Top Tips for Optimizing Your Virtual Tours

By Aaron Swartz on May 11, 2023

There have been a lot of issues that came as part of the onset and the continued presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there have also been some unique and intriguing new pushes in software and society, such as the explosion of virtual space. Zoom, Slack, and all sorts of other platforms have sprung up to fill the gap in in-person experiences, and with that push has come the rise of the virtual tour for real estate agents and property managers. A virtual tour is pretty simple: it’s a walkthrough of a property so that interested buyers can give it a once-over without having to schedule a physical visit. The benefits of virtual tours are incredible! They open your listings to out-of-town renters, cut down on the amount of non-serious inquiries you get, and allow questioning renters to revisit the property so they can make a decision with confidence. Most of you have likely had some experience with virtual tours before, but we have a few ideas to make them even better, so here are our top five tips for optimizing your virtual tours.

Photo via Pixabay


1. 2D versus 3D

When optimizing your virtual tour the first big question you’ll likely come up against is one of format; basically, should it be 2D or 3D? There are benefits to both modes that you should consider before deciding one way or the other, which we’ll discuss here.

2D- 2D tours, or video tours, are a great way for you to help guide the tour more directly. You can walk through the house at your own pace, show off any particularly important features that you want to highlight and take your guests through the property more or less like you would during a normal tour. It’s a more hands-on method where you have a lot more control.

3D- 3D tours function a lot like Google Maps. You set up captures of each room and connect them together, allowing people to move from room to room at their own pace, taking in the various amenities of the property. 3D tours give your guests a lot of freedom and control, but in doing so you lose a lot of the guidance a video can provide.

Those are some of the strengths of each method and you should consider which fits your needs more. Each requires different equipment and it may be easier or more cost-effective for you to pick one over the other. Or, alternatively, you can do both and get the best of both worlds.

2. Create a Highlight Reel

One of the weaknesses of a virtual tour is you lose the ability to customize your tour to the individual tenants. That’s why we recommend you arrange either a subsection of your tour or a separate tour entirely going over some of the highlights of the property. It may be hard to showcase the amount of cabinet space in the kitchen during an unguided virtual tour but it could be a great thing to bring to guests’ attention during your highlights. Consider organizing some of the best features of the property to show your prospective tenants exactly what they should be looking forward to.

3. Invest In Tech

One thing we really want to emphasize is that making a small investment as a property manager is well worth it when it comes to virtual tours. While cameras have been improving dramatically so that even cheaper models still provide a clear picture, investing in higher-quality tech will improve the quality of your tour and show a more professional side to your interested renters. Additionally, if you own a bunch of properties you can employ your tech in all of them, making it a worthwhile expense for the betterment of your business.

4. Choose Your Vantages With Care

Virtual tours are all about visuals: whether it’s photo, video, or interactive 3D environments. When setting up your virtual tour the absolute most important thing is your images (which is why we recommended investing in a high-quality camera or tech setup in the prior tip). The other thing you need to be careful of is setting up your vantage point. When making your tour, make sure to get your images or video from the spot in each room with the best vantage. You don’t want any part of the space ignored or difficult to see, so choose your vantage with care.

5. Test Your Compatibility

We’ve all probably dealt with this struggle: you click on a link and the webpage won’t work because you’re on your phone instead of a laptop! There are all sorts of different tech formats these days, from phones and laptops to Apple and Android. One great way to improve your virtual tours is to make sure they work on all different mediums. Once you’ve set up the tour, test it out! Ask some friends to try it, and be ready to troubleshoot. The more people who see your tour, the better, so make sure it’s open to all.

Virtual tours are an exciting frontier for renters everywhere, and just like with any new technology, there’s room to improve. With these tips, you should be in even better shape to get potential renters interested and signing on the dotted line in no time. Good luck!

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