Technology is one of the most integral parts of almost every type of business. For real estate agents, this is no different. Adapting and staying up-to-date with the newest technology trends is one of the most important things a real estate agent can do to remain competitive and set themselves apart. Real estate agents must adopt the newest trend to emerge, 360° virtual real estate tours.
What Is a 360 Virtual Real Estate Tour?
A virtual 360° real estate tour or a VR (virtual reality) tour is a simulation of existing real estate using a sequence of videos or still 360° photos. A virtual tour may also include additional multimedia elements such as audio, text, or graphic overlays.
What You'll Need to Get Started
You will need a Google account with access to Google Tour Creator.
360° Camera for SmartPhone (Optional)
Camera Compatible Devices Price Insta360 Nano Compatible with iPhone 7, 7 plus, and iPhone 6/6S, 6 plus/6S plus, or used alone $142.58 Insta360 ONE X iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone8/8 plus, iPhone 7/7 plus, iPhone 6s/6s plus, iPhone SE iPad Pro, iPad (2018), HUAWEI: P20 Pro/P10/P9/Mate 9/Mate 10/Honor 9, Samsung: S9/Note 8/S8/S7/S7 Edge, XIAOMI: Mix/Mix2/Note3/6/8, OnePlus: 5t, Google：Pixel/Pixel 2, Vivo: X9Plus L, OPPO $399.95 Rylo Compatible with iOS devices from iPhone 5s and above (iPhone 8 and above is recommended for the highest quality images/videos) and Android devices running Android 8.0. $429.99 GoPro Max Compatible with iOS devices with A10 chips and above (iPhone 7 and newer) and Android devices running Android 8.0, that support OpenGL ES 3.1 or higher. $499
Follow these 6 steps to make your first 360° virtual real estate tour.
Step 1: Take Your 360° Photos
Follow the directions on your smartphone camera attachment or take a panoramic photo with your iPhone or Android. You should end up with photos that look similar to the following:
You may also want to take standard photos of fixtures, lighting, or any other elements in the home or property that you want to show buyers and sellers. This will come in handy later when you want to add to or improve your VR tour.
Finally, organize your photos in an easy-to-locate folder on your desktop or laptop.
Step 2: Open Up Tour Creator and Create a New Tour
Login to your Google Account and open up Google VR Tour Creator and click on 'Get Started'. Next, click on "New Tour".
Once you have created your tour, you will be asked to name your tour and add a cover photo and a description. Name your tour with the address or property name that you will be showing, but don't be overly descriptive. The cover photo should be well-lit, inviting, and look professional. Remember, every photo going into your tour should be a representation of you and your business.
Step 3: Create Your First VR Scene
Once you have created your first tour and provided a name, description, and cover photo, you will be prompted to add your first scene. Next, click 'Upload' and locate the folder where you saved your 360° photos. Drag and drop the photo you would like to use for your first scene.
Once you have uploaded your image, you will have the ability to rotate it or position it how you would like. Click 'Add Scene' below your image and proceed.
Step 4: Edit Your Scene
Once you have finished creating your first scene, you will be able to edit and provide additional information about your 360° VR photo. Listed below are the items you will be able to modify.
- Title: E.g. Kitchen, Living Room, etc.
- Location: Address of the property)
- Description: A full description of the photo
- Starting View: Where in the image do you want your scene to start
- Credits: Provide attribution if someone else took the photo.
Step 5: Add Audio, Narration, and Points of Interest (Optional)
After creating your scenes, you can go back through and spice up your VR tour. In each scene, you have the option to add additional ambient audio, narration, and points of interest.
Narration is an excellent way to add a personal touch to your VR tour and can help provide essential information to your real estate clients. On your iPhone, open up your Voice Memos app or on Android download the Smart Recorder app. For each scene, create a short, but descriptive narration of what your viewers are looking at. Once you are finished, save your MP3 file, click the narration icon at the bottom of your scene, and upload your file.
Points of Interest
If you would like to highlight any fixtures, lighting, or additional elements in your scene, you may want to have a few 'points of interest'. To add a point of interest, first start by clicking 'Add Point of Interest' at the bottom of your scenes' information panel. You will have the ability to add narration or an image. Once you have added your point of interest, adjust where you would like to place it in the scene inside the preview area. This will allow your viewers to click on the point of interest as they progress through and learn more about that element in virtual reality.
Step 6: Save and Publish Your Tour
Once you have finished creating your scene, click 'Publish' at the top. You will be asked whether you want to make your scene private or public. After publishing your scene, click on the 'copy link' icon. You will now be able to share this link on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Expeditions. You can also paste this link in an email and share it directly with your clients!
Final Home Tour Using Google Tour Creator
You and your clients will be able to view this tour on their desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or Google Cardboard.
Looking to Improve Your Understanding of Real Estate Technology?
Enroll in one of VanEd's real estate technology courses today!
- The Ethics of Technology: Etiquette for the Age of Engage
- Technology Tools & Resources
- Technology and Taxation
Written and Published by: VanEd