What is a Virtual Tour?

What is a Virtual Tour?

A virtual tour is a digital replica of a physical location, typically created using a sequence of videos or still images. Sound effects, music, narration, text and other multimedia effects are often added to enhance the visual experience of the end user.  Due to the recent attraction to these types of tours, there are several online platforms that make it easy to upload your own photos, add the additional creative elements such as music and text and voila, you have yourself a completely automated virtual tour.  The benefit of these tours is that they can usually be streamed and viewed across the web via almost any mobile phone or tablet device.

With increased adoption of popular smartphone and tablet devices, it is all but certain that consumption and popularity of virtual tour content will only increase over time.  While the traditional virtual tour is an enhanced experience over typical static 2D photography, there has been a technological explosion over the past few years that has given rise to a virtual reality and 3D revolution, dramatically changing the landscape of the virtual tour experience. Read below to learn more!

What is a Matterport Tour?

A Matterport 3D Virtual Tour takes the traditional virtual tour to a whole new level offering a fully interactive, completely immersive 3D experience.  Users are able to gain a real world perspective of your business or residential/commercial space through the navigation of your space Step By Step, floor by floor.  Matterport Tours can be embedded on your own website, shared across your social media platforms and integrated into your Google Business Listing completely discoverable when searching the web.  The Matterport walk-through experience invites visitors to learn more about your business and the services you provide in a fun and unique way.

How does Matterport work?

A Matterport Tour uses infrared scanning technology to collect accurate visual and spatial data in order to create a fully interactive 3D representation of an existing space. Upon completion of scanning your property, we upload your 3D Virtual Tour scans to the Cloud, where powerful algorithms go to work processing your real-world data into an immersive 3D Virtual Walk-Through, ready to access from anywhere in the world. Your beautiful, fully immersive 3D Virtual Tour is easily distributed using in-browser tools. 

How are Virtual Tours useful?

A Step By Step 3D Virtual Tour provides an ideal solution for Las Vegas business owners and real estate agents looking for a unique and stunning way to showcase their property. This interactive and completely immersive 3D Virtual Tour offers potential buyers, customers, and guests a 24/7 open door experience, allowing visitors to walk through your establishment anytime day or night.  Here are just a few benefits of including a 3D virtual tour as part of your existing online marketing strategy:

  • Interactive and Shopper-Friendly: Virtual tours allow visitors to explore your business remotely. They enable your audience to walk your entire business location from the comfort of their phone or tablet.  Customers can focus on the retail offerings or another aspect of interest to them at their own pace while learning more about your business.
  • Captivate Customers: Unlike plain text or still images, virtual tours can keep viewers engaged on your website for long periods of time. As they explore your store, customers can easily make buying decisions with the use of Media Tags placed strategically throughout the tour using videos, images, audio, or textual content that keeps visitors engaged with the virtual experience.
  • Increase Engagement : The longer a client spends looking through different sections of a business, the more they may decide to visit in person. Combined with other interactive tools like Media Tags, these tours can entice the visitor to purchase from you.
  • Save Time and Effort: Instead of missing buyers after store hours, you may find an increase in virtual foot traffic and orders by remaining virtually open for anyone who wants to visit and purchase.  This saves you the time and resources you would otherwise spend staying open and catering to customers who may never buy but just come in to look.
  • SEO: Having a virtual tour on your website or as a part of your Google Business Listing gives shoppers more to see and do when it comes to learning more about your business and the products you offer.  The more Google sees that customers are responding and interacting with your increased level of online content the more credit Google gives to you and your business elevating you in online search queries which puts you leaps and bounds above your competition.

How can a Virtual Tour help my business?

A Virtual Tour can provide an incredible boost to any business that exists on the web.  Since Matterport 3D Virtual tours can be embedded on your website, this provides an instant way for potential customers to interact and learn about your business before ever even visiting you in person. 3D Virtual Tours can increase brand awareness and customer engagement. 360 photos of your business or establishment when tied to your Google Business Listing doubles the interest in your company and therefore produces higher engagement rates.  This in turn forces Google to step you up on the list it displays to visitors searching for your type of business on the web.  

From small mom and pop businesses to multi-million dollar conglomerates, the value of a 3D walk-through of an existing physical location displayed in a visually pleasing experience on the web is immeasurable. Virtually any organization that uses a physical space could potentially benefit from using Matterport tour. Industries already utilizing 3D Virtual experiences include:

  • Residential/Commercial real estate. Creating a virtual tour of a property allows prospective tenants and future homeowners to see the space in-depth prior to making an in-person visit. 3D tours provide incredible value for both the user and the listing agent creating a more efficient experience for all involved.  Buyers want as much information and visual insight into the homes they are looking at online and recent studies indicated that buyers are spending more time on listings that have virtual tour than those without.  
  • New Home Builders. Las Vegas home builders are using 3D Virtual Tours ​to show remote home shoppers exactly what they can expect from one of their homes.  Models are often furnished differently from community to community and 3D Scans of these different ​arrangements demonstrate the various ways a home could look ​to ​​​home buyers.  Background files can even be extracted from the 3D scans and used to create a 3D model of a proposed ​space.  
  • ​Vacation Rentals. The ability for someone to visualize their vacation destination is instrumental in ​finalizing their decision. ​Matterport 3D Virtual Tours are ​helping interior designers ​display updated furnishings for owners of vacation rentals listed on various listing platforms such as Vacasa and Homeaway. ​Recently, Vacasa wanted to adopt new marketing strategies to improve occupancy rates and differentiate its brand online. It decided to invest in innovative and scalable technologies such as Matterport to increase online visibility and improve the consumer experience on its own website and on partner channels. ​Vacasa ​showed 14% higher occupancy and 50% inventory growth In 2015 due to the implementation of 3D Virtual Tours.  ​
  • ​Restaurants. Restaurant owners ​are now able to show guests what they can expect before booking their next reservation. Restaurant goers choosing their next location for an upcoming get together with friends or a cozy dining experience for two will love being able to interactively see all that your place has to offer.
  • Retail Stores: Store owners can show visitors the layout of their space and choose products to feature in their 3D tour. Shoppers at malls or large department stores can use it to find the individual shop or section of the store they want. Many times, customers are unaware of the diverse and unique services or products a company or business offers. A 3D Virtual Tour lets shoppers visit and walk through your business online giving them a chance to learn more about your offerings
  • ​​Hotels & Hospitality: increase booking revenue by providing online viewers with an immersive view of the property and its amenities.​  Hotels, resorts, cruise ships, airlines and ​other hospitality entities can show future travelers exactly what ​their location has to offer, helping ​vacationers ​to accurately ​prepare for their trip  Ensure that expectations are aligned with reality and drive more bookings with a Matterport® 3D Virtual Tour.
  • Architecture, Engineering and Construction: ​With the fast paced and often complex environment surrounding Construction projects ​it can be challenging to keep track of all of the changes that occur on site. ​Matterport 3D scanning offers a more efficient way to document site changes in detail through the use of timely periodic scans. These scans can then be shared with multiple team members to access anytime day or night. ​
  • Event Venues: Before choosing to host their event at your venue, ​customers want to ​be able to explore every inch of your facility to see if your space will fit their needs and plan their event according to the venue’s features. Whether you manage a concert hall, sports facility, convention space, wedding venue, ballroom, ​or another venue, a ​Matterport Virtual tour can help potential customers view your space from a 3-Dimensional perspective.
  • Cultural Spaces: Creating a virtual space allows more people to experience your art installation, museum exhibit or other cultural display virtually, ​when being their physically is not an option.  ​By providing an immersive, 3D virtual experience that is entirely interactive, you can draw visitors to new exhibits, show off museum pieces, ​showcase special event spaces ​and unveil stunning architecture.
  • Historic Preservation:  3D virtual tour technology has been instrumental in the documentation and preservation of historic sites that are at risk of being destroyed or have limited public access. 3D virtual models using standard file formats, such as the Object file (.obj) format, can be stored in digital archives for future academic research and exploration.

What can I do with my Real Estate 3D Virtual Tour?

So you just received your 3D Virtual Tour for your new residential listing.  Now you're wondering what to do with it. Not to worry, here we've listed several of the the different ways in which you can utilize your 3D Virtual Tour to get the most out of it:

  • Embed your tour on your website: ​If you have your own real estate website, you can embed your ​​​3D Virtual Tour ​on any page within your own website. There are even ways to customize the dimensions and look of the 3D Virtual Tour.  Make sure to check with your trusted web developer for assistance with ​this.  If you don't have a web guy feel free to reach out to us for help.  When customers come to your website, not only will they find your images of the property but they can embark on an online virtual experience of your ​real estate listing which keeps them engaged with you and your brand.  This engagement helps you in two very important ways, not only to ​show prospective home buyers your listing but also to increase your website traffic which helps with your ranking inside Google.  
  • Share ​your ​tour with ​your ​clients/and potential ​home ​buyers: When we provide you with the final product of your 3D Virtual Tour, we place the tour inside a beautiful Single Property Website​.  This page ​has the tour displayed prominently at ​the top of the page, high resolution images ​embedded into a slideshow format, your contact information, your business or brokerage logo and a lead generation form that goes directly to you.  This ​webpage is perfect for email blasting out to your client list or to a list of potential home buyers.  
  • Upload ​to your the MLS: ​For your residential or commercial listing, you'll want to ​add your 3D Virtual tour to your MLS listing.  Your MLS should have a field for you to enter a URL for your 3D Virtual Tour.  Here in Las Vegas/Henderson, the system we use is called Matrix and there is a field for your Branded Tour AND a field for your Unbranded Tour.  We provide you links for both a Branded and an Unbranded Virtual Tour for this reason.  The Unbranded Tour is stripped of all your branding like name, logo, and brokerage info which complies with MLS guidelines.  This tour is usually the tour that all the real estate portals like Zillow and Realtor.com will pull from.  ​The branded version of your tour is most beneficial for placing on your own website where ​brand recognition is important.  ​

Social Media Friendly: Our 3D tours are perfect for sharing with family, friends, and of course, potential home buyers.  Facebook absolutely loves content that engages and informs its users.  That said, they give more attention to multimedia containing posts such as video, 360 images and interactive 3D tours.  Our 3D Virtual Tours offer several different ways to interact with Facebook and your other social media platforms that boost your online social media presence (See Below for more information on this).


What can I do with my Business 3D Virtual Tour?

So you just had a 3D Virtual Tour of your business and now you're wondering what to do with it.  Not to worry, here we've listed several of the the different ways in which you can utilize your 3D Virtual Tour:

  • Embed your tour on your website: Your 3D Virtual Tour can be embedded within your own website.  When customers come to your website they can embark on an online virtual experience of your business which keeps them engaged with you and your brand.  This engagement serves to not only entertain and inform your customers but to increase your website traffic which helps with your ranking inside Google.  
  • Share ​your ​tour with ​your ​​customers: When we provide you with the final product of your 3D Virtual Tour, we place the tour in a beautiful Showcase Page​.  This page complete with the tour itself, high resolution images of the space, your contact information, your business ​logo and a lead generation form that goes directly to you, is perfect for blasting out to your ​current and future customers, upper management, shareholders, team members, or other interested parties.
  • Upload to Social Media: Our 3D tours are perfect for keeping engaged with your customer base.  Facebook absolutely loves content that engages and informs its users. That said, they give more attention to content containing multimedia content like images, video, and 360 images.  Our 3D Virtual Tours offer several different ways to interact with Facebook and your other social media platforms that boost your online social media presence.     

How do I share my 3D Virtual Tour on Social Media?

Sharing your 3D Virtual Tour on social media has many benefits for you and your business.  Social Media platforms are great for reaching more of your potential customers and visitors where they spend most of their time.  And if your not posting often and with valuable content you are missing an easy way ​of keeping you and your brand in front of your audience.  

Here are a few ways to use your 3D Virtual Tour and the assets delivered with your tour on your Social Media Platforms:

  • Share Your Tour on Facebook and Twitter: Facebook and Twitter both allow links to web pages and they do a great job of displaying them.  For Facebook and Twitter, we recommend sharing the Single Property Website or Showcase Page.  When we prepare these pages for you we spend time in the back end making sure everything looks right when shared to these platforms.  We optimize the meta data, the Facebook description, the snippet used in web searches and the display image that way all you have to do is share.
  • 360 Images and Facebook go Hand in Hand:  Directly from your 3D Virtual Tour, we are also able to create 360 spherical images.  At first glance, these images appear as flat 2D images that look stretched out of proportion, however, when you upload them into Facebook, Voila - you have an instant 3D image to share with your Facebook audience. ​
  • Teaser Videos for Instagram and Facebook: Teaser videos are new and a fun and unique way to share a snippet of your 3D Virtual Tour with your customers both on Instagram and Facebook.  Teaser videos are about 10-15 seconds in length and consist of a short fly-in from the attractive dollhouse view directly into your business or real estate listing.

How do You navigate a Matterport 3D Virtual Tour?

Navigating a Matterport 3D Virtual Tour is incredibly easy.  Matterport Tours offer 3 different modes in which to view and navigate through your 3D space, including Self-Guided Walk-Through mode, Auto-Play and Highlight Reel Navigation.

  • Self-Guided Walk-Through mode allows viewers to explore your business or real estate listing as if they were actually there and interactively guide themselves through their virtual experience one step at a time. Viewers can easily navigate to and from any section of a space by clicking on the white circles on the ground, or simply clicking on an area they want to move to.  On a mobile device, the seamless flow of the Matterport 3D Virtual Tour allows users to move from room to room and even floor to floor with the flick of a finger.  
  • Auto-Play mode can be accessed by clicking on the play button at the bottom left hand corner of your tour.  When you hit the play button, depending on the settings established between you and your Matterport Service Provider, you will either be taken through a walking/fly-through type of experience through the various rooms in the space or simply given a slideshow experience comprised of the images seen at the bottom of the tour in what's called the highlight reel.  In either type of Auto-Play mode, you can stop at any location in the tour at any time simply by clicking anywhere in the screen. 
  • Highlight Reel Navigation is an image based navigation system found at the base of a Matterport Virtual Tour.  Users can jump from key locations in the space simply by clicking on the individual images in the Highlight Reel.  The highlight reel serves as an excellent way to draw emphasis to key points, attributes or characteristics in your space being showcased. Users can easily navigate the highlight reel as either a self-guided tour or in auto-play mode simply by pressing the play button or left/right arrows above the reel.

What is the Dollhouse View in a Matterport Tour?

Probably the most unique and stunning features of the Matterport 3D Virtual Tour is the visually impressive Dollhouse View. The Dollhouse View lets viewers navigate around a complete 3D digital representation of a real-world environment with an outside looking in perspective. Using the mouse pointer or a finger, users can easily rotate the virtual tour space 360 degrees in every direction allowing them to view the space from several different angles. The ability to spin a home around on its axis in every orientation imaginable gives viewers the ability to evaluate and explore the space from a completely unique perspective.

What is the Floorplan View in a Matterport Tour?

Another ingenious and highly informational way to view your Matterport 3D Virtual Tour is through the Floor Plan View, accessed by clicking on the floor plan icon at the bottom left hand corner of the tour.  This option offers a top down visual representation of the space highlighting the relationship between rooms, spaces, and other physical features in the home or business. This view is ideal for getting an overall layout of the space either by individual floors or with all floors combined to give a more comprehensive top down view of the entire space.

What are Matterport 360° Views?

Matterport 360° Views give you the chance to show off a property’s exterior and the surrounding areas and include them as part of your 3D tour.  This makes Matterport a one-stop shop for both interior and exterior visuals, giving end-users the most complete property experience currently available.

What are 360° Panoramas?

360° panoramas are unique 2D spherical images designed to capture an entire area in one single shot. The resulting images allow users to interact with the image by looking up, down, and all around with just the touch of a finger creating a visually striking representation of your Las Vegas business or real estate listing.

What are Mattertag Posts?

Mattertag Posts offer an additional way to enhance your 3D Virtual Tour.  At Step By Step we refer to these Mattertag Posts as Media Tags to help our clients gain a better understanding of their true use and value inside a space.  Media Tags can turn any space into a multimedia hub. These "hot spots" if you will are anchored to points in the 3D model data that allow us to add almost any kind of multimedia including text descriptions, additional photography, video, audio files, and even PDF files right in your 3D space.  This turns your 3D Virtual Tour into a powerful tool for communicating with, property buyers, prospective lessees, customers, guests, or global audiences.

Media Tags_SBS

What are Schematic Floor plans?

Schematic Floor Plans are high quality, professional looking, black-and-white floor plans generated from the data obtained during the scanning process of any Henderson or Las Vegas space.  They can be an added bonus feature delivered to potential home buyers on listings or delivered to remote clients interested in leasing your commercial space. 

What is Matterport Core VR?

Matterport Tours are the most immersive and engaging way to experience real-world places straight from your web browser. Virtual reality takes this sense of immersion to the next level by blocking everything else and making users feel like they're really there. Matterport VR offers users a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience that gives viewers a realistic sense of actually being at your location anytime day or night! Turn your 3D Virtual Tour into a Virtual Reality experience for your viewers in one easy step by adding this option to your cart.

What is Virtual Tour Hosting and Why do I need it?

Your 3D Virtual tour is a dynamic interactive online environment.  The only way to allow users across the globe to simultaneously interact with your 3D space is to have it virtually hosted on secure servers.  This ensures that each and every one of your tours is delivered to your end users as efficiently as possibly with seamless navigation providing the best user experience possible. Although there is a fee associated with the hosting as charged by the platform developer, we typically absorb this cost for the first 6 months for real estate spaces and 1 year for business spaces.  If your real estate listing is on the market longer than expected or you would like to keep your business 3D Space active for another year we offer Extended Hosting Plans. 

Can I Have a Custom Domain Name for my 3D Space?

Yes! You can secure a custom domain name for your 3D space, in fact we highly recommend it. Not only does having your own unique web address assist with customer recall and brand retention but also increases internet search ability for your Henderson or Las Vegas business location, real estate listing, vacation rental or other highlighted venue.  At Step By Step 3D we offer the option of getting rid of that long indiscernible URL that currently represents your 3D Space and changing it out for a unique and recognizable web address that showcases your new 3D interactive walk-through. 


What is an Indoor Google Street View for Business?

An Indoor Google Street View is just like the Google Street Views you are used to seeing when searching for a business on the web. Only instead of seeing the outside of that location you can now virtually walk into a business that has an Indoor Google Street View attached to its Google Business Listing.  Business Indoor Google Street Views are 360 photos taken by a professional photographer that are systematically combined to create an online virtual tour.  Your existing business Matterport 3D Virtual Tour can now be converted to an indoor Google Street View tour in a matter of hours completely discoverable when searching the web for your business and tied directly to your Google Business listing. Don’t have a Google Business listing? No problem, we can take care of that for you too. Just ask us how.

 Step By Step 3D is your Las Vegas & Henderson based 3D Virtual Tour & Business Google Street View Provider. 
Servicing your company locations nationwide with Reality Capture Experts.  Step By Step 3D provides 3D Virtual Tours, HDR Photography & Google Street View tours of any business establishment.  Our virtual tours can be shared with clients, customers, vendors, contractors and anyone else wanting to virtually explore your business or property in a completely immersive and interactive way.