The real estate market is more competitive now than ever, so you’ll need to go above and beyond to make sure your listings stand out. One great way to do this is by creating virtual walkthroughs. A virtual walkthrough makes it easy for potential buyers to view your home in detail right from the smartphone or computer.
But how do you create an effective virtual walkthrough for real estate? Luckily, there are plenty of tools on the market these days that make it easier than ever. Here’s what you need to know about virtual tours and walkthroughs.
What is a virtual walkthrough?
A virtual walkthrough is a great alternative to an in-person real estate tour. These became incredibly popular during COVID-19 when social distancing restrictions were in place, but they are also helpful for buyers who don’t currently live in the city they are moving to. There are a few different types of virtual tours you can create as a real estate agent.
The easier option is to create a video tour. With this option, you film yourself walking through the home and around the exterior of the property. You can also add commentary about the house’s unique features.
However, there is also the option to create a more detailed 360 degree tour. To create these tours, you’ll use an advanced software program to capture imagery of the entire house. Viewers can then decide how to move through the house. They can scroll to move around the room and get different viewpoints, and they can also click to move between different areas of the house.
How does a virtual tour work in real estate?
Virtual tours are a great way to enhance all of your online listings. You can add a link to your virtual tour anywhere that your properties are listed, and you should also have them on your website. This is a great way to generate leads, because interested parties can get a strong sense of what the property has to offer.
Benefits of Virtual Tours
Creating a virtual tour for each of your listings has so many benefits. Here’s why you should consider investing in these virtual walkthroughs.
- Virtual walkthroughs provide a high-quality digital showing experience. They are very appealing to today’s buyers, many of whom prefer to do as much of their home shopping online as possible. Statistically, listings with virtual walkthroughs typically get many more clicks than those that don’t have virtual walkthroughs. They are also easy to share on social media, which can help your listing get even more traction.
- Creating a virtual walkthrough can actually save you time and money in the long run. Because anybody can view your virtual walkthrough online, you’ll need to do fewer in-person showings. You can feel confident knowing that those who reach out to see the home in person are interested, and you won’t waste your time or resources managing tons of showings.
- Virtual walkthroughs make the showing process more convenient for both you and the seller. Because you won’t be making nearly as many in-person showings, your sellers won’t have to worry about having to keep the house perfectly clean or rearranging their schedule as often.
How do I make a virtual walkthrough?
The process of actually creating a virtual tour can feel very daunting, but there are many different apps and services that can make the process much simpler. One way to do this is by hiring a virtual tour production service. The benefit of this approach is that they will handle everything for you, including filming, editing, and uploading the virtual tour.
However, the downside to this is that it can be quite expensive, and you might not always have it in your budget. Luckily, there are many software programs these days that can help you create a virtual tour on your own.
One popular app for this is RICOH360 Tours. To use this service, you will need to purchase a 360 degree camera, which you will use to create each tour. You’ll then connect the camera to the smartphone app, and it will automatically upload the pictures you take in each room to create your tour. It even includes AI features to help improve the quality of the tour without much extra work on your part.
Other examples of apps that help you build virtual tours are Matterport and Kuula. Both of these apps connect to 360 degree cameras to generate your virtual tour. While many people use Matterport for residential real estate, it’s also become popular for commercial use. Kuula is unique in that you can upload your tours to their website and app, so there is a social media aspect to it.
How do I make a real estate video tour?
You may also want to create a video walkthrough of your properties to go with your listings. You can upload these video tours to your website as well as YouTube and other video hosting platforms. Video tours are great if you want to add audio commentary about the listing and replicate the in-person interaction of a typical showing.
There are two different ways you can make a real estate video tour - you can hire someone to do it, or you can do it yourself. If you hire a production company to make your video, you’ll get excellent quality, and you won’t have to worry about any of the technical challenges that come with making a video. They can even help you with editing and uploading the video.
However, working with a production company can get very expensive and might not be in your budget. In this case, you can opt to make the video yourself. If you’re going to do this, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right equipment to capture video of the space.
Luckily, there are many smartphone cameras available these days that are capable of capturing high-quality video. You’ll also need to learn how to edit your own videos. Again, this can be tricky, but there are plenty of user-friendly software programs and tutorials to make things a bit easier.
By using a virtual tour software “RICOH360 Tours”, which has AI Video Maker feature, you can create a video tour from your existing virtual tours. With this solution, you can save your effort to hire a production company or to make a video by yourself.
How To Make Your Virtual Walkthrough Shine
In order for your virtual walkthrough to generate real leads, it will need to be high quality. Here are some tips you can use to make sure your virtual walkthrough stands out from the pack.
Consider your target audience first
The first step is to set a goal for your virtual walkthrough and consider your target audience. Think about the buyer you are trying to appeal to - is it young working professionals, families, retirees, or someone else? Understanding your target audience can help you determine which features you want to highlight most on your tour. You’ll also want to think about where you’re planning on posting your tour and what kind of web traffic you’re hoping to generate.
Choose the right viewpoints
When taking your 360 degree images, you’ll want to be very careful to make sure you’re choosing the most effective viewpoints. Centering the camera in the middle of the room is going to be effective in most cases. However, there are some instances where this isn’t going to generate the best quality. For example, if you have an oblong or off-center room, you may need to place the camera slightly off-center. This is also true for outdoor spaces - you’ll want to make sure the focus is on the amenities that the property offers.
Clean and stage each room beforehand
Since so many potential buyers are going to be looking at your virtual tour, it’s important to make sure that you are capturing the property at its absolute best. Each room should be thoroughly cleaned, and the exterior should be landscaped as well. You may want to hire a professional cleaner to help with this.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re staging each room effectively. The home should be thoughtfully decorated using neutral pieces of furniture. It should have enough furniture to look lived-in, but it also shouldn’t have too much clutter, as this can be very distracting. You also won’t want to use any furniture pieces that are too bold or controversial, as you don’t want to take away from the appeal of the home itself.
Make sure each image is properly lit
Lighting can really make or break the quality of your home tour. When taking your photos, you’ll need to make sure that each one has the right amount of lighting. If you don’t use enough light, the house can look very dark, but if you use too much light, it can end up washing everything out. You may need to use artificial forms of lighting to achieve the best quality. Even a small ring light can make a big difference. Shooting during ‘golden hour’ can also help you get the right tone for your virtual tour.
If you’re a real estate agent and you’re not currently making virtual walkthroughs, what are you waiting for? Virtual walkthroughs are a great way to draw in potential buyers and make your listing stand out. Check out RICOH360 Tours for an easy way to make your own virtual tours!