While nothing quite replaces the in-person experience in its entirety, virtual tours can be a valid alternative, or complement, to in-person viewings. Digital tools are becoming increasingly sophisticated and immersive, and with the sudden need or desire to keep our distance, now is a great time to take advantage of the resources available.
What types of virtual tours are there?
It depends on the provider and software you use, but here are the main options for creating a virtual viewing experience.
Still photo tours (photo-gallery)
Professional photos are still the number-one attention grabber. While you may not consider still photos a component of a 'virtual tour', they are usually the first thing that buyers see when browsing listings, so make sure the photo-gallery puts your property in the best light.
3D floorplans enhance traditional floorplans by offering a more accurate illustration of your property's layout and dimensions; however, they are still quite static and offer no interaction.
Interactive floorplans allow prospective buyers to click on each room of your house and see related still photographs, giving them a high-level view of the property. This option is usually quite mobile-friendly, but the key disadvantage is that it doesn't provide a 360 degree view of the room.
3D virtual walkthroughs
A combination of 3D floorplans and 360 degree high-resolution photos, 3D walkthroughs offer a more immersive experience, enabling buyers to explore your property from the comfort of their own couch. The level of detail and interactivity may vary depending on the tools used (sometimes panorama photos are slow to load), but they offer a great alternative to in-person viewings.
It's no secret that videos tell a story. Using drones and professional video footage, a full-motion video of your property can created and with music, narration and text overlay if desired. Some buyers may favour this type of virtual tour because of its immediacy, but load time and lack of viewing control can be a disadvantage.
How to make your virtual tour more effective.
Different virtual options offer different degrees of interactivity and engagement, and if you’re hiring a professional, costs can vary significantly depending on the solution.
Here are a few tips to make the most of your marketing efforts.*
Prepare the property
Before photos and videos are taken, make sure your property is clean, decluttered and home-staged to perfection - just like you would before an in-person property viewing.
Focus on quality and compatibility
Your 'virtual tour' should duplicate the experience of visiting a property in person as much as possible. The higher the quality and device compatibility, the more engaging your virtual tour will be. Your real estate sales consultant can recommend professional solutions that meet your needs and budget.
Advantages of hiring a professional service
Your real estate sales consultant and virtual tour professional both have an ‘eye’ for property and can help you showcase your home in the best light. This includes ensuring that the images are taken from viewpoints that reflect a natural, human perspective, including outdoor areas. Some may use drones to take still photos and video footage that showcase your property’s curb appeal. Most importantly, a good professional will aim for perfection, re-shooting and editing anything that isn’t top-notch and polished.
It's important to remember that, depending on the characteristics of your property, you may want to use a combination of different listing assets at the same time. 3D floorplans and videos, interactive walkthroughs and still photos - how you mix and match these is up to you and your budget.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.