it via a group follow-up email. Together with our first five tips, this gives your architectural design the best possible chance to leave a lasting impression.

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