Regardless of whether you are renting or selling a property during coronavirus isolation directives you will want to present the best features of your property in a virtual tour. Here are seven tips to make your virtual tour perfect for your market.
Ready the Space
If the property is vacant all you must do is make sure it is clean, the blinds are open, and the toilet seats are down. For properties that are occupied there are a few more things to consider before you take out the cameras. Approach each room of the property as if you were seeing it for the first time. The beds must be made properly as cameras will reveal any lumps, bumps and wrinkles. If you wish to highlight a closet, spend some time making sure it is tidy and organized because a picture of a jumbled closet will not only make it appear smaller, but it may lead to your prospective customer to think the place is unkempt.
Take all trash out, wipe cupboards and counters and de-clutter all horizontal surfaces or the viewer’s eye will focus on your things rather than the actual space. Remove any items your pets use and that includes food/water bowls and litter boxes. Stash any items that are personal; remember that once you post an image online it is public so things like photos of your children should be removed. And if you have kid’s artwork drawn directly on the wall wash or repaint before you take photos.
This may be the number one clue to great photography. Open your drapes and blinds and film in the late afternoon when the lighting is softest. Nighttime photos will always have odd shadows so make sure to film during the day. Turn on overhead lights and all lamps to decrease the possibility of shadows. This is a good time to consider a professional photographer or videographer. A professional will know how to create shots that enhance the space and will have the correct type of lighting as part of their equipment.
There are many options for equipment to take photographs or videos of a home. The question is “How much do you want to invest in hardware?” If you own multiple properties and figure the cost of hiring a professional will, over time, cost you more than the equipment, and you are confident in your skills as a photographer, you may consider buying your own hardware. A better option if you want to film the property yourself is to rent the equipment. Of course, you can film rooms with a smartphone but generally these are considered amateur images and not ideal for professional looking virtual tours.
Finally, if you don’t like the DIY aspect of virtual home tours, find a Realtor that has this capability and will offer these services to you at no charge in return for your listing.
Definition of a Virtual Tour and Camera Angles
A true virtual tour allows the viewer to explore at their own pace and browse closets, windows and corners within the space as if they were in the room. This is the best way for a potential renter or buyer to visualize how their furnishings will work in the area.
The true virtual tour is generally done by professionals who specialize in this type of videography. It involves various camera angles and an ability to highlight the best parts of a room. There are other ways to convey the feel and size of a room. For instance, you can set a camera on a tripod in the center of a room and rotate the camera for a 360-degree tour. There are also situations where it is acceptable to take a series of still photographs and link them together in a montage.
It is important to make sure there are no people or pets in the room that might accidentally appear in your video.
Do not forget to include at least two or three exterior shots. No one wants to buy a lovely home in a new city and discover that it is sandwiched between a foundry and factory. Exterior shots should be taken from a further distance than those taken of the interior.
Try to include any features that are particularly unique to the property. Well maintained landscaping, a pool or playscape may be the selling point for your property. Apartment videos should also contain one or two shots of the exterior, as a point of reference for clients. And be sure to include images of all the amenities provided by the property like game rooms, fitness centers, pet parks or rooftop gardens.
Editing your images will take some patience to produce a professional looking tour. Begin with the rooms you feel are the biggest selling point for your property. A glamorous entrance or state of the art kitchen will appeal to many people. Arrange your images to give the viewer a sense of cohesiveness; you want them to feel the flow of the home.
A natural progression begins at the entrance, proceeds through the home room by room and usually ends with the exterior shots. If you place images randomly you will be creating a sense of disorder for the viewer. In the editing process you will want to include a description of the property also. Short, concise statements are more desirable than rambling, flowery descriptions. Make sure any written material is checked for spelling and grammar. The software you use to produce and edit your home tour should ultimately be compatible with any smart device like a phone, computer or tablet. If you are not skilled in this process there are sites like Homejab to help you.
During the current coronavirus issues, it is possible to video and photograph properties to post online. If you’re trying to rent out your property, it’s also possible to complete the entire process virtually, from undergoing tenant referencing and credit checks, to signing a tenancy agreement electronically. Make sure that if you need to take images of a property that has current residents you ask them to step outside for the time you are inside. Always wear a mask and gloves because even the cleanest home can harbor invisible germs. Do not put your jacket, camera or bag down on any surface. It is also a good idea to purchase disposable shoe coverings that can be worn inside and then tossed. Be extra careful as you take your personal protective gear off, so you do not accidentally touch the very thing you have worked so hard to avoid. If you are working in a new property you will want to use the same precautions because other people have touched interior surfaces and door knobs.
Producing a virtual tour of your home during coronavirus can be like working during normal times with the addition of a few primary precautions. Courtesy and covering are the keywords to filming safely in these times.