Virtual Viewings has been lingering around our Exploration Pipeline for quite a while now. You may even remember it being mentioned in our Discovery Session blog post ‘How might we ensure that our housing meets the demands of our customers.

This was a concept that was always the one that got put on hold due to overriding priorities, as, truthfully, we just weren’t sure whether the need or the desire was there within the business.

Well, that was until our Comms Team came to speak to us. 

They were interested in how they could use 360 immersive content when it came to the marketing of our homes for sale. This has been something I’ve wanted to progress for a while, ever since I made a mock up of my own house using Kuula for our first basic test, so I was excited to finally get this concept moving forward.

Following my initial session with Sam Rafferty (Communications Specialist) and Steve Barnes (Creative), we started by speaking with a company called White Crow. White Crow is a locally based company that we had used previously for other work. White Crow use a Matterport Camera to capture their footage in a three-dimensional system you can use to create realistic, fully immersive experiences which are really easy to upload to Matterport Cloud.

Sam and I visited one of our latest development schemes show homes at Quinton Fields on Wednesday 8th May, where we met Phil from White Crow, who showed us how to setup and use the camera. 

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The set up is really easy - all you need is the camera, a sturdy tripod and an iPad with a decent screen size, as a larger screen is preferred but you can also use a smartphone. Sam picked up how to use it within nanoseconds and soon became the director, taking all tips and pointers from Phil as we went along!

It took just under an hour and a half to film the entire house, which did include some ducking and diving when you are hiding from the camera (which was slightly amusing, when three of you are trying to cram into the downstairs WC!). One thing myself and Sam didn’t expect was to be able to see the raw footage and the layers building up from each photo taken on the iPad. We presumed we had to wait until we had uploaded the footage but lucky for us that wasn’t the case.

We both walked away really excited with the outcome and couldn’t wait to see the footage properly. As Matterport is based in America, it takes a few hours to upload but you can usually expect the footage back by the next day.

We’ve now been able to see the full extent of what we created and have even shown our Sales Team a little sneak preview and they are excited by the opportunities this could present.

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Today Sam, Tom and I are heading over to White Crow to see the process of how to upload and edit the content. (they’ve also promised us a sneaky peak at their VR equipment to give us that totally immersive experience!) We hope to test out our own version of VR at our next Sales Show using our VR Gear headset. 

Keep an eye out for a follow up blog from Tom tomorrow, where he will talk about our experience at White Crow and we will share our completed 360 walkthrough.

@Katie

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