You have homes that you’re excited to sell. It’s your job to transfer this excitement about the house to potential buyers. When considering this topic the old adage “a picture is worth 1,000 words” comes to mind. What better way to build the image and create excitement in a property than a Real estate virtual tour?
Why Sell Real Estate with Virtual Tours
Selling real estate is about getting your prospect’s foot in the door. Time, however is you and your clients most valuable commodity so be respectful of this fact. Give your clients the opportunity to virtually tour a property at their leisure. Virtual tours are one of the most powerful real estate selling tools. Use video as a preliminary step towards creating enough interest for the prospect to view the home in person.
As a small business, you’re strapped for time. Posting virtual tour videos on your website will help save you time, providing a virtual showing assistant that is available on your website, 24/7.
Top Video Resources
High-definition video recording capabilities are now standard features on camcorders, digital cameras, and a growing selection of smartphones. This means that even those with bootstrapped budgets can create videos. Of course, a higher forecasted profit margin for a particular home can easily justify paying for a video production service.
If you plan on producing and editing your own video, Tomsguide.com rated CyberLink PowerDirector 13 Ultra as “best overall value”. And Adobe Premiere Elements 13 was rated as “best for beginners” by Tomsguide.com. You can also search Cnet.com for other video-editing software downloads. (Bonus: This type of software for your business does qualify as a tax write-off!)
Whether you’re producing the video, or paying someone else, remember that you are the home selling expert. You need to apply the same principles to your video as you would to showing a house in person. In fact, don’t think of it as a video, think of it as a virtual extension of a physical showing. Make sure your video clearly captures all the best selling points. Highlight the most appealing values that will convince your prospects that they must view the home in person.
Production Tips from the Pros
- When to film: Video production should be done after staging the home for the best presentation.
- Length: The length of your video should approximately match the pace of someone slowly walking through an entire home, without actually stopping to inspect specific elements. Therefore, the length will vary. Just remember, as the duration of the video increases, the viewer’s attention span decreases. You may wish to create two different video versions of the same home—a shorter version to pique interest, and a longer version to send if someone requests additional information.
- Continuous panning: Make sure your real estate video features continuous panning within each room, from room to room, and throughout the entire house, including exterior property and from-the-street views—show everything. Today’s Internet savvy audience knows when they’re not being shown everything.
- Transparency: Make sure you are honest and completely transparent with your videos. If you convince a prospect to view the home, and they’re then surprised by a negative element that wasn’t presented in the video, you’re going to be wasting everyone’s time. Not only that, but these negative experiences can equate to negative referrals as people are actually more inclined to tell their friends and family about negative experiences.
- Lighting: Prospective buyers are always interested in the natural lighting of a home. Try conducting your video shoot on a sunny day, with curtains open in each room. For rooms in the home that feature especially nice lighting setups, try featuring a patched frame that features a dissolve or fade from natural light to artificial light before progressing to the next room in the video.
- Closets: Since one of the top, consistent value points is storage and closet space, make sure your video includes footage of such elements. While you do want to include footage that shows the interior of especially nice walk-in closets, you should keep closet doors shut for the whole-room shots, which promotes a stronger aesthetic appeal.
- Audio: Take advantage of adding audio to your videos to address less positive areas of the home, briefly discussing them in a manner that presents them as “opportunities for improvement and increased value”. And, of course, make sure to verbally emphasize the home’s strongest selling points, correlating with the video. We don’t all see the same things when we look at something, so never assume value points are obvious.
Maximize for Mobile Platforms
In addition, top selling agents always have their eyes open to prospects at all times. Because of this, the most active sellers do a significant amount of their exposures and pitches outside of the office, wherever and whenever there’s a new opportunity. Make sure your virtual tour videos are preloaded on all of your mobile devices. You will increase your number of effective opportunity exposures if you’re always able to show a prospect a video of any of your properties at a moment’s notice.
In line with this, ensure that your real estate videos are widely mobile compatible. The 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers’ annual survey conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS of recent home buyers and sellers reported that 50 percent of buyers use a mobile website or application in their home search.