Realtor.com statistics report that listings with virtual tours receive 87% more views than listings without tours (including those with still photos alone), and that 54% of buyers who use the site will not look at properties that don’t include virtual tours.
Nearly 90 percent of people work with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home, according to the National Association of Realtors’ “2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.” That’s good news for real estate agents, but there’s more to the equation than just attracting clients and working with them on their buying and selling needs.
Buyers and sellers also want to work with an agent who uses video.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be tech-savvy or have any experience making videos to put together a virtual tour of your homes. To streamline the process, employ the right resources from the start. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
Choose the Right Equipment
Starting out with the right camera is crucial to your virtual tour success. It should make your life easier and eliminate the need for extra editing work to brighten up your photos and videos. The best place to start? Try your smartphone.
Smartphone camera quality has improved dramatically over the years to incorporate optical image stabilization and focus pixels.
The iPhone 6 Plus can even take still photos while capturing a few seconds of video before and after to create mini videos.
Videos also can be recorded at normal speed (60 frames per second) or in slow motion (240 fps).
This eliminates the need for complicated or costly video editing equipment.
Find a Tour Builder
Once you have your photos or videos in place, there are dozens of ways to put together a professional-looking tour.
It’s possible to grab the media off your smartphone and upload it to your website. However, there are free and premium virtual tour builders on the market that can take your presentation to a new professional level.
Add your media to a platform like YouVisit, arrange and organize it any way you want and share it on social media or your website. Introductory services are free, with premium options for more robust features.
Style Your Tour
What happens if the house you’re selling needs an update or is a work in progress?
The virtual tour platform Obeo has a Style Designer feature that gives your virtual tour a boost. Show home buyers what the house will look like once the kitchen colors are changed from black to white.
Easily change backgrounds, color and lighting to showcase the potential of a home. This takes the pressure off of you to undergo expensive, last-minute staging.
Step up your game with a virtual walk-through of your houses.
Software like RTV brings objects and animation to life with 3-D capabilities.
Think of it as a moving representation of your home that feeds potential clients’ imaginations. Your potential home buyers can hop from room to room by clicking on the name of a button, such as kitchen or master bedroom. By the time they are ready to see the property in person, they’ve already done a complete virtual walk-through and are more likely to make an offer.
If you want to take 3-d to the next level you could look at either buying your own 3-d camera or hiring a Matterport certified service provider.
“A 3D Showcase™ is an online experience that lets home buyers move through a property and see it from any angle. Even get a completely unique sense for the place with our “dollhouse” view”
Add Compelling Copy
Videos, photos and slick design style aren’t the only things that should go with your virtual tour.
Add compelling copy about the home you’re selling, from its interior details all the way down to special features like a smart thermostat.
Remember to include copy about the surrounding area, including:
- Local schools
to entice a wide variety of home buyers.
While virtual tours are not quite the show stopper that they once were they have become a requirement in real estate marketing. Take a few minutes to help yours stand out.
- Choose the Right Equipment
- Find a Tour Builder
- Style Your Tour
- Go 3-D
- Add Compelling Copy