Virtual Tours explained (and why you need one!)
Big and Little Differences
Virtual Tours, 360° Tours, Dollhouse Tours, VR (Virtual Reality) Tours… what does it all mean and how are they different? To most there’s no real difference in all the different words that describe Virtual Tours. Put simply, a virtual tour uses three dimensional cameras (or software to combine traditional photos – known as stitching the images) to show a property as if you were actually standing inside it either by clicking and dragging around the photo or on your mobile device by dragging with your finger…. think Google Street View but inside a house. From each of these panorama photos users can jump to another area of the house and view another room and use the same method to explore the new room. This sums up virtual tours in a nutshell.
There are some nuances. While VR, Virtual, and 360° tours are all essentially the same thing, not all types are equal. The type of scene transition (moving from one picture to another), makes a big difference in giving potential buyers the feeling of actaully being in the home. These blended transitions are also what people are used to seeing in applications like Google Street View. This is also where the “Dollhouse” type of tour stands out. These types of tours get their name from the ability to see the entire home and jump into a room from the outside – similar to the way you would with a dollhouse. Despite the name, some dollhouse tours don’t use the dollhouse view feature, but they still provide a more realistic feel when inside the home.
There are still other differences beyond scene transitions. Some virtual tours only allow you to pan around the room left and right looking horizontally in 360°, while some allow a true spherical 360° pan.
While these differences may seem like small differences, in real estate they are HUGE! Potential buyers want to be able to see your flooring, and visually inspect your ceiling. If you have a 360° tour and can’t see any particular feature, buyers may assume you are hiding something. Are there water stains on the ceiling from a roof that once leaked? Is the carpet old and stained or is the hardwood scarred? Better to show it all and let them see everything as if they were truly there.
Why YOU NEED a virtual tour
Buyers want to see as much of a home as possible before deciding to schedule a showing. A virtual tour helps you by showing them everything. Why risk losing a buyer that may have wanted to see or even buy your house (maybe even sight unseen!) if they had only gotten the feel for the space with a virtual tour? Whether the market is a buyer’s market or seller’s market, the more people that see your home, the more offers you’re likely to get. And who doesn’t want multiple offers?