Communal facilities are increasingly becoming a point-of-difference at developments, and virtual tours are a brilliant way of capturing these often off-limits and resident-only areas.
According to the latest figures from The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, approximately 36,700 brand new apartments were completed in the UK in last 12 months.
That’s almost 37,000 apartments in one country being released to the open market either for sale or rent in a relatively short space of time. While house builders try to be as creative as possible when it comes to architecture, design, layout and specification, thousands of properties will be available to view on property portals and there’s a danger for them to end up looking pretty similar.
What does, however, distinguish one apartment block from the next is communal facilities. In a bid to placemake and build convivial schemes, cinemas, wellness suites and spa facilities are being included. And when it comes to the new generation of live/work developments – such as The Collective at various sites across London – residents enjoy facilities including an on-site launderette, bike racks and a games room.
Serviced apartments should also be mentioned, with their meeting rooms, conferencing facilities, bars and in-house cafés. Even the humble lobby is being turned in to a unique selling point, with lounge areas, Amazon Lockers, concierge stations and especially-commissioned works of art.
Often communal facilities are marketed as ‘residents only’ to create an air of exclusivity – swim away from prying eyes, relax in a members-only lounge or perform salutations to the sun on a private rooftop terrace. This restricted nature means these areas aren’t easily accessible during property viewings, and repeatedly gaining access to take photographs for promotional purposes can also be problematic.
So how can real estate agents showcase communal facilities with minimal disruption to the incumbent residents and with maximum marketing impact? A virtual tour is the answer. A fully immersive, interactive tour and a set of HDR-quality photos can be obtained with just one scheduled visit and one piece of equipment.
Agents can choose to go just before the first resident moves in to a brand new scheme, early in the morning before peak use or during a one-off temporary closure, capturing the customer experience for prospective residents to explore.
Matterport cameras yield easy-to-navigate virtual tours that are compatible with leading property portals and agents’ own websites. The tours give viewers access to areas that may be off limits during a property viewing, with the ability to walk around a space, get closer to details and learn more about facilities, thanks to Matterport’s facility to embed videos, PDF brochures and url links.
In addition, there is an exceptional return-on-investment when embarking on a virtual tour, especially for agents tasked with marketing a multi-phase development - one virtual tour can become a legacy tool for use during the entire lifespan of the scheme’s marketing.
If you’re an agent marketing properties with communal facilities and private spaces, talk to Matterport about how virtual tours can give access to all areas.