What is a Virtual Home Tour?

Since the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic, many of our everyday aspects have been moved to the home. Most things are online now. Because of social distancing, many real estate agents have moved to virtual home tours. A virtual home tour is a small, interactive tour of a home. They make it easy for prospective buyers to see available homes without having to interact with others physically. It can be as simple as recorded walkthroughs of the house. You can also FaceTime or Zoom with the buyer, so they can tell you what they want to see and ask you questions. The easiest and most time-saving home tour for both the seller and the buyer is a 3D virtual tour. A 3D tour is like a virtual reality of your property that is surprisingly easy for both ends. They are simple to make for the seller and easy to navigate for the buyer, giving them a good feel for the home without actually being there.

What Virtual Tours are Available?

The best virtual tour would be a 3D model of the home, but you can also film video tours or directly contact the buyer for a virtual appointment and FaceTime or Zoom live time with them. You could also do a virtual open house, send people a link, and have a group of people log on to see your house. There are many websites, like Matterport, that you can use to create an interactive 3D home tour.

How To Make Your Own 3D Virtual Tour

Making a virtual tour is actually very easy. You can use your smartphone, or for better quality, you can use a 3D or panoramic camera. Using a tripod will help you have smoother transitions and level images. You need to get a good quality panorama of every room and hallway. Depending on the camera you are using and the property’s square footage,  this should take between 20 minutes to an hour. Once you have your images, you can go to Matterport or another website or app and use their software to piece together a 3D image of your home. You can then make a website page to display the property. Some websites are free, but you will have to pay to upgrade to better quality or more features. The WP3D models with Matterport are only $299. If you don’t trust your photography skills, you can hire a professional photographer to come to your house and shoot the photos for you.

Virtual Staging

According to realtor.com, virtual staging is a viable option for online tours. It is much cheaper than actually staging your home, and it can give the buyer a much better view of each room. Instead of physically moving furniture, painting, and decorations, virtual staging allows you to scan the room as it is, then digitally remove everything except the structure. This will enable you to see the actual space better. You can then set up the house model the way you want your buyers to see it. It helps the buyer envision the house as more of a blank palette that they can build off instead of trying to imagine themselves in your home.

Planning and Prepping The Tour

Make sure to test the camera beforehand to know what the best angles are and what lighting looks best.

Plan the path you want to take through your house and mark the floor or print the floor plan so you can easily follow while you are shooting.

Prep the house: any updates, refinishing, new paint jobs, etc., should be done before your shoot. Clean the house and make sure lights are on, windows and doors open, etc., so that you have the best lighting and you can move easily through the house.

Make sure no one walks in while you are shooting. Kids or pets should be out of the house, so they don’t accidentally get in the shot.

Once you have all the shots, check each one to make sure it is clear and transitions well to the next. It is much easier to reshoot pictures on the same day instead of having to do it all over again. Get all the images you need the way you want them on the same day to minimize any lighting or camera position differences between photos. This will help make the model clearer.

How Does a Virtual Tour Work?

A virtual tour is like a virtual reality of your house. It provides a 3D image of every room that buyers can go through without having to travel to the house itself. The seller creates a virtual model of the home that they can put on a website. Buyers can then look at the house online and have a better view of the place than normal pictures or videos. They can move through each floor on their own and can look where they want.

All you have to do is get high-quality panoramic shots of each room and floor and then go through a website like Matterport and piece together each picture into a 3D model that you can put on a website with all of your listings. Potential buyers can access them there and virtually walk through each home.

What Makes a Virtual Tour Engaging?

The most crucial aspect of your tour will be making it easy to navigate. Buyers should be able to move smoothly through the home and see every part of it. Clear images and putting together all the pictures into one model seamlessly will also make it more engaging to look through (and accurately represent the home).

When you are prepping your house for shooting the pictures, be sure to set up everything so that it is easy to see the layout of the room. Avoid crowding rooms with decorations and other stuff. Keep it simple so the buyer can focus on the actual house and envision it as their new home.

Can You Be a Virtual Real Estate Agent?

Many real estate agents have moved to work from home since coronavirus, and as virtual home tours become more and more popular, it is easier to go online. If you can get 3D tours of all your listings online and get enough potential buyers on your website, you can be a virtual real estate agent.

Do Virtual Tours Help Sell Houses?

Virtual tours are totally worth it to help sell your house. There are less time and hassle for everyone involved; it’s easier for buyers to view the house and more comfortable for the seller to show the house fewer times and to people who are already invested in it. Overall, it saves money and time.

How to Create a Virtual Gallery Tour

Virtual gallery tours are made the same way you would make a virtual house tour. Once you get the right equipment, you just need to get panoramas of each area of the gallery, set up the model online and share it. It can also be helpful to have a clear still photo of each display as well as the tour. Get started with yours today by installing our WP3D Plugin!