Real estate agents offer virtual tours to prospective buyers

25 May 2020

Real estate agents are not just sitting around doing nothing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The professionals find ways to conduct sales and make showings of the properties for interested customers even in these difficult times. 

The innovative technological methods are very helpful in this respect. Live panoramas, 3D virtual tours, interactive maps, schematic plans, and 3D presentations help to build a better picture of the piece of real estate than just photos or videos. Due to the lockdown and social distancing restrictions, virtual tours and other tools became the perfect solution both for buyers and the agents. 

Increased inquiries from homeowners

Closed due to coronavirus
Closed due to coronavirus

The real estate industry had been severely affected by pandemic like the other sectors. The brokers and agents are now receiving a lot of calls from the landlords who are searching for the residents for the vacant houses. The reason for this was the fact that many people returned to their homes in small cities waiting when the situation with coronavirus improves. The tenants are mostly people with temporary jobs. Also, many deals now are on hold because people who are going to purchase or rent houses are waiting for their relatives to see the property before moving in. 

Another prediction concerning the state of affairs in the real estate market is the decreased demand for properties that belong to the luxury segment. People have concerns about job security and a reduction in wages, so they are trying to cut expenses. 

Now, 3D tours are helping tenants, buyers, landlords, and real estate agents to solve many of the above-mentioned problems that emerged due to the lockdown, isolation, and inability to conduct in-person meetings.

Virtual tours become the ‘new normal’

Some real estate experts think that virtual tours may soon become common practice on an equal basis with physical meetings. Today real estate companies fully rely on the technological means of communication with the customers and even when the lockdown comes to an end, buyers and sellers are expected to continue using the ways of online interaction. The homeowners do not like to have many visitors in their houses, so they can fully shift to the online showings.

Another innovation that has gained popularity in recent times is drones. The application of drones is a breakthrough that increases the opportunities for property showings from the comfort of the customers’ homes. 

However, virtual tours are not suitable for all types of properties. Some residential complexes and housing societies have a closed territory and do not let the insiders in. In this case, real estate agents use the photos and videos that were recorded beforehand.

Virtual showings in detail

Protect yourself from COVID-19
Protect yourself from COVID-19

Conducting virtual tours do not require a lot of effort. Firstly, the real estate agent speaks to the sales team of the project. After that, he or she sets up a virtual meeting and then organizes the video tour. 

Virtual tours are more convenient for the potential buyers of the property than photos because they allow estimating the size, space, and dimensions of the house or apartment. The buyer is able to look at the piece of real estate from every angle and walk around as he or she is actually in the house. Also, the buyer can observe the obstacles like furniture from any position. 

3D tours can be viewed from any device like laptops or mobile phones and it is one more huge benefit of this tool for real estate agents and their customers.

Software for virtual walkthroughs

The companies providing the services related to creating 3D tours have become extremely popular during the lockdown. Sellers are creating the virtual walkthroughs of their houses with the help of specialized tools provided by startups like Matterport. 

Matterport

Matterport reports about the growing demand for 3D tours in North America and Europe since the beginning of the lockdown. People started capturing the properties and creating virtual walkthroughs in order to protect their income. 

The company offers the platform for real estate professionals to create, edit and share the models of the interior in 3D. The physical models or “twins” created with the help of the software by Matterport can be used for various purposes, including:

  • design;
  • construction;
  • promotion.

To caption the room you need to have a special Pro2 camera by Matterport or you may use the application on the iPhone. Then AI creates the 3D twin of the captured property, converts the 360 images into 3D models, and automatically blurs the people’s faces. The last stage is customization – adding annotations, texts and videos. After that, the user is able to publish the 3D tour and share it on social media.

LiveTour by iStaging

iStaging is a company that provides VR and augmented reality solutions for real estate businesses. With the iStaging software, you can create 360-degree virtual walkthroughs. All you need is a camera on your smartphone, special lens and Rotator. 

The process of creating LiveTour takes just a few steps. The first step is to capture the room of your house or apartment with the phone’s camera using the 720-degree lens and Rotator. You will also need the VR Maker application.

The next step is to create panoramas, add a floor plan and notes. After customization, you will be able to embed the virtual tour on the website or share it on social media. 

EYESPY360

EYESPY360 is a tool that helps to create virtual models of flats or houses, 3D tours and floor plans. The company has a Tours-as-a-Service solution that helps to make the process easier. You need to create a profile on EYESPY360, then upload the images made with the help of your camera. The last step is to wait for the availability of your product after downloading.

My360

The software by My360 enables to turn the photos taken with 360 cameras into virtual tours. The service is compatible with many brands of cameras like LG, Samsung, GoPro and others. The company offers a free trial period when you can test the software capabilities. 

The working principle of My360 is quite simple. After downloading the photos of the property directly from your smartphone to the online account, you can add the details about your property and preview the images. 

Then the uploaded photos will be transformed into the virtual tour and you can publish it and embed the codes to post the images on the real estate website. 

Kuula

This software is widely used among real estate professionals. The service is suitable for construction and architectural purposes. Kuula is budget-friendly, offers a free trial and has the perfect set of features for virtual reality. 

The content created by the users of Kuula software can be easily viewed with the Kuula-supported browser. Also, the advantage of Kuula is the ability to share your 360 posts through WebVR, so you do not have to install the special application. 

Specific features of real estate software

Virtual Tours
Virtual Tours

When choosing software to promote your property on the listing platform or social media, you need to take into account several features and products that can help you to increase the chances of concluding the successful deal.

2D floor plans

Schematic floor plans are helpful in a matter of understanding the dimensions and layout of the property. The plans provide customers with an overview of the real estate from above. So, the users will have the opportunity to observe all the pieces of furniture, windows, doors, stairs and other fixed installations. 

3D presentations

If you have the 2D plan of your house or apartment, it can be easily transformed into 3D presentations. The 3D presentations will be useful for any type of real estate business and any kind of property – whether commercial, residential or institutional property. The asset can be observed by the clients from any angle due to the 3D presentation. Also, the presentation can contain videos and photos.

Interactive maps

Interactive maps will come in handy for the real estate agents and the owners of the hospitality business. They contain information about the surroundings, geographical area and directions. Due to the interactive maps, people can see several objects located in the area or the assets available on the real estate listing.

Live panoramas

Live panoramas are more dynamic than the photos and you can see a more realistic and fuller picture of the property with the tiniest details. Live panoramas can be of different types: animated, standard or stereo. 

Voice-over

This is one more interesting tool used in the VR sphere. It helps to create a special atmosphere by adding the person’s voice, music, or other effects. Voice-overs are used to guide the customers or tell about the surrounding area. With certain tools, you can convert the printed text into the audio file.

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