Tips for Creating Virtual Tours That Standout

Written by Ashley Sutphin Posted On Wednesday, 04 November 2020 05:00

If you’re a real estate professional, virtual tours are something you should be focusing on quite a bit right now. These are an immersive, engaging way to draw in prospective buyers. They’re especially important in the age of social distancing when clients might not be as comfortable with in-person showings.

Even if you have a potential buyer that’s fine with eventually seeing the house in person when they have a virtual tour they can narrow their shortlist of properties and it will streamline the process. Virtual tours help provide a sense of context for potential buyers, and they can get more of a feel of how the rooms relate to one another.

There are different options as far as how you’ll present a virtual tour. There are interactive, self-guided 3D tours that are very popular right now. You can also do a video walkthrough that’s pre-recorded with you. Another interesting option is sometimes referred to as a showing by proxy. This means the agent is showing a house live and answering questions on-demand.

As far as self-guided virtual 3D tours, the following are some things to keep in mind to ensure yours are informative and stand out.

Know the Core Components of a Good Virtual Tour

There are a few things that, regardless of the specifics of your showing, need to happen. You need to be showing a real view of the home. You need smooth navigation as you move from room-to-room, and the tours need to pan 360 degrees.

You want a high-def picture that’s sharp and clear.

When you’re filming, the house should be free of clutter, and you want to make sure each time you’re capturing a visual it’s showing a room in its entirety.

You also need virtual 3D tours that are compatible with multiple devices.

What Are the Best Tools?

Some of the best tools for creating 360 virtual tours include:

• The Zillow Virtual Tour 3D Home app is a great option. You can make the tours for free, and you can use an iPhone. You can usually make an entire tour in anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour with your iPhone. If you use a 360-degree camera, you can make a full tour in just a few minutes.
• A 360-degree camera is one like the Ricoh Theta, which offers panoramic shots if you don’t want to use your iPhone.
• Another tool to consider is the Spark Camera. You don’t need additional tools to create tours on your phone and you can add narration and music and easily upload your tours to websites and social media.
• The Filmic Pro is an app that lets you create and produce video tours on your phone easily.

Remember Decision-Making Factors

When you’re creating a virtual tour, you want to use your real estate expertise to hone in on what buyers care most about when they’re making decisions.

For example, you want to help them understand the quality of materials, ceiling height, and room dimensions. You also want them to be able to understand the flow of the home. You can then go into more detail with your voiceovers after the fact.

Know What Not to Show

Just like you want to focus on the most important aspects of the property, you similarly want to avoid those features that might be distracting or even a bit of a turn-off.

Avoid things like disorganized closets or personal items.

Make it Easy to Navigate

Remember, when you’re doing a virtual 3D tour, your viewers will be navigating on their own.

You want to make it easy for them.

You have two main navigation options. You can do floorplan or visual navigation.

With floorplan navigation, viewers use the floorplan to click on the areas of the home they’re interested in seeing. This is a fast way to access the areas a potential buyer prioritizes. With visual navigation, the viewer clicks on images to move throughout the home incrementally. It’s similar to what you do with Google Street view. This can be more engaging, but it’s a slower process because you can’t go straight to what you want to see. There are more clicks required to get from room to room.

Finally, be available and make it easy for people to find out how to contact you right after they view a virtual tour. Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has shifted how people buy homes, but for most people, the online tour isn’t enough. They’ll still want to see a property in person before making a decision.

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