The words “virtual tour” have become a general phrase used to describe any form of non-static presentation of a property listing. A virtual tour can be a 3D virtual tour, a 360-degree virtual tour, or a simple video walk-through. The primary purpose of virtual tours is to recreate the experience of being inside the property and walking through it. As such, a slideshow of listing photos set to music in the background is not considered a virtual tour.
Amid the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, professional virtual tours are a must for property managers and leasing agents alike. This is especially true since most people are still limiting their physical interactions with people to lessen their exposure to the virus. Below, we will share the best tips that property managers and leasing agents should use to create professional interactive virtual tours to get properties sold or rented three times faster.
For most properties, the best time to conduct a virtual tour is at sundown. That is because the light is generally warm and of much better quality. In general, you should avoid overcast and cloudy days whenever possible.
It should go without saying, but make sure that the property is clean, with no clutter. You should pick the spot where you will be shooting and do a 360 turn/review to make sure space is in ideal condition for your virtual tour.
This is especially important if you are using a high-quality camera or recorder, as it will be able to detect even the tiniest amount of dirt and dust.
It is likewise an excellent idea to get rid of all items such as personal pictures unless the current occupant wants their images released online in the virtual tour. Although these items can be edited out of the tour later, it’s best to avoid having them present altogether.
Before setting up your camera and other equipment, get rid of unnecessary furnishings & decor. If there’s an awful bin, trinkets on the kitchen, cables for the TV or remote controls visible during the tour, do your best to hide them or store them somewhere so that the tour look organized and professional. Ensure that the camera has a clear view of the room.
Overall, you need to optimize the look of each room. It is best to remove anything that stands in the way of the lens or distracts buyers from high-value features.
The degree of lighting can vary quite a lot when creating a virtual tour. You may have spaces that have partial light or no light at all. Overall, it can be a bit disorienting when you are conducting a virtual tour, and the lighting is inconsistent from room to room.
Therefore, open all curtains, and if you have balcony doors, make certain they are opened too to take advantage of the views and natural light. Additionally, make sure you keep lighting consistent. Every light in each room should be turned on for the virtual tour.
Moreover, it is best to make certain that every light in the property is switched on when creating virtual tours. This will ensure that you will have lighting, even in rooms with little to no natural light. Not only will your virtual tour present better, but it will also be much easier to edit if you decide to post to your website or social media.
Keep in mind that when using a tripod, if you can see the camera, that means that the camera can see you. Therefore, be mindful of your shadow. Make sure your own shadow is not shown during the tour. Overall, when the video camera operator is in the shot or reflections in the glass mirror of a virtual tour, it takes away from the cohesiveness and professionalism of the virtual tour.
Finally, when conducting a virtual tour, it is imperative that you have a plan. Specifically, you should have an outline of how you’re going to show the property. This outline should be detailed and give a step by step breakdown on what order you will be showing the property. You must also remember to make time for questions during your virtual tour if you’re creating a live virtual tour. Try to anticipate what questions will be asked by your viewers and practice answering them. Planning for questions is especially important if there’s an area of the property that is considered challenging or will naturally raise questions amongst your viewers. If you’re creating a virtual tour that will not be live, try to create a FAQ page, so you don’t have to continue answering the same questions from viewers.
Overall, as the nation, Southern California property managers and leasing agents continue to deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, conducting professional virtual tours are more important now than ever. As such, if you follow these tips, you should be able to create the perfect virtual tour to keep your real estate business moving forward amid the global pandemic.
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