Video vs. 3D: Which One Should You Use to Market Your Listings?

By January 20, 2016 Blog No Comments
video vs 3d models

Ever since we first started offering 3D models, back in the fall of 2014, we’ve been getting questions about how it compares to video. Most customers want to know which is “better.” Where should they invest their money?

In reality, neither option is “better” than the other – they’re just different.

Video vs 3D Models: the Similarities

Before we look at what’s different about the two, let’s consider the similarities. First, both are effective ways to sell a property – definitely superior to photos alone.

As we like to say here at HouseLens, online is the new curbside. Following that metaphor, photos are the marketing equivalent of driving by a house or peeking in the windows. You get a glimpse of the house, but not enough information to make a purchasing decision.

Video and 3D models, however, are like actually stepping inside the house. You get to move around, understand the flow and layout, and experience the property as a home. We’ve heard stories of both video and 3D selling a house without the buyer ever setting foot on the property.

Both technologies are also on the leading edge for real estate, so they have the effect of setting your marketing apart from the competition. 3D models are particularly new, but even true video is still rarely used.

But what about the differences? For the most part, it boils down to one of marketing’s cardinal rules: know your audience. Here are some factors to consider when choosing between video and 3D.

Video vs 3D Models: Interactivity

Video is a passive medium. People click the play button, sit back, and watch the show. 3D models are interactive. People have to continuously provide input to move around the model.

Which option is right for a particular listing often boils down to demographics. If you are marketing primarily to an older crowd, the video-game-style interaction of 3D will likely seem overly complicated and cumbersome. For a younger crowd, however, it may add a fun factor that grabs you more leads.

Video vs 3D Models: Compatibility

3D models work only on the latest platforms and typically offer the best user experience on a swipe-enabled tablet or phone. Video, by contrast, will work well on almost any Internet-enabled device, especially if you offer an SD option.

Video vs. 3D models on devices

Video plays well on any device, while 3D models work best on a newer tablet.

So if your buyers are tech-savvy and mobile-oriented, you can market with either 3D or video. If your audience isn’t particularly comfortable with the latest tech, video is the way to go.

Video vs 3D Models: Detail

With video, what you see is what you get. There’s no exploration involved. With 3D, buyers control the experience and can move through the home at will. As long as the 3D model is well-constructed, they can “walk” right up to specific features of the home and examine them in detail.

This is another area where you have to know your audience. Your buyers may not care about exploration: they may just want someone to take them on a tour. In that case, video is your best choice. But if your buyers want to look at everything in detail, go with 3D models.

Video vs 3D Models: Cost

Sometimes costs for video and 3D models are equal, but when there’s a discrepancy, 3D is usually more expensive than a basic walk-through. This is because a full-blown 3D model takes more time to produce, and the equipment and hosting make it more expensive for the service provider. So the right choice for you may come down to the size of your budget.

Video vs 3D Models: Time

As with price, turnaround time on a 3D model and basic walk-through may be equal. But where there’s a difference, 3D is likely to be faster. Especially if you’re under a time crunch to get a home listed and sold (e.g., because the sellers are relocating), make sure to ask your service provider how long you’ll have to wait for the content to be delivered.

Ultimately, there’s no set answer to the question “Should I go with video, or go with 3D?” It all depends on your audience, your market, and the needs of your business. Be a student of those elements, and you’ll be able to make the right choice.

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