Home virtual tours have become an extremely popular feature in real estate. What’s more, with the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting our lives, using a virtual reality tour is the safest and most effective way to sell or buy a house fast.But coronavirus is not the only reason why virtual tours are such a big hit. Sure, it speeded up the process of moving the real estate business into the internet, but even before the pandemic, 3D tours had been growing in popularity.

What are their exact benefits, though? And how can you create an amazing virtual tour all by yourself? You’ll find all the information in the guide below. It’s time to embrace the future and gain an advantage over your real estate competitors.

What is a Virtual Tour?

Let’s start with the basics, though. What makes a virtual tour deserve its name? After all, you’ve probably heard of similar real estate tools, such as listing videos. And sure, they may seem look-alike for some, but in reality, they’re two entirely different things.

First and foremost, a listing video isn’t interactive. It’s just a video that shows a property, usually, accompanied by music, zooming, and panning. In short, a viewer can’t control it.

On the other hand, virtual tours allow users to move around and look at a home from different angles. Viewers can also pick various points and house features they wish to see.

We can divide them into two forms:

3D virtual tours
Interactive 360-degree interactive VR tours

Which one should you choose? The best idea is to consider both options before deciding on one. To do that, though, you should learn a thing or two about them.

3D Virtual Tour

3D tours give your audience an opportunity to experience what it might be like to move into your house. You can create them using a panoramic camera lens and stitching together the images you made using virtual tour software.

Creating these tours is usually cheap, and doesn’t require any extra skills. However, since they’re created from static images, moving from one room to another may seem jumpy.

What differentiates such tours from slideshows is that they allow users to stop, look around, and zoom at various features.

Interactive 360-Degree VR Tour

360-degree VR tours offer an immersive and true-life experience. However, it also means they are far more complicated to create than simple 3D tours. They require setting up a special camera in the room’s center, which rotates to take a 360-degree photo of its surroundings.

Like 3D tours, VR ones also require using a special app or software to upload the images and put them together. The best thing about them, though, is that they offer viewers a much more engaging and richer experience.

Some listing agents even include them in their real estate marketing plans. Using them is considered to be one of the best practices when selling more luxurious properties.

Keep in mind that they require some previous experience in photography or movie-making. If you don’t have it, consider hiring a professional tour-making company or ask your realtor for help.

Virtual Real Estate Tours Benefits

You may think whether creating a tour is worth your time and effort. After all, you can hire a real estate agent and leave everything in their hands. That would be a mistake, though.

A well-made virtual tour will help you gain an advantage on the market, attract more buyers, and at the same time, lower your selling costs. More on that below.

Improved Convenience and User Experience

You can think of 3D virtual tours as a Google Street View, but for real estate purposes. A digital tour gives potential property buyers a chance to “visit” for-sale homes without even moving an inch from their sofa.

All that makes virtual tours an incredibly convenient tool. With just one click of a mouse, people can tour a house they wish to purchase, saving them time and money they would have to spend traveling to a specific location.

However, it’s not just a buyer that can find a 3D tour more convenient. It also makes the selling process much more comfortable for the seller. After all, once you create a tour, you don’t have to clean your house every time buyers come to see it.

It also allows you to show your property in the best condition and highlight its best features.

Lower Costs

Contrary to popular belief, creating a house 3D virtual tour is not expensive nor time-consuming. Of course, it all depends on the software or an app you use. Still, most tour-making tools are pretty easy to use and don’t require any special skills. Not to mention they’re cheaper than hiring a realtor – which probably is the reason why real estate agents don’t recommend virtual tours.

More Potential Home Buyers

Creating a 360 virtual tour is a fantastic way to attract more buyers without spending money on upgrades or lowering your listing price. First of all, as mentioned before, such a tour is extremely convenient.

Secondly, thanks to a unique approach, you’ll be able to build your audience faster, and make your offer more interesting. Unlike images or text, virtual tours are much more engaging, meaning your buyers will be more likely to remember your offer and make the purchase.

How to Create a Home Virtual Tour

Now that we’ve covered why creating virtual tours is an excellent idea when selling a home, let’s look at the creation process. Below, we’ll go through six steps on making a virtual tour for real estate that will help you attract more buyers and sell your property for the best price possible. Let’s roll!

Step 1: Choose Reliable Virtual Tour Software and Equipment

The first thing you need to understand when it comes to creating virtual tours, is that it isn’t rocket science. Sure, you may have heard that it requires state-of-the-art photo equipment, but the reality is entirely different.

All you need is a panoramic or 360-degree camera, which nowadays, has never been easier and more affordable to get. In fact, most of the newest smartphones come with such features, making things even less complicated.

The only thing you should consider investing extra cash in is a tripod with a panoramic mount to get all your angles right.

In short, picking the right camera shouldn’t be a problem. However, picking a reliable 3D virtual tour software might give you a headache. Why? Because there are tons of options available.

Some programs are cheaper than others but don’t provide users with all the advantages. Usually, they’re great for beginners who have never created virtual tours. You can also consider getting a more expensive program. Make sure you understand how it works first, though.

Neglecting that may turn your tour into a disaster.

Step 2: Plan Your Shots

Now that you have your equipment, you may feel the temptation to start making your tour immediately. Be patient, though. The first thing you should do is plan your shot carefully.

Make the list of rooms you wish to include in your tour, look at your floor plans to decide the order, and find all the highlights and features you want to catch with the camera.

Keep in mind that every room can make a difference, so as a rule of thumb, you should make sure you don’t leave anything out. Creating a shortlist should ensure you take care of everything.

Step 3: Stage Each Room

Once you decide which rooms you want to include in your 3D space tour, you need to ensure they look the best way possible. It’s time to stage your space.

Remove the clutter, clean each room, and take out anything that may mess with your images. You can also consider playing with lighting and color features to create an atmosphere that you believe will attract a bigger audience.

And if you don’t believe that playing with interior design is your strongest suit, you can always hire a professional home stager to help you.

Step 4: Take the Photos

Okay, now that you have your rooms looking fantastic and an image list by your side, you can start having fun with the camera. Well, almost. It’s a good idea to take some test shots first to ensure you get your settings right and that all rooms look great. Once you’re done with that, you can get your virtual tour shots.

Find the spot you believe is right, set up your gear, and start taking pictures. Oh, and remember about that tripod we mentioned before? Now it’s time to take advantage of your purchase.

Place your camera/mobile device on its top, and take the pictures. Retake shots if needed and make sure you create the best image gallery possible. Remember that it’s better to have too many pictures than too few.

You can also consider hiring real estate photographers. However, if you don’t want to spend too much, you can do everything by yourself.

Step 5: Use the Tour Creator

Once you have all the images, it’s time to create your amazing virtual tour. Now, depending on the software you use, this stage may look different. However, most virtual tour programs come with similar features, so the basics should be the same for most of them.

The first step is to upload all your photos to the creator. The software should allow you to edit them according to your needs and help you go through each step of tour creation.

Most programs also allow users to add extra features to virtual tours. Depending on the software, you should be able to include an audio description, interactive links, zoom options, or displayed floor plan to make the navigation easier.

Adding them can often make a difference and significantly improve your buyers’ experience.

Step 6: Share Your VR Home Tour

Now that you believe everything is ready, it’s time to share your amazing tour with the rest of the world. Your program should provide you with a link to your 3D tour that you can upload to your social media or real estate selling platform.

Integrating such a tour with your offer should attract various audiences, significantly increasing the chances of you selling your house.

What Makes a Virtual Tour Engaging

Creating your 3d tour is one thing. The other is making sure it works. And that can be more challenging than most people think. Your tour not only should help you show your house in the best light possible, but also be engaging for your audience.

With that in mind, if you want your tour to attract people and persuade them to spend money on your property, your tour should include:

Smooth navigation to move across rooms
The ability to freeze the frame and move around the room
High-definition pictures
Shots of clean and uncluttered rooms
Your home features highlights, including awesome kitchen amenities or outdoor space
Extra features, like music or interactive links
Compatibility with all devices and software (Android, iOS, Windows)

The Bottom Line

3D virtual tours have become a big hit in the real estate industry. What’s more, because of the pandemic and all the social distancing rules, they’re the only way for homebuyers to take a thorough look at a property they wish to purchase.

That’s not the only reason why real estate professionals recommend using such tours. As we mentioned in the article, a 3D virtual tour is the most convenient way to show a home, both for a seller and a buyer, as they save a lot of time and effort.

What’s more, since they don’t require any additional skills, almost anyone can create virtual tours. The trick is to do it right, though. Hopefully, thanks to our guide, you’ll be able to create the best virtual tour possible, and ensure your audience grows, increasing your chances of selling your home for the right value.