By Julie Legge, guest contributor
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in client demand for 360-degree virtual home tours. Buyers and sellers alike want options to view homes remotely and keep everyone involved in a transaction as safe as possible. There are several services for creating 360-degree tours, but it’s your job to get a listing looking its best for the shoot. It may take more effort than fluffing pillows for professional photos. Here are some tips:
1. Declutter like never before. While a photographer can manipulate camera angles to hide messes or enhance less “show-worthy” home attributes, a 360-degree camera will capture the room from every angle—so very little can be hidden. Your seller should be extra vigilant about clearing personal items from view, including sensitive documents, family photos, and valuables. However, for a vacant home, you may want to consider virtual staging to give the 360-degree tour more life. Ask your provider about this service.
2. Plan for sellers and pets to leave. Since nothing can hide from a 360-degree camera, ask sellers to remove themselves and their pets during the shoot. You don’t want to accidentally capture sellers or animals hiding behind corners or peeking through windows and doorways, which will cause delays by forcing you to reset for another shot.
Know the right virtual tour to invest in. There are a variety of platforms for 360-degree tours, each with different prices and features. Different types of cameras result in higher- or lesser-quality images, so review your provider's past tours before you book.
Additionally, the term "virtual tour" can be confusing. It’s often used to describe walkthrough videos, online slideshows, or 360-degree tours (like Matterport and CloudPano). Make sure you know what product you're purchasing.
Think of a 360-degree tour as your listing's virtual open house. You’re just trying to snag the buyer online.
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