Should You Use 2D or 3D Floor Plans for Apartments?

by McKenna Hogan, on Oct 2, 2020 8:30:00 AM

It’s no surprise that floor plans for apartments have become essential to the virtual leasing process.

In fact, a study conducted by Yardi shows that up to 90% of renters these days expect to see unit selection immediately upon entering a property website.

The question is, which is better for your community—2D or 3D floor plans?

Outlined below are pros and cons for each type of floor plan to help you make an informed decision about future investments.

2D floor plans

2D floor plans are basic blueprints of a unit or space from a birds eye view.

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The function of these types of floor plans for apartments is essentially to show prospects what a given unit will generally look like—i.e. room location and simple dimensions.

While still functional and informative to renters, 2D floor plans are starkly different in function compared to 3D floor plans. Take a look below for a few pros and cons.

Pros:

1. They’re budget-friendly

2D floor plans stand out for being super affordable. Averaging around $100 per floor plan, these tools are great for providing unit selection without breaking the bank—especially if your community has a lot of unit layouts to choose from.

2. The turnaround time is quicker

Due to the fact that 2D floor plans are basic outlines, the time from which you sign a contract to when you receive your floor plans is fairly quicker than the 3D rendering process—about a week or two on average. This is excellent for multifamily professionals looking for a quick easy investment.

3. Layouts are straightforward

Both a pro and a con depending on how you look at it, 2D floor plans are bare bones of a unit with no fluff, colors, or textures. This may lead to quicker decisions or a better feel for a unit layout depending on your audience.

Cons:

1. May be difficult to understand

2D floor plans can appear very “architectural” or technical. For some, especially those that are visually impaired, this could lead to difficulties understanding your apartment floor plans. It’s always best practice to ensure accessibility in virtual leasing whenever possible.

2. Not great for promotional usage

Furthering the point above, because 2D floor plans are so straightforward in purpose, they aren't great promotional material. Renters see these plans more as blueprints—although informative, they aren’t super exciting to look at.

3. Doesn’t incite emotion in renters

An important part of displaying floor plans for apartments is triggering emotions, such as excitement or curiosity. With bare bones floor plans it’s pretty difficult to help renters visualize themselves in your community—so if your audience is more visually stimulated, 3D floor plans may be a better option.

3D floor plans

3D floor plans for apartments are virtually staged 3D images of a unit scaled to proportion.

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These elaborate floor plans are better used to advertise while still providing essential information about dimensions and layout.

Below are the most common pros and cons of 3D floor plans.

Pros:

1. Staging is customizable

3D floor plans are staged with furnishings and decor to better represent spacial features of a unit. Although there is a virtual staging library with general options to choose from, LCP360 takes it a step further and provides the option of customizing your 3D floor plans to better suit your audience.

2. They provide insight to spacial proportions

With 2D floor plans, you pretty much receive unit dimensions with no additional features. This lacks insight to valuable information in regards to how a space can be utilized. With 3D floor plans, virtual staging is proportionate to real life dimensions, making it easier for prospects to visualize themselves living there.

3. They’re perfect for promotional use

To put it simply, 3D floor plans are fun to look at. They’re colorful, detailed, unique, and best of all, they are insanely helpful. This makes them perfect for promotion, whether it’s on your website, listings, social platforms, etc. Boost visibility and increase engagement with these lively tools.

4. They work well with other digital tools

Although both types of floor plans can be leveraged within various digital tools, 3D floor plans are preferable. LCP360 recommends adding apartment floor plans to a Panoskin virtual tour or stacking plan to provide renters with all of the tools necessary to make an informed decision about your community.

Cons:

1. They can be a bit pricey

On average, 3D floor plans for apartments can reach up to $200-400 per image. This isn’t within everyone's budget. On the other hand, ROI for this digital tool can absolutely pay off, but the initial investment may be too high an asking price.

2. They have a slower turnaround time

If you’re looking for quick results on an investment, take into account that with all of the work that takes place to build custom 3D renderings, the required turnaround time could set you back a couple weeks to a month.

3. May appear too busy to some prospects

Similar to those that find 2D floor plans difficult to understand, there are also individuals that may think 3D floor plans are too busy. The addition of staging may lead prospects to believe that furniture or other features within a floor plan are included with the rental. Having to distinguish between what’s promotional and what you actually get could lead to more confusion instead of less.

Final thoughts

Regardless of style, floor plans for apartments are an absolute necessity. While both have pros and cons, the decision ultimately lies on what you as a multifamily professional believe is best for your community and your renters.

Click here to learn more about our 3D services.

Topics:3D RenderingsVirtual StagingMultifamily

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