Choosing Your Tour Style can be a difficult decision as not every style is best for each tour. Agents can take advantage of the video feature in the MLS by uploading a link to a video file of their property. 85-90% of home buyers begin their property search on line. Increase your showings on a listing by including a video tour of the property.
But where do you find the right real estate tour style for your property? Here are a few features to choose from:
360 degree views using a video camera or your pictures and stitching software built into the tour program. Our research has shown that video camera shoots work best on very high end properties that involve a script, actors, lighting crew and all the right conditions. Budgets for this kind of shoot may run well into the thousands to do correctly; however will be very effective for high end properties. Because of shaking, lighting and post-production issues involved with video, agents should not shoot their own properties with a camcorder unless these issues have been professionally treated (note: camera shake cannot usually be repaired after the fact).
360 degree view photo tours work best on sprawling commercial property where the camera is not cutting corners to close. In general , they do not show well on computer screens as they become distorted making viewers dizzy. They can show sprawling commercial properties such as hotels and large outside views effectively. They also show much more than viewers need to see – eg. the neighbors house, car, dogs etc. Stitching software can be effective for one or two panoramas within the tour.
Montage style real estate tours utilize pictures, motion, panning, transitions and music to create the right mood for the tour. These are definitely the most economical and can use professional pictures or the broker’s pictures. They are often more effective due to the ability to edit, crop and brighten pictures in post production. They also typically show only the portions of the home that are most effective for a tour.
Often virtual tour companies offer options with and without a photographer. The vast majority are still self serve companies requiring agents to learn their platform, upload pictures add captions and agent information. It can be consuming cutting into an agent’s marketing time. As virtual tours are very inexpensive to produce, the best option is to look for a company that makes the entire tour for the agent providing branded and non-branded links for the MLS, agents sites, realtor.com, blogs and social networking sites.
Once your listing is properly staged bring in a photographer with a wide angle lens to capture the home. Hire real estate photographers that have a background in creating home virtual tours to make the process seamless for you and your seller. Many brokerages are using real estate tours and professional photographers as they are an inexpensive way to get high quality listings. Some agents use their own pictures while others will use a photographer. A good virtual tour company can offer both styles allowing an agent to upload their photos via the internet.