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Beginner-Friendly Guide to Creating a Virtual Real Estate Tour

July 22, 2022

In such a competitive market, sellers and real estate agents must stay on top of emerging technologies to publish lucrative and attractive listings.

Creating a virtual tour of the property gives potential buyers an interactive and immersive experience that is impossible to replicate with still photos.

What is a virtual tour?

Virtual tours are a simulation of an existing real estate property that is created by continuous videos or static 360-degree photos.

You may also see other media forms, such as audio or text.

A virtual tour allows buyers to tour a property they are interested in purchasing on their computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Types of virtual tours

There is no one way to create a virtual tour since it is an umbrella term that covers three primary types: walkthroughs, 3D virtual tours, and interactive 360-degree tours.

A walkthrough is a virtual tour that is less interactive for the potential buyer and more controlled by the person showing the property. It is someone with a camera creating a guided walkthrough of the property, stopping to show and explain the property’s features along the way.

Out of the three, walkthroughs are the least interactive but the easiest for a seller or real estate agent since they can use their smartphone’s camera.

Next, there are 3D virtual tours, which are 3D videos rather than videos.

You can create these by capturing photos of each room with a panoramic lens and then stitching these together with virtual tour software. In the end, you have made an interactive experience for your potential buyer that allows them to see the property from every angle without going to the physical location.

The downside to a 3D virtual tour is that since it uses still images, the experience can sometimes be jumpy and not flow from one room to the next well.

However, they tend to be a better choice than the guided walkthrough since the potential buyers control which parts and angles of the property they see and when.

Lastly, there are interactive 360-degree tours, the most immersive of the three.

This technique allows potential buyers to view the property as if they were physically at the location and compare it to using a virtual reality headset.

Creating a 360-degree virtual tour requires more advanced equipment and software than the others, but once you have them, the tour is simple to make.

Essentially, you set up your 360-degree camera in the center of each room, which will rotate to capture a 360-degree image of its surroundings before these images get uploaded to the software.

Once uploaded, you will have the option to add text or audio before finalizing your virtual tour.

How to create a virtual tour

As discussed above, a video walkthrough is as easy as filming someone walking through the home, pointing out each room and any other property elements they wish to point out.

We also discussed creating a 360-degree virtual tour, which requires specific equipment and software.

However, should you choose a less expensive option that is still interactive for your potential buyers, we will discuss how to create a 3D virtual tour.

You can use Google Tour Creator or Zillow 3D Home Tours to accomplish this.

  • Google Tour Creator

When using Google Tour Creator, start by capturing your 360-degree photos, which you can do with a camera or the panoramic feature on your iPhone or Android device.

Once you have your images, create an organized folder to store them on your computer.

Now it is time to start creating your tour! Sign in to your Google account, open “Google VR Tour Creator,” select “Get Started,” and then “New Tour.”

You will now be able to name your tour (you can use the property address), add a cover photo, and create a description before starting your first scene.

Start by clicking “Upload” and selecting the folder storing your images, and drag and drop one image to use first. After dropping your image, you can edit it as needed.

When editing, you can narrate the scene or add specific points of interest if you want to showcase unique features within a room.

Once you finish your first scene, you can go back and repeat the steps for all your images and then publish your 3D virtual tour and share it across social media.

  • Zillow 3D Home Tours

If you decide to use Zillow 3D Home Tours, you can use your iPhone to post your tour to either a new or existing property listing.

First, download the Zillow 3D Home Tours app on your iPhone and log in before tapping the “Start Capture” option followed by “Use iPhone camera.”

Zillow will show you a list of options for the room you want to capture, so select one and then catch a panorama of the room using your iPhone.

Fortunately, the app will give you further instructions on capturing the image and tell you to slow down if you are moving too fast to help you capture the perfect view of the space.

Review the image to make sure it is to your liking and not blurry, and then repeat the process for each room of the property.

Once you have your images, you can publish and share your tour with potential buyers.

Ultimately, you do not need a professional camera to create unique and engaging experiences for potential buyers.

Using your smartphone, you can create a virtual tour showing your property in the best light, encouraging a streamlined and straightforward purchase.

 

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