Virtual Tours for Real Estate: The Next Big Thing?
Since the onset of COVID-19, virtual tours for real estate have made a huge impression. They make the buying process easier for clients who cannot do an in-person showing because of health concerns or travel distance, and for those who might want to narrow down their choices by doing virtual tours first.
High-quality video is now incredibly accessible, and modern tech-savvy consumers respond well to formats that align with their interests and preferences. As a result, in the past few years, interest in virtual tours has escalated, and surveys show that this shift is likely a permanent one. At this point, there’s no good reason not to use virtual tours as a marketing tool.
How To Attract More Homebuyers Using a Virtual Tour: Key Tips
Virtual tours are an important component of an effective real estate sales workflow to bring in buyers and close deals. Although customers might be willing to view any virtual tour, they definitely won’t be sold on a property unless the tour shows its full potential. To improve the quality of your virtual tours and secure more sales, take note of some basic but essential steps.
Choose the Right Time of Day for Shooting and Keep the Curtains Open
Any photographer or videographer will tell you that the key to a high-quality image is lighting. When shooting your tour, keep all the curtains open so that you maximize natural light, but avoid filming in the middle of the day. This is when the light is brightest, and it can blow out the image with excessive white light. Instead, record your tour at the golden hour, which is the time shortly after sunrise and right before sunset. This is when light quality is at its best.
If you’re comfortable working with video equipment, consider using an ND filter and adjusting your camera’s manual settings to prevent over-exposure. If that technology is a bit outside of your expertise, hiring a professional might be the best option.
Clean Up and Prep the Home Properly
Most realtors would never invite a potential customer to a showing while there is clutter littering the counters and floors. Staging during a virtual tour for real estate is just as important, but it’s easy to forget that every corner of the space might end up on camera.
Buyers need to imagine living in the home, and staging is proven to improve sales. In fact, according to a study from the National Association of Realtors, 82% of buyers’ agents credited staging with allowing their clients to visualize themselves in the space.
Highlight the Home’s Best Features
To make a great virtual tour, you also need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the property. For example, if a home has a small primary bedroom but a large, flat backyard with beautiful landscaping, start the tour outside to get buyers engaged from the first frame of the video.
You may also want to mention particularly impressive features more than once within the tour. If a home has incredible ceiling heights, use the camera to highlight the scale of each room and discuss the open, airy feel of the space.
Avoid Mirror Reflections and Up-Close Shots
Images can make a room look much smaller than it actually is, especially if the person behind the camera is using bad angles. As much as possible, use wide-angle shots to show as much of each room as possible and appropriately represent the size.
An unfortunately placed mirror or window could result in you making a surprise cameo on the tour. Plan out your steps in advance and avoid shots and angles that will show your reflection while you’re filming.
Make Sure Your Virtual Tour Is Compatible Across All Devices
Around half of the world’s web traffic happens on mobile devices. If your video isn’t mobile-friendly, you will automatically alienate potential buyers simply because they can’t view your content. Imagine sending a clip of your tour to clients’ phones only to discover that they can’t open it. Not only will they miss out on the tour, but they may question the quality of your brand as a whole.
It’s good practice to test your virtual tours across multiple devices, including phones, tablets, and computers, before making them available to the public. If, for instance, the video quality on a mobile device is considerably lower than on a computer, take the time to address it so that you don’t turn off interested parties with a grainy or distorted tour.
Make Sure the Footage Is Smooth
You don’t want potential buyers experiencing motion sickness when they’re taking your virtual tour. To keep the footage as fluid and smooth as possible, use your camera’s built-in stabilization features. Another helpful strategy is to walk with your knees slightly bent, which helps to reduce micro jitters.
If getting sufficiently smooth footage is a concern, consider using a gimbal, a support device that uses motors and sensors to make your footage silky smooth. Gimbals are a fairly recent development that has made waves not only for virtual tours but also for films and sports videos.
How Could a Virtual Tour Boost Your Real Estate Business?
Photography, social media promotion, and open houses all play an important role in selling a home, and these days, so do virtual tours. Giving potential homebuyers living in outside markets the chance to view and tour a property online should be an integral part of your real estate marketing strategy.
To reach a broad audience, you might want to text a link or announcement for the tour to many of your clients at once, which may prove especially effective considering how much time people spend on their phones. In this kind of virtual tour campaign, as well as other aspects of your client relationships, Aloware makes the process faster and easier.
Aloware can manage your SMS/MMS campaigns and bring them to their highest potential with up to 90% open rates. This puts your virtual tour in front of more eyes and brings you closer to closing a sale.