Are you ready to embrace technology and create an amazing virtual reality real estate tour?
64% of people decide to purchase after watching branded videos. Video is such an important tool in marketing, especially in real estate. There is a short window to make an impression on prospective buyers.
Videos also make it possible to place the buyer into the home without them needing to attend an open house. A virtual reality real estate tour is the ultimate way to present an honest look at your home. The sense of scale, thematic elements, and luxury are much easier to convey in a virtual tour.
We're just scratching the surface on the potential for VR in real estate. Here's a short guide on how you can benefit from VR.
Benefits of a Virtual Reality Real Estate Tour
Virtual reality technology is more accessible and practical than ever before. With a virtual render of your listed property, you can provide an accurate look at it, even before it's built. It's a huge advantage for agents and developers who need to present to clients overseas, too.
Virtual reality makes video marketing an interactive and memorable experience. The longer contact one has with your property, the more invested they are in its purchase. Real estate agents can also keep their marketing budget low because of its flexibility and utility throughout the selling process.
Also, for those who are new to virtual reality, the initial cost of investment is no longer prohibitive. Filming 360 virtual tours does not require expensive equipment or expert knowledge. Although, the best and most convenient results will come from an experienced professional.
The best way to embrace this new tool in real estate is to understand how it's done.
Shooting in virtual reality doesn't need a supercomputer, but it does need a special camera. There are certain cameras that contain four to six lenses that work in tandem to produce 3D images and video. This type of video requires a smart camera system that can produce at least 90 frames per second.
Anything slower than that and the viewer will experience a jerky, disorienting effect. This can cause motion sickness and headaches. 360 VR cameras can cost as low as $100, and up to $3000+ for professional models.
The best consumer model for its price is the Samsung Gear 360. For some cellphone customers, this camera was a free bonus with the purchase of a new Galaxy or Note. It can shoot in 4K and seamlessly stream video to Facebook Live.
It holds up to 130 minutes of 360 video and goes for about $150 online.
For a higher quality virtual reality camera, GoPro's Fusion shoots in 5.2K and costs $600. It comes with GoPro's high standard of quality, sporting a thick housing and waterproof capability. This camera is also easy to operate, coming with user-friendly editing software to quickly trim and export footage.
It is worth mentioning this separate category of 360 VR cameras as they could offer an alternative or amazing supplement footage. Experienced drone pilots could add an impressive and dynamic flair to virtual reality real estate tours, putting the competition to shame.
Ensure you understand how drone photography is done and read this guide on what makes it great for real estate.
Capturing 360 Footage
There are two main methods for capturing 360 real estate footage: selfie stick or monopod. There is no right or wrong method, it will depend on personal preference and style.
Selfie Stick Method
The selfie stick is the "action cam" of house walkthroughs. This can create a very fun and engaging virtual tour guide. If you don't plan it right, however, it can come off as cheap or distracting to the viewer.
Walkthroughs work best when it's done all in one shot. The less editing the better, but it could work with clever transitioning and layering of shots.
The monopod method is basically the virtual reality equivalent to a slideshow. You get 360 views of every space that the buyer can walkthrough. The downside is that you have to position the monopod in the center of the room for it to work.
Using a monopod isn't as easy as a selfie stick. It will require some planning, time setting up, and post-production to work. Improper positioning of the camera can result in some distortion or warping of images.
Some rooms don't have a defined center, resulting in a variation in details of the images. With all of that said, a professional real estate agency with access to experienced photographers can provide a high level of consistency with either method. Intangibles, such as lighting, are important for making the virtual tour feel welcoming.
We've all seen our fair share of bad real estate photos. Typically, these photos fail to take into account the balance necessary for lighting and decor. In a virtual reality video, this can feel like a nightmare.
Shooting multiple tours and piecing them together for a walkthrough adds a personalized experience. You can do this through "hotspots" which are simply points that tie together footage as homebuyers navigate.
Annotations and commentary can also add to the virtual reality experience. Use it to tag points of interest, physical dimensions, or historical relevance. This is where you can talk directly to the buyer and give them the VIP treatment.
Using VR for Maximum Impact
Now that you have a good idea about how virtual reality filming works, let's examine some ways to increase VR's value. How do you get more people to try VR? Where should you show it off at?
Here are some examples of how VR can disrupt the real estate market:
Real estate agents can utilize virtual reality real estate tours when presenting their marketing strategy. The VR tour listings will make any portfolio shine. Virtual reality tours can highlight the need to reach millennials who are attracted to dynamic visual content .
All of this demonstrates a plan to capture qualified traffic. Qualified traffic is the most valuable and efficient way to find homebuyers. The impact a VR tour can have on a marketing strategy is one of the most overlooked aspects of real estate.
You can create a unique incentive to acquire new leads from homebuyers just by virtue of having a VR option. You can offer audiences the ability to request more information by entering their contact info in exchange for a free VR headset. This gets factored into the marketing budget, which also helps filter serious buyers.
Prequalifying leads is extremely effective. Homebuyers and agents can apply quality filters to listings by virtual reality tours. Browsing VR listings by 3D tours allows more opportunity for realtors to connect with buyers.
Interactive Open House
Word-of-mouth advertising is a seller's best friend. Usually, this method of advertising is limited to real estate. Introducing a high-tech tool like a VR headset into the mix makes people more curious.
You can take a hands-off approach by simply passing on a VR headset to a nearby neighbor and tasking them with helping find their ideal new neighbor. They find you leads while having a say in who moves in next door. It's a win-win situation that offers a unique advantage to homeowners who invest in VR home tours.
Another virtual open house option is to incorporate them into a public viewing event. While it may sound odd to show off your VR real estate tour at an open house event, it is practical. By having a couple of VR headsets to pass around, you can get away with hosting more people at the same time.
The virtual tours offer a level of entertainment and fervor on top of the party atmosphere a large open house viewing brings.
Show Off at a Real Estate Expo
Taking your open house tour to an industry event is another advantage to VR home tour guides. Real estate agents can show off their portfolio and demonstrate marketing prowess, while homeowners get noticed by valuable leads. In fact, showing up to a real estate expo without a virtual tour will look out-of-touch these days.
Leading Real Estate Sales
The real estate market is a constantly changing landscape. Marketing strategies need to incorporate convenience, detailed descriptions, and demonstrate value while staying within budget. A virtual reality real estate tour checks off all those boxes.
Notice the difference at Hommati, where you can search for real estate and the best agents all under one roof. Our discovery process begins with visual detail using VR tours, aerial drone video, and augmented reality. You haven't experienced the future of home buying until you've seen our real estate listings.
If you are interested in learning more about how our agents lead the nation in sales, ask about enrolling with an agent today. We offer free consultations and a complete rundown of how we sell homes fast. Real estate agents may also enroll to take advantage of our virtual reality marketing strategy.