Virtual Tours or Virtual Reality?

Floored office

Photography is growing up.

It has already taken over advertising in ways we wouldn’t have dreamed of just a few short years ago. No one wants to take the time to sort through static photos anymore.

Today’s young, tech-savvy prospective tenants want to experience the full dimension of a space; to get a feel for how they ‘fit’ before they even walk through the door.

Virtual Tours are the Not-So-New Normal

If you are not yet posting virtual tours of your business center or coworking space, you may want to seriously consider doing so. Chances are your competitors are. A recent article in the Yonkers Daily Voice spotlights a new series of videos marketed by the city called Space Invaders, which provides virtual tours of available commercial office space in Yonkers, from its waterfront areas, to the downtown and industrial districts.

Yonkers Mayor, Mike Spano, sees the virtual tours as a way to put a spotlight on the city and bring its offices to life for those who might otherwise not consider locating outside of Manhattan.

“Word is getting out that Westchester’s hippest city has so much to offer,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano in the Daily Voice article. “And we don’t plan on stopping. I want everyone, from business owners and executives to artists and designers to see all that Yonkers has to offer. ‘Space Invaders’ will do just that with an engaging virtual tour of some of the city’s most exciting office space.”

On to Virtual Reality

It may not be long, however, before standard virtual tours become outdated. The next step is to showcase your space as it might look with different furnishings, arrangements and build-outs.

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Going a step further, can you imagine donning a special pair of goggles and conducting a 3-D virtual tour of office space that doesn’t yet exist? That’s what Manhattan based Sage Realty is doing, using a platform designed and developed by 3-D modeling and virtual reality software provider, Floored, Inc.

Interviewed in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, David Eisenberg, CEO and co-founder of Floored shared his thoughts on the emerging technology. “I think the truth is people recognize the speed of technological advancement is increasing,” said Eisenberg.

“A few years ago, if you only had 10 to 15 years left in your [real-estate] career you could ignore some of that stuff. Now people realize they are going to have to be practitioners of the technology.”

Don’t Panic Yet

While 3-D virtual tours are fun and exciting to contemplate, the truth is that they require special glasses, equipment, software and an operating platform to produce. Today they are likely well outside the budgets of most operators and hardly practical for office seekers on the go.

One thing is certain, however. Websites with traditional sets of photos accompanied by long winded descriptions are being supplanted by newer, more visually exciting technology. And it’s making things possible today that only a few short years ago were hard to imagine.

Business center and coworking space operators need to keep their fingers on the pulse of this and other emerging technologies and remain sufficiently “tuned in” to recognize how it can be used to keep your spaces on the radar of your evolving prospects.