Not all Virtual Tours are created equal, some significant differences can have a serious impact on your finished tour.
Vast Media have broken down the intricacies of virtual tours to help you make an informed decision and avoid some of the common pitfalls.
Let’s start by describing what we feel makes a really great tour, and that can be summed up in one word, immersive.
A great virtual tour takes the viewer seamlessly through a property, gliding freely without becoming disorientated or kept waiting for images to load. The experience needs to be delivered on any device, from large computer monitors through to tablets and phones.
This all sounds straight forward, but unfortunately, plenty of online tours don’t deliver as they should, and here’s why.
An important tool to create a virtual tour starts with the camera. It stands to reason that a good quality camera will produce better results. Images should have a resolution of around 7k to produce quality tours. It’s wise to view an example tour before booking a provider. Check the images are sharp and bright, make sure windows are not blown out and images don’t contain too much noise or grain.
The second key ingredient is the software and online hosting used to create and deliver the tour. There are dozens of providers out there, but very few will deliver that immersive experience you are after.
The majority of virtual tours are created on a platform that delivers a set of individual 360-degree images. The images are linked together by hotspots. You view the images individually, clicking on the hotspots to move to another image or room within the property. The viewer can often be kept waiting while images load, making the experience a little underwhelming at times. Viewers can also become disorientated when the images load with a different orientation.
The alternative is a far better experience in my opinion. The virtual tour provider uses a system that scans each room, creating a 3D virtual twin of the environment. Images are stitched together seamlessly, with the result being a 3D digital model of the entire property.
Viewing the 3D model is a far superior experience, allowing the viewer to move more freely within the environment, as well as zoom out completely to view the entire property like a dollhouse. By far, these tours are far more engaging, immersive and realistic.
The last few things to consider will be the cost and time involved. Generally, a tour will take around 60 minutes for the provider to capture the environment. This is best done when the property is looking its best, or at the same time photos are taken. The tour is then uploaded and created online with the links sent to the agent usually within 24 hours.
Costs will vary and depend on the size of the property, how many floors and the estimated time that the tour will need to be hosted online. Costs have come done over recent years. A standard virtual tour of a 3 or 4 bedroom home can be produced for less than a few hundred dollars.
It is always best to view a sample tour before booking your virtual tour. Ensure your provider has good equipment and uses a service that delivers a quality immersive experience for the viewer. Ask your provider if their tours are supported by the major listing websites such as realestate.com.au.
When done correctly, Virtual Tours can be an exciting, engaging and informative way to explore real estate from the comfort of your own device. Your listings will be open 24 hours a day, attracting local, national and international buyers. They also assist the agents to secure new listings while making them stand out as a real estate marketing professional.
If you require any assistance to produce a Virtual Tour, Vast Media are here to assist. Our tours are supported on realestate.com.au and utilise one of the best online platforms available. Don’t hesitate to contact Vast Media for your next virtual tour.
Owner, Vast Media
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.