Virtual property tours are taking property marketing by storm, and for good reasons:
- Property listings with virtual tours close 31% quicker on average than those without.
- 67% of buyers want virtual tours.
- 50% of buyers prefer virtual tours to just photography alone.
If those stats have piqued your interest, and you want to utilise virtual property tours in your own listings, you’re in the right place.
But before we get stuck into the nitty-gritty of this blog post, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what virtual property tours actually are:
What’s a virtual property tour?
‘Virtual property tours’, sometimes known as ‘3D tours’ or ‘360 tours, ‘ enable prospective buyers and renters to ‘walk’ through your client’s property remotely. I.e., they can view the property’s interiors and exteriors from the convenience of their desktop, tablet or mobile device.
When we asked Sean Woolley, Founder and Director of Cloud Nine Spain, for his thoughts on virtual property tours, this is what he said:
‘For clients who are already well-researched and familiar with the areas, there is sometimes no need to physically visit. Armed with a high-quality camera, a gimbal and a wide-angle lens, we have been able to conduct live walk-through video chats and to produce beautifully edited videos which are almost as good as the real thing.’
Now, with a clearer idea of what virtual property tours are, let’s explore some of our top tips for creating them:
1. Plan your walk-through
As we’ve just mentioned, the primary purpose of virtual property tours is to mimic the experience of walking through a home.
In light of that, planning a logical route is imperative. For instance, coming through the front door, entering a reception room, exploring rooms on the ground floor, and then making your way up to the next floor. This is an excellent example of a well-thought-out virtual property tour route.
Pro Tip #1: List all the rooms and spaces you want to highlight when mapping out your route. This helps to ensure nothing gets forgotten! For example, has the basement been converted into a games room? If so, you’ll want to showcase this unique space in your walk-through. The same goes for in-built storage, walk-in wardrobes, loft space, etc.
Pro Tip #2: When shooting footage for your virtual tour, open doors that lead to the aforementioned areas to give the viewer a more accurate picture of the available space.
2. Plan your shots
In addition to familiarising yourself with the aforementioned route, before you (or your professional photographer) record any footage, you need to know if there are any ‘must-haves’ to capture in each room.
Once you know what you’re shooting, you can decide where to place your camera in each room.
Pro Tip: Shooting from the room’s centre is typically best practice because you’re more likely to capture the entire space.
That said, this only applies to pretty symmetrical rooms, which isn’t always the case. So, it’s always wise to test shots from different locations in the room to see which works best!
3. Stage the property
Just like you would stage a home for property photos, you’ll also want to do the same for your virtual property tour. Needless to say, this is crucial for ensuring the space is presented in the best possible light.
So, here are a couple of home staging tips:
- Ask the seller to declutter their home as much as possible (remove photographs, pet bowls and toys; clear out any storage space you’re showcasing, etc.)
- At the risk of sounding patronising, ask the seller to clean the property. Vacuum and mop the floors, dust the ceilings and skirting boards, deep clean the kitchen and bathrooms, etc. It goes without saying that prospective buyers don’t want to see mould or grime in their future homes.
For more tips on how to stage your home, check out our guide.
4. Hire a professional photographer
As we’ve hinted throughout this blog post, photographing images for virtual property tours is far more involved than taking regular property photos.
As such, there’s a good chance your agency would benefit from hiring an expert. When picking the right photographer for your agency, an excellent starting point is to research customer reviews and their portfolio. It’s also wise to pinpoint precisely what your photographer offers.
That’s why we at FocalAgent, a proud provider of 360° virtual property tours, are happy to say we have a 4.9 out of 5-star rating from 1,366 Google reviews.
In addition to offering high-quality property tours, we also provide ‘Focal Viewing’. An interactive platform where agents can ‘walk’ prospective buyers around the property and ‘talk’ them through it, too – without either party physically visiting the property.
This empowers agents to show house hunters eight properties an hour, saving up to 30 minutes per viewing.
If you want more information about how FocalAgent could help your agency produce high-quality virtual property tours, contact our helpful sales team today!