Using 360 virtual property tours – part 1

“Buyers are reaching out because of low interest rates, and my sellers want to sell- but no-one is pulling the trigger with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 and job security,” said millionaire broker in NYC to me. Her concern was, that people were watching the market but not taking the plunge.

Until, one did.
By using Virtual Tours- people both locally and abroad are able to “walk through” the apartment as if they are personally there. Yes- you CAN use your smartphone to film the unit, but you can also use a 360 Panorama camera or better known as 3D tour camera to film your property.

If you have a luxury property or a New Development, my recommendation is a fancier software that allows you to add hotspots, infopoints and your own voice or image as a layer on top of the video to walk people through the tour. How fancy is that?

Even if times are hard, now is the time to build up your sales pipeline…if you think the market is dead, you are dead wrong. Deals are happening. So let’s make sure you are ahead of the curve and not left behind.

This Article Outlines the Following Important Points:

Why being digital is important for brokers, brokerages, developers and property managers Do I really need to answer this? Firstly, foreign investors would like a walk through, (yes, even if it is EB-2 Visa). Renters are using this to book listings in advance, you save time schlepping around showing listings, and if someone does show up for an IRL showing, they are qualified and serious.
How you save money by using this tool, and how it helps during downturns or with foreign investors They say time is money and it’s true. If you are not an in-house broker, running around showing, if not with pre-qualified buyers or renters, can result in a low ROI for time invested. Have a virtual tour allows buyers and renters to have an idea before showing up, allows only qualified and interested parties to break through the noise, and the real reason is that I know for a fact people have booked/leased properties virtually without having even been in the property in real life.
Which camera do you need to buy or can you rent it? Yes, most companies allow you to rent it for a monthly fee. But if you are not a millionaire broker, or have a large team, sometimes approaching your client the landlord or your brokerage is the best bet for purchasing the camera. Many of the professional Real Estate photographers already do have this camera, as it’s in demand. If not, it’s a worthy investment, because watch as you stand out from the million other listings with this tool. See Appendix A for a list of all the cameras, and what I rated them after testing them out, with the link to the product page for purchase. (I am not sponsored to support my favorite hardware, but if you buy because of my referral I do get a small commission- so thank you in advance! 😊).
What software do you need for hosting or do you not? Okay, so here is the technical part. If you do use a Virtual Tour with hostspots, infopoints and layovers you will need a software host to edit and host it. If you don’t have a personal website, you might be wondering what is hosting? The answer I like to give is simple; if you had a house without land…then where would you put your house? Same goes for a website, or in this case the “virtual tour file”- it needs lands to contain it. So there are a few awesome options, I listen them below in Appendix B based on your needs.
Cost Value Analysis for Buying the Equipment- Does it Justify the Cost Long Term? Let’s take a look at the Cost Value Analysis. Firstly, let me say that I believe the Real Estate photographers, property managers and/or the Brokerages should carry this cost- but 100% Hell Yes you need to be using this. I’ve been advising Airbnb, Hotels alike and especially luxury listings to use this, and it does work. The issue is for rentals, it feels like a higher carrying cost, but essentially if you do enough volume it does justify the cost. Even if you did 1 rental a month it is worth it, because you would use it across your whole entire portfolio. This works really well for selling new developments, foreign buyers, luxury listings, vacations homes- and now because of COVID-19 many renters are booking because of the virtual tours, and or because requesting a Facetime/Video walkthrough.

This is your How-to Guide on using your new virtual property tour in your Digital Marketing Tools

You don’t need to be a photographer, and yes you can hire your own- or use recommended photographers.

Step 2: Create the Tour
Now you upload the photos to the software website of your choice (appendix b), and edit it for simple showcasing with hotspots, or get fancy with voiceovers and infopoints.

Step 3: Take that link and post it on your Social Media or Marketplace (Zillow, your personal website). You can embed the html within your email newsletter as well.

APPENDIX A – PART 1  (PART 2 COMING IN THE NEXT POST…I’ll review all cameras) List of the Best 360 Cameras available for future Now, for the best part…let us get started. Pick your camera and buy it TODAY! Trust me, the market, will shift, and when it does, you would like to be poised for success.
Insta360 One X - The BEST Camera
Video Resolution: 5.7K | Phone Support: Android, iOS | Water Resistance: None | Battery Life: 1 hour | Storage: MicroSD | Size: 4.1 x 1.8 x 1.2 inches | Weight: 4 ounces

Part 2...coming soon
Includes camera reviews, StreetEasy and Zillow Apps and more.

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