When buyers are looking for a home they want to know as much as possible about it before they make a decision. The first thing most people do when looking for anything these days is go online to do some research because databases and reference options are plentiful. Buyers today have numerous real estate related tools at their disposal, and you can bet that they are using as many as they can to look at the homes available to them when they are ready to purchase a property. In fact, the search for a home has become an increasingly digital experience. A popular digital tool that countless prospective buyers are using today is the virtual tour, and that means it’s become an important key to an effective real estate marketing campaign.
What is a virtual tour?
A virtual tour is a digital simulation of a home that allows viewers to virtually experience a walkthrough of the property. It is usually composed of still images or videos that are put into a sequence that looks like a walkthrough view of the rooms, hallways, closets, yards, and other features a home has to offer. Users can click through to move in any direction of the home, and they can also rotate the view to see different angles of the property. Though most buyers will still end up physically visiting the property before making a purchase, a virtual tour can be a great way to draw them in and make them curious enough to ask for more.
How do you make a virtual tour?
Virtual tours can be a very valuable tool when selling a home, but only if they are made with the best quality in mind. Choppy or grainy virtual tours are not only unhelpful to someone selling real estate, but they can even be harmful to the sale. When people see a poor quality walkthrough they may think it reflects poorly on the person selling the home, or even the property itself. To avoid this problem you should take steps to ensure that your virtual tour preserves the quality of the property and provides a pleasant view that will make people anxious to see more before someone else snaps it up. Here are some tips for producing a virtual tour that will make the most of your real estate.
Walkthrough the property to plan the virtual tour. -The point of a virtual tour is to show off the best parts of the house, so you need to know which features to highlight in your photos and videos to give the best impression. You can figure this out by walking through the home and mapping out the best angles, as well as the order in which the rooms should be viewed. Don’t forget that the outside of the home, both front and back, are important as well.
1. Clean the home up and empty it out.
You want your virtual tour to show the home as clean and spacious, so you need to make sure that it is free of dirt and clutter. If the home is still furnished you need to make sure that it is easy to walk through smoothly, and that the rooms don’t appear crowded. If they do then you might want to pull some of the furniture out and store it until after you record the virtual tour.
2. Take high quality pictures or video.
Make sure you use a high quality camera to document the home. It needs to have high resolution, and if it is video then the frames need to be steady throughout the movement. Pan through slowly, and consider using a tripod with a swivel to keep the footage from appearing shaky. The video should provide a 360 degree view of every room. You want to capture the home in optimal lighting, especially if one of the features of the home is great natural light.
3. Record neighborhood amenities too.
If the home is in a gated community or neighborhood that comes with amenities like playgrounds, dog parks, walking trails, pools, and other great features, then you need to include these in your walkthrough. You don’t have to take video of these aspects, but make sure to take high quality photos to include in the tour. These may fit in best at the end of the tour, after the home and yards have been viewed.
4. Upload your footage to a computer.
You can use a desktop or laptop computer to create your virtual tour if you have an application to make movies or videos. All you need to do is upload your photos and video footage, which can be accomplished by connecting your camera to your computer. Your camera may have a USB cable which you can use to connect it, or you can take out the memory card and put it into your computer to transfer the files.
5. Put the files in order in your movie making app.
If you are handy with a computer and a movie making app then you won’t need any help completing the next part. You will import the files you want to use into the app and then arrange them in order of the way you want the walkthrough to progress. Once you have ordered all the files you can preview the project to see how it looks. You can also add in background music and/or commentary to enhance the video.
Once the virtual tour is created you can simply upload it to your website so prospective buyers can view it. Don’t be surprised if you get a number of interested buyers calling within hours of posting the tour, if not sooner. If you are selling a home then a virtual tour is an excellent tool to have in your pocket. Don’t pass up this great opportunity to improve your real estate game.