ReSET Blog
Blog · March 30, 2022 · AUTHOR: Alan Perez

Virtual Walkthroughs for Real Estate Explained

Virtual reality has gotten a lot of attention in every industry and is increasingly being adopted in real estate, especially virtual walkthroughs. Virtual walkthroughs are becoming an effective tool for real estate agents, particularly in the current climate of Coronavirus concerns. If you don't know anything about virtual walkthroughs, don't worry. We've collected here a breakdown of the technology and how this can help you in your home buying or selling process.

What is a virtual walkthrough?

Virtual walkthroughs are computer simulations or recreations of physical space in a digital form, usually created using sequences of videos or still images. Music, sound, text, and other effects are often added to enhance the experience for the end-user, and it can generally stream these on most computers, mobile devices, and tablets.

Several companies offer this software online, so you can easily upload your pictures and add multimedia effects to create your custom virtual walkthrough. Additionally, there are also companies that you can hire to take pictures and subsequently create the walkthrough.

How does a virtual home walkthrough work? 

The virtual home walkthrough is created using 2D or 3D images stitched together to create a virtual representation of the property. This walkthrough can show a virtual tour of the property to potential buyers or renters and help with the sale or rental process by providing a virtual open house.

Role of a virtual home walkthrough

The main purpose of a virtual home walkthrough is to create a replica of the house for the home buyer to visualize. It is like a real-life walkthrough of the house without visiting it. The property seller can also use this virtual tour to highlight any defects or issues that they would like fixed before selling their home. The buyer will be able to visualize how they want to improve and renovate the house after purchasing it.

VIrtual home walkthroughs are also useful for real estate agents and property developers to show their clients what the finished product will look like before the home in question is built. You can also use it to show investors the plans for a development project before construction begins.

How to create a virtual walkthrough 

The eight steps involved to create a virtual walkthrough for your home are as follow: 

1) Select the Right Professional

Many agents reject virtual tours because they think they need expensive photography gear. However, all that's needed is a panoramic or 360-degree camera- which is affordable and user-friendly. Ask your agent if they have this equipment available since many real estate agents use virtual walkthroughs to sell their listings. 

If your agent doesn't have this equipment available, it may be worthwhile to have your agent find you someone who can put a walkthrough together. Walkthroughs effectively reach out-of-town buyers, reduce the amount of in-person showings, and distinguish the listings from competitors. At the same time, virtual tours are also an effective marketing tool.

2) Staging a shot

When creating a virtual tour, it's important to consider every room in the house. Make a list of each room and plan where you want your camera to be to capture and highlight the features of each space. So that your photos are well-balanced, walk through each space and find the center. If the center of the room doesn't work for your shots, find another spot where your camera can pick up the most detail and mark it with tape. 

3) Stage Each Room

Remove any obstructions from the camera's view in each room. It will ensure that the footage captured is of the highest quality. Remove clutter from the room and make sure it's brightly lit so buyers can see the high-value features.

4) Level the Tripod

To ensure your images are consistent:

  • Make sure your tripod is level. Applies to photos and videos taken from any angle, including 360-degree and panoramic shots.

  • Take your pictures with a level surface so that the lines and angles in your shots are straight. If your tripod doesn't have a built-in bubble level, you can use your smartphone to level it.

  • Adjust the legs of the tripod until the bubble is placed between the lines.

5) First Take Test Shots

You should test each of your images to ensure that you display the aspects you want visitors to notice. In the room, take a test shot and study it. Add more light or make modifications to adjust if the room appears to be excessively dark. If something in the shot is distracting, adjust the camera or rearrange the room to fix it. Keep an eye out for reflections in mirrors, windows, and other glass surfaces; if you see one, find a different spot to stand while you operate the camera.

6) Take all of the photos on your image list with you.

To complete your photo project, you need to take pictures of every room in your house. Once you've determined the right camera settings, move through each room and find the marked spot. Set up the tripod and start shooting. Before moving the tripod, look at each image on the camera's screen. Before going to the next room, make sure you have all the pictures you need. It's preferable to have more images instead of not enough.

7) Create Your Virtual Walkthrough

Now that you have all of your images, you can use software to stitch them together to create your virtual tour.

A. Add Images to Software

Upload your photos into the software program. If you create a 3D virtual tour, the software will stitch the images together. If you are creating a 360-degree tour, the software will assemble the panoramic photos.

 B. Adding extra features

Adding extra features to your virtual tour can enhance the viewer's experience. Popular options include audio descriptions, interactive links (hotspots), music, and text. Depending on your software choice, you may be able to find these options under the settings or edit buttons.

8) Share Your Virtual Walkthrough

Your chosen software will provide a link to your virtual tour, which is stored in the cloud, once you've completed it. You'll also receive a code for embedding the tour on your website or social media platforms. You may embed this on your website and attract visitors to it to promote your listing. You may send video mail of your tour to lead potential purchasers through the property.

How do virtual walkthroughs help with the real estate process?

Virtual walkthroughs can help with the real estate process in a few ways:

  • Buyers can preview properties from anywhere in the world.

  • They are a great way to increase online exposure for your properties.

  • They can help buyers more easily visualize what a space will look like.

  • They can be used as a marketing tool to help you stand out from the competition.

  • They can be used to conduct open houses virtually.

  • They can help with property staging.

  • You can use them to show off remodeled properties.

Here's how this benefits you when selling:

1) Minimize risks of spreading illness or diseases like Coronavirus. Prospective buyers can easily access and view the listing information online without needing to meet in person. 

2) Allow prospective buyers to tour the house and comment honestly without concern about hurting the feelings of the homeowners or real estate agents. Additionally, they can tour the property at their own pace and revisit it as many times as possible without inconveniencing you, the homeowner.

3) Increased serious engagement with prospective buyers. Unlike still images and static text descriptions, virtual tours will more readily capture audiences' attention. Multimedia effects can further capture their attention by making it a more immersive experience, helping them imagine their own family residing at that home.

4) Saves you and the homeowners time and effort because you won't have to repair the house or drive over yourself every time someone wants to view the property. Tire kickers can utilize virtual tours instead of visiting open houses or showings, so those who reach out for showings after completing a virtual walkthrough will be more serious about buying.

How to get started with virtual walkthroughs?

If you're interested in virtual walkthroughs, there are a few things you need to do to get started:

  • First, you need to take some good-quality pictures of the property.

  • Next, you'll need to find a virtual walkthrough company or software to create your virtual walkthrough.

  • Then, you'll need to decide on the format of your virtual walkthrough.

  • Finally, you'll need to market your virtual walkthrough.

You can market your virtual walkthrough in several ways, such as through social media or working with your agent to send it to potential buyers. Virtual walkthroughs are a great way to give potential buyers a preview of property without being there physically. Additionally, virtual walkthroughs are a great marketing tool that can help you stand out from other available homes. If you're interested in virtual walkthroughs, contact a virtual walkthrough company to get started.

What do I do with my virtual walkthrough?

So maybe you saw the light and decided to procure a virtual tour. What now? Here are some examples of ways that you can utilize a virtual residential walkthrough:

  • Upload to the MLS. Most MLSs will have a field to enter a URL for a virtual walkthrough. Once uploaded to your MLS, sites like Zillow and Trulia will likely pull this from the MLS listing and offer it on their sites.

  • Embed the tour on your agent's website. Every real estate agent should have a website that includes content for their audience. Virtual walkthroughs are great for prospective buyers, likely resulting in increased attention on your listing. 

  • Have your agent share the virtual walkthroughs with their clients and prospective clients and colleagues via social media. You can also include virtual walkthroughs in email and SMS marketing campaigns.

Technology has changed the real estate industry in the past few years. While some agents are fearful or resistant to change, smart real estate professionals recognize that they must stay on the cutting edge of technology to remain relevant. One way to do this is with virtual walkthroughs, which are increasingly becoming the norm.

Final Thought

Walkthroughs are a great way to get a feel for a property before visiting. With a virtual walkthrough, you can explore every room and sense the layout without leaving your home. Plus, you can take your time and revisit the walkthrough as often as you like. Interested in more suggestions and tips for your homeselling process? This blog offers a lot of useful suggestions to keep in mind! And, this article can shed some light on what happens after you're able to find someone to buy your home. 

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