Virtual Tours: Pros and Cons

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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In this day and age the idea of “From the Comfort of One’s Own Home” has a lot of merit in just about every facet of life. Pizza parlors have ramped up their delivery capabilities in order to serve an ever-growing number of customers who prefer to box that pie and take it home.

The same goes true for a variety of other industries, not just takeout. People pay top dollar to turn their home entertainment systems into stuff that rivals a movie theater. Mechanics often offer roadside or even mobile repair services as well.

Virtual Reality Expansion

Virtual reality has also made it possible for certain industries to connect with consumers in nontraditional ways -- VR technology has now expanded past video gaming and reached out to industries like the medical field, crime scene investigation and law enforcement, military training, and even marketing and advertising.

Just like with any other form of technology, virtual reality (as well as virtual tours and virtual product browsing) has its strengths and limitations. Below, we go over a few pros and cons of virtual tours.

Virtual Reality Strengths and Weaknesses

As mentioned above, one of the primary strengths of virtual reality is the convenience. If a customer can successfully browse, make a product selection, make their purchase, and go through a successful order/delivery process without stepping a foot outside, then this is likely going to be very appealing -- especially to individuals who are busy or pressed for time (this is true for many folks out there).

Virtual tours have proven to be extremely effective during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as well, helping potential buyers view properties virtually and without having to risk any sort of exposure.

One weakness of virtual reality in the virtual tour setting is that a consumer will rarely get an opportunity to look at surroundings -- which realtors will have an especially difficult time closing a sale virtually. As virtual reality becomes more and more refined, this will be an easier problem to address. Currently, Google Maps has a “Street View” setting that will help consumers take a look at the surrounding areas.

Virtual showrooms and virtual tours also lack a certain “Human Element” where a salesperson/point of contact can help guide a consumer through a successful sales funnel. It’s far easier to establish a connection and trust in person than it is to do so virtually.

VR Sales and Technology Moving Forward

A virtual showroom app, for instance, will allow a potential customer to browse through products and offerings without ever stepping foot in a brick and mortar establishment. This is remarkably convenient, but virtual reality is not quite on the level of providing a full sensory experience at this point. If a person is going to make a larger investment, they are going to want to interact with the product in person. Until virtual reality can create a fully convincing experience that fully delivers on what is promised during the virtual tour or showing, there is going to be some sort of gap between expectation and reality
Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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