Virtual house tours allow buyers to experience home designs before they visit your listing in person. Prospects can explore architecture and home designs in outstanding detail. Similarly, high-performance virtual tour software helps real estate agents leverage online platforms to increase sales and boost their returns on investment (ROI).
Most home buyers use online search to find listings, according to the US National Association of Realtors. The demand for online visuals of a property is driving real estate agencies towards the inclusion of virtual home tours within their services. According to Realtor.com, listings featuring virtual house tours get 87% more views compared to those without virtual tours available. Read on to find out how to host a successful virtual house tour to increase sales and boost ROI.
What is a virtual house tour?
A virtual house tour is a non-static visual simulation of a property, which allows prospects to experience a 3D walkthrough of the house. It’s a virtual open house system, which allows users to check a listing anytime from anywhere.
The 3D tour includes still images, videos and audio which are put into a sequence to highlight the features of the property up for sale. Users can move the virtual tour in any direction of the home and rotate the view.
Types of virtual home tours
Virtual tours come in three forms:
- Video walkthroughs
- Interactive 360-degree tours
- 3D tours.
There are many benefits to be gained from using virtual tours when selling homes. A home buyer can explore a virtual open house listing 24/7, for example. Additionally, including a virtual tour on a property listing helps drive conversions.
During a video walkthrough, the listing agent normally talks about the home’s main selling points and offers a tour of the property. You can create a video tour with a smartphone, or for a more polished result, you can combine high-tech digital equipment with virtual tour software.
The purpose of a 3D virtual house tour is to enable prospects to experience what it might feel like to walk through the property. The tour comprises connected panoramic photos used to make a streaming video. Because the tour is made of static photos, however, the flow from one room to another can feel less natural than a traditional tour. With this in mind, 3D video tours work best as an initial walkthrough for buyers. It helps them get a feel for the property before visiting it in person.
An interactive 360-degree virtual tour delivers an immersive experience to viewers. Normally, a high-resolution special camera is set up in the centre of one of the rooms being showcased. The camera rotates and takes 360-degree photos of the surrounding. The unit uploads the images to virtual tour software and then adds text, links and other interactive content.
Why are they currently in demand?
A video house tour is a powerful tool to promote and sell any kind of property. Video content fosters engagement and delivers results such as shares, click-throughs and increased lead generation. Real estate agencies are using video house tours to increase the exposure of luxury villas, for example, to highlight features and to achieve their bottom line.
The pandemic has changed the business world and how people work. An unprecedented percentage of people are working from their homes. The “stay-at-home” order has led real estate agents to use video content in their listings. It’s how they can continue to showcase homes and make them available to prospects. Open house virtual tours allow social distancing and help prospects experience their future potential homes.
How to host a virtual house tour
You can host virtual house tours in two ways: Organise a live open house session or use a recorded video. For best results, use a combination of both methods. A successful virtual house tour requires efficient planning, promotion and top-quality technology.
Top-quality software and equipment
A top-quality panoramic or 360-degree camera will help you create engaging virtual tours to showcase houses. To ensure that your images and angles align, use a tripod. To deliver efficient virtual tours, choose a high-rated virtual tour software program.
Planning your shots
Create a shortlist of the rooms in the luxury house. Place the camera in the centre of each room to highlight the main features. Make sure you can capture each room’s selling points. If the centre of the room doesn’t work for you, find the best spot and mark it.
Prepare every room
Make sure all rooms are stage-ready. Remove all items which are in the way of the lens. The room must be clean, tidy and attractive. Don’t distract prospects from high-value features with clutter.
Prepare the tripod
For uniform images, level the tripod. If the camera doesn’t include a built-in bubble level, search for a levelling tool online. Adjust the legs of the tripod until the bubble is centred.
Test shots and final shots
Go through every room and test each shot. Make the right lighting adjustments and stage the room’s items to achieve top-quality images. Watch out for mirrors, windows, or glass, which may reflect the camera in the image. After you’ve established the correct settings for your camera, move through each room on your list. Set up the camera and take your shots.
Creating your virtual tour
Use top-quality virtual house tour creator to produce the tour by connecting the images. The virtual tour creator will use the static images for 3D virtual tours and the panoramic images for 360-degree virtual tours. Create an engaging user experience by adding hotspots, text and audio. Users can zoom, back up, and automatically change directions.
Promote your tour
Once you’ve finished editing the tour, use the link to embed it on your agency’s website or social media accounts.
Upload the branded version to your website and social media accounts. You can promote the tour by creating a social media event and linking it to your website. Include a preview of the tour in digital adverts and use strong calls-to-action to collect buyers’ contact details.
Immersing buyers into virtual house tours
Virtual house tours offer an immersive and interactive experience. To deliver a top-quality virtual house tour, agents must plan and use the right equipment and virtual tour creator.
Virtual tours have helped agents navigate the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to continue marketing houses.