Property virtual tours have completely changed the way buyers can view prospective homes. Particularly during 2020, when in-person viewings were understandably reduced, this technology has allowed estate agents to facilitate sales safely and efficiently.
While virtual tours have been around for a long time, in recent years they have become a much more popular addition to the property marketing tool kit. But are they the right choice for you?
If you are unsure or hesitant about adding virtual yours to your marketing packages, there are a few things to consider before you make a final decision. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of virtual tours so you can decide if they’re right for you and your business.
Table of contents:
- How Property Virtual Tours Are Made
- The Benefits Of Virtual Tours
- What Kind Of Properties Are Virtual Tours For?
- Where Can I Use Property Virtual Tours?
- What About The Cost?
How Property Virtual Tours Are Made
Today’s immersive virtual tours are created using special 360° cameras that scan each room to create a digital 3D model. It requires just one person to place the camera in position.
Once the scan has been made, the operator simply needs to move the camera to the next position to capture every part of the room. The data is then sent to an iPad where they can check that the scans align. This process is continued until every room has been scanned.
When the 3D model is complete, the virtual tour can be customised to add your branding, create a guided virtual walkthrough, add annotations pointing out key features and much, much more. It can also be used to make 4K print-quality photos, videos and animated GIFs.
How Long Do Property Virtual Tours Take To Make?
One concern you may have about virtual tours is how intrusive the process will be for your buyers. After all, given how detailed modern virtual tours can be, it’s easy to assume they take a long time to complete.
But an individual scan takes only 30 seconds. To give you an idea of what this means for the average home (sized 2000 ft2 or 185 m2), you can expect this to be done in 50 to 75 scans. Altogether, this means it takes about 25 min to 38 minutes to scan a typical residential property.
Though this number will obviously vary depending on how many rooms there are in the home, you can see that tours for even the most spacious properties won’t take too much time out of your day. The model processing (actually creating the model) all takes place off-site, meaning minimal disruption for both you and your client.
The Benefits Of Virtual Tours
If you already get professional photos taken for your listings, you may be wondering if virtual tours are worth the extra effort. But the truth is that virtual tours offer many benefits that can’t be achieved with photos alone. Now you know how virtual tours are created, let’s take a look at what they can do for your business.
Get More Enquiries
The numbers don’t lie. Property listings with virtual tours have been shown to generate up to 40% more views than those without. A natural consequence of this is that you can receive more enquiries and ultimately, more in-person viewings.
Along with the knock-on effect this could have on your sales, it’s also a great tool for winning new clients. If you are the only estate agent in your area that uses virtual tours, you will instantly stand out as someone who goes the extra mile to get their vendor’s property sold. It also shows that you are up to date with the latest property marketing techniques.
Reduce The Number Of Unnecessary Viewings
Virtual tours allow potential buyers to get a more realistic look at a property than photos can provide. This can be highly beneficial in not just showing off key features of the home but also giving a better idea if a property is suitable for the buyers’ needs.
For example, say the buyer has started working from home and is set on having a spare bedroom that doubles as a home office. From the photo and the floor plan, it may seem as though this concept could work. However, a virtual tour may clearly show that the layout of the spare room wouldn’t comfortably accommodate a bed and a desk area, making it unsuitable for their needs.
Knowing this ahead of time could prevent you making time for a viewing that wouldn’t lead anywhere. Instead, you have buyers who come to view the property with intention, saving time for you, the buyer and your vendor. A win-win all round.
Offer Convenient Secondary Viewings
There are many reasons buyers may want to take another look at a property. Perhaps they didn’t remember everything they want to look for, or maybe they simply want a second opinion from a friend or family member. In situations like this, where arranging another in-person viewing may not be necessary, virtual tours offer an ideal solution.
You can easily provide a link to the virtual tour to any prospective buyer. They can then feel free to share it with whoever they wish without you having to go to the property or for the current homeowner to make themselves scarce. This in turn frees up extra time that might be better spent elsewhere.
While in-person viewings can often only be carried out during office hours, virtual tours are available online at any time. With everyone leading such busy lives, it can prove challenging to arrange initial viewings. Between your schedule, your vendor’s and your buyer’s it’s not always easy to find a time that suits.
Having the option of virtual tours allows even the busiest person to get a good first look at a property without working around their commitments. This helps to provide a better, more convenient experience for prospective buyers. All it takes from their side is a simple click of a button and they are looking at their potential new home.
Carry Out Remote Viewings With Ease
In today’s world, in-person viewings simply aren’t always possible. For instance, you may have a buyer currently living abroad, or someone seeking a buy-to-let from the other side of the country. Providing property virtual tours opens up your buyer pool, giving a realistic look into the home from anywhere in the world.
You can even use the virtual tour to conduct a live online viewing, talking the prospective buyer through each room much like you would in an in-person viewing. That way, the buyer still receives a personal service and the value of your insight.
What Kind Of Properties Are Virtual Tours For?
The short answer is any! While virtual tours were once reserved for high-end luxury homes, today they are so cost-effective that they can be used for any property on your books. Thanks to the long list of perks noted above, almost all homes can benefit from the addition of a virtual tour, no matter their size or asking price.
Where Can I Use Property Virtual Tours?
One of the great things about adding virtual tours to your marketing package is the vast number of ways you can use them. Here are a few ideas for where to post yours:
- The property listing on your website, helping to improve time on site
- Your Rightmove property listing (where some users will filter specifically for listings with virtual tours)
- On social media to help fill up your content calendar and build brand awareness
- On YouTube or Vimeo to help generate more leads
- In your emails to subscribers to promote the property
What About The Cost?
The technology used to create property virtual tours has greatly advanced in the last few years. As a result, you may assume that they are significantly more expensive than the standard set of estate agent photos. However, you may be surprised at just how affordable they are.
At CJ Property Marketing, we offer two price tiers depending on the size of the property and can also offer alternative solutions based on your marketing budget. If you think virtual tours could be a good option for you, get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss your options (you can also take a look at an example tour here) .
Property virtual tours have become a highly valuable property marketing tool. They offer a wide range of benefits for the modern buyer and can be instrumental in generating more, higher quality leads. Suitable for almost any property and made with minimal disruption to you and your vendors, virtual tours could be the perfect fit for your marketing packages. If you’d like to find out more, give us a call on +44 1494 358888 or head over to our contact page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.