Digital real estate tours have seen a sharp rise in demand from property buyers who see them as vital to decision-making. Property agents and sellers must be able to provide these 3D viewings to give buyers a realistic understanding of the property without a physical visit and nudge them to make an offer. Creating these virtual tours can be done simply by choosing the right equipment to film the property, planning the shoot, staging the property for the shoot, and finally, filming and editing the footage to create a seamless tour. In addition, agents and sellers who embed virtual tours in their property listings can provide an immersive and realistic property view, save time and money, attract buyers, and increase sales.
What is a virtual tour in real estate?
Virtual real estate tours are digital property simulations that make it easy and accessible for prospective buyers to view properties anywhere. These are 3D tours or walkthroughs where individuals can control which part of the property they want to explore and view it from multiple perspectives. As technologies advance, virtual tours are also becoming highly interactive and engaging for viewers.
These virtual tours have been gaining popularity in recent years, with 61% of property buyers stating that virtual property tours are one of the most helpful technologies, outranking photos and videos, as reported by Forbes. These tours provide a much more realistic representation of the space than property videos and images. They can also be accessed anytime, making them a much more convenient option than traditional property viewings.
Virtual real estate tours are an excellent way for agents to attract buyers. Such tours also increase an agent’s chances of a sale and closing a property deal at or above the listing price since buyers have a much better understanding of the property after viewing.
How to make a real estate virtual tour?
Choose the right equipment
To start creating virtual tours, you need to invest in high-quality equipment like a camera, software, and a tripod that doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive.
Cameras like DSLRs, 360-degree cameras, or even smartphones can capture real estate photographs. DSLR cameras can deliver top-notch quality photographs of the estate. If you wish to capture realistic pictures of the property, 360-degree cameras like the Insta360 ONEX or Ricoh Theta V could be a good option. If you’re looking for an affordable option, a regular smartphone camera with an add-on fisheye lens adapter can create wide-resolution photos.
It is also worth investing in software. Purchasing software to stitch together the photographs into a panorama will help ensure a seamless experience for a property buyer viewing the virtual house. However, if using a 360-degree camera, this would already be taken care of.
Additionally, using a tripod to shoot all the imagery will help stabilize the images captured and generate the best possible photos during your shoot.
Plan the shoot
Before capturing the images and recordings, planning out what your virtual walkthrough will look like is essential. This includes various considerations, from the rooms and spaces that will be photographed to how each room will be captured and from which angle. Since the outcome must mimic walking through the property, the route must be planned logically. The footage should capture all the essential and visually attractive spaces in the best possible way through camera adjustments for height and lighting. These vantage points can be marked as a guide for the day of the final shoot.
Stage the space
The property must be staged to look perfect for the recording so it is as welcoming as possible for prospective home buyers. This involves ensuring the property is decluttered and cleaned before the shoot so it is presentable in the final virtual walkthrough. Completing any repairs, painting, landscaping, and redecorating work could also be a way to stage the property.
Staging and prepping a property before the shoot can help increase its sale price. This step involves effort and time. Those who prefer avoiding the hassle can hire external parties like iStaging or roOomy to provide room staging services.
Film the property
The most important part of the process is filming all the rooms in the property to create the virtual walkthrough. Here are a few points to keep in mind to get the best possible footage:
Carry out your shoot based on the initial plan
Position yourself in the center of the room to begin filming
Take your time during the shoot and move the camera slowly and steadily to avoid tilts and distortion
There is no harm in taking multiple photos of a room as a backup
Avoid shooting near reflective surfaces or shadows that may take away from the quality of the shoot
With well-shot videos and photographs, you can offer property buyers a realistic and immersive experience, so take the time necessary to ensure the best possible outcome.
Edit the footage
After capturing the footage, you must touch up and edit it before formatting it into a virtual tour. This could involve adjusting the brightness, balancing the colors, and rectifying any imperfections.
Once you are happy with the footage, you can upload it on any chosen software to create the final tour. Each software will have different capabilities, with some allowing you to add music, special effects, text, links, or room descriptions. Adding these functionalities to your virtual tour will help improve the user experience. Once this is ready, the software should allow you to generate a link to your virtual tour, which you can publish on your website.
Benefits of virtual tours for real estate
View properties remotely
Virtual property tours are accessible 24/7 and can be viewed remotely through a desktop, laptop, or smartphone. Without the need to be physically present, buyers can save time and focus on other priorities during their property-buying journey.
Save time and money
Physical real estate showings and in-person meetings are time-consuming. With virtual tours, multiple buyers can view the property online, saving loads of time for agents and buyers. With numerous properties to visit during the property-buying process, this alternative is highly beneficial.
Provide an immersive and realistic viewing
3D virtual viewings are more immersive, interactive, and engaging than standard videos and photographs. Customers have the independence to explore the space and ask questions. The level of detail in the viewing experience allows buyers to see realistic representations of views from balconies and windows, the level of lighting in a room, and the available storage space, among other features. This helps them make a much more informed decision while purchasing the property.
Attract potential buyers and increase sales
An online listing with a virtual viewing can attract multiple buyers and offers, driving up sale prices. These viewings also attract several international buyers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience a listed property immersively through photographs or videos. These buyers are warmer leads as the virtual viewing has already given them a good idea of the floor plan.
Real estate virtual tour companies
Matterport has made a name for itself by allowing individuals and Fortune 500 companies to build 3D virtual replicas of property with quality and dimensional accuracy. Matterport’s software makes it incredibly easy to create virtual walkthroughs for real estate, like properties for sale and rent or construction projects. It provides a realistic and immersive experience for viewers experiencing the property online. Agents can capture the images themselves, with no professional expertise required, using the Matterport capture app and a Matterport account.
Real estate agents can build 3D and 2D virtual tours using iGUIDE’s centralized platform by providing room dimensions and 360-degree images. Additionally, users can create color-coded floor plans to elevate virtual tours for better user experience and navigation. iGUIDE’s patented camera can help capture images for the virtual tour in a single visit, making it a simple and speedy process. They also allow images captured for the shoot to be edited by users to an optimal finish.
Kuula, another virtual tour software, provides several configurations to make real estate tours engaging and interactive for property buyers online. The software has various features like background audio, interactive cards, horizon corrections, zoom restrictions, and filters. Tours can also be custom branded for businesses.
Digital property simulations allow prospective buyers to view properties in a highly interactive and engaging environment from anywhere. The benefits of these virtual tours are immense for property sellers and agents as they can host remote viewings, reach a wider buyer pool, save time and money, and increase sales potential. The effort of showcasing physical property can be cut down by just investing in good equipment like a camera, software, and tripod and planning and conducting a shoot for a property. With these elements executed, the images shot can be easily transformed into a 3D walkthrough. As technologies advance and real estate in virtual worlds like the metaverse evolves, these tours will only become more immersive and appealing to many property owners and buyers.
Are you looking to provide an immersive real estate viewing experience? We can help you build and host engaging property viewings in virtual reality. Get in touch with us!