The great thing about virtual reality in real estate is that it can help you offer a virtual tour to your client, even before they book a viewing. With traditional media, like pictures and videos, it is often very difficult to get a sense of a property without actually visiting it first. This becomes even more complicated if you are a real estate developer or agent looking to attract potential clients to buy properties that haven’t been built yet.
With VR in real estate, you can make 360 virtual tours for your listed property. Whether or not construction has started, your potential clients will be able to take a virtual walk-through using only simple virtual tour software, like BRIOVR, and a VR headset to view the 360 tour.
It’s even more lucrative for agents and developers working with clients that live far away or are interested in buying properties overseas. With the help of 360 videos in your marketing, real estate professionals can dramatically reduce costs for foreign buyers. International prospects can have an idea and feel for the place before committing to any travel. This will attract better prepared property buyers allowing you to sell more real estate while using less time.
We wrote this post on how to create 360 virtual tours for real estate because we know how important it is for you to take careful measures when it comes to producing accurate assets. The quality of your 360 tour will dictate your success rate. You don’t want to create a tour that is hard to navigate or gives your clients motion sickness. At BRIOVR, we believe that with the right tools, you can create flawless VR tours. Here are five easy steps you should follow for making the perfect virtual tour.
1. Choose a camera:
Choosing a camera that captures 3D images and 360 video is the first step for your project. This step will dictate the quality of your work and how you execute it. When it comes to making virtual tours, one important factor that is often forgotten is the frames per second, or FPS. Since the users will be immersed in virtual reality, a low FPS (lagging), can cause sickness and confusion, not to mention an unrefined experience. You should look for a camera that can achieve at least 90 FPS. Anything less than that can cause disorientation, and a scene experience that appears buggy to the user.
The best VR 360 cameras range in price point. They can start anywhere as low as under $200, and climb to over $1000. We suggest these five options to choose from for your next purchase:
- Samsung Gear 360: If you are a beginner, this is the camera to go with. It’s simple and easy to use and captures 4K videos. The camera also comes with the live broadcast option, so if you ever want to host a live walkthrough session you can do so. The camera can also record up to 130 minutes, so you can take as many shots as possible and cut it later. You can get it for $114.95-$229.99 USD from Amazon.
- GoPro Fusion: This is probably one of the best cameras you can get for your money. It goes for $599.99 USD and it is the perfect tool for your needs. Whether you are a complete beginner or a certified professional at capturing 360 videos, this is the one to use. It comes with 5.2K camera, can take a dual micro SD card, and it’s waterproof. So if you ever want to give your client a 360 experience of a pool that comes with the house, this is the one to go with. The great thing with GoPro Fusion is that it comes with its own editing software that is very easy to use.
Image Source: TechRadar
- Detu Twin: If you just want to experiment with this emerging technology, or aren’t too fussed about 4K resolution, Detu Twin is the way to go. It’s very easy to use and only costs $155 USD. However, it has a battery life of only 18 minutes.
- Ricoh Theta V: Ricoh is also another great choice when it comes to making 360 videos. It has a 14MP camera that shoots 4K videos and lasts for 80 minutes. It gives you ample time to shoot the interior of a condo or a standard sized house. The great thing about it is that it’s easy to set up and you can carry it in your pocket.
Image Source: TechRadar
- Garmin VIRB 360: This camera is for those who are really serious about making 360 videos. So if you are the top realtor in your area and you want to maintain that, you can invest in a Garmin 360 camera, which costs a whopping $799.99 USD. It looks like a piece of military issued equipment. It comes with spherical stabilization and shoots in 5.7K resolution. It is very rugged and waterproof so if you ever fancy using it for recreational purposes you can totally do so. It has a battery life of 65 minutes.
2. Taking 3D Pictures and 360 Videos:
There are several routes you can take to capture pictures or videos for a 360 virtual tour. You can place the camera in a room using a monopod or using a selfie stick to move around. Each has its own unique pros and cons.
The great thing about doing a walk and talk is that it will give a personalized experience. However, the downside is that it will create a lot of room for errors. You need to make sure everything is executed correctly and might need to do multiple shoots to get it just the way that you want it.
The benefit of shooting using a monopod is that you can choose the order in which the rooms appear to the viewer. For example, if you shoot from outdoors, then to the bedroom, and end up in the kitchen, in post-production you can choose to sequence the experience in that order. Ideally, you will want to place the camera in the middle of the room to get everything into perspective. However, if there is a certain place you want to focus on, then you can to place the camera closer to that location. If you want to focus away from a certain room or space, simply place the camera further away. This makes it very easy to customize your VR experience.
3. Check Your Audio:
Regardless of which camera you choose to shoot with, the audio that it captures is never going to be perfect. Instead, you can use additional microphones if you want to capture a more crisp and refined sound.. Fortunately, this can be done using your smartphone. For example, you can use a lav mic and jack it into your phone, and when it comes to editing your video, just synchronize it accordingly. You can also connect the lav mic to an external recorder. Whichever you choose, make sure you clap first before you start recording – this will help with synchronization (it’s sound recording 101!)
Image Source: tutsplus.com
4. Stitching Together Your Virtual Tour:
This is a crucial step in creating your 360 virtual tour since this is where you get to incorporate sound, add hotspots, and stitch all the pictures and videos together. An important thing to keep in mind during this stage are transitions and special effects. You will want to avoid is having too many animation features that may distract your audience members.
There are several editing softwares that you can use and they also range at a variety of price points. Here are some of the editors in the market you can take advantage of.
- BRIOVR: Simply upload your 2D/3D images, 360 videos, models or layouts into the platform, which has a BRIOVR virtual tour maker. Choose from our industry-standard template designs, which include prompts to show you how to place and size your objects. Add colors or textures, animations and hotspots (triggers) to your VR tour, all inside of one easy-to-use platform. Finally, publish your virtual tour publicly, and instantly share it through email or social media with just one click. Also, use the embed feature to host your tour on your own web page. BRIOVR offers the simplest online AR or VR software for the lowest price.
- Adobe Premier Pro: It’s no surprise that Adobe is a dominant player in several creative industries. Their software is robust and complex but can truly create breathtaking products. It does take some time to learn how to use these tools, but being the biggest software for creative marketing, there are tons of tutorials online. The great thing about Adobe Premiere Pro is that you can get a free subscription and can sign up for a monthly plan, so go ahead and download the free trial and see how it feels.
Image Source: Adobe
- Final Cut Pro X: If you already have experience with Apple editing software and want a simpler, yet effective option, then this is for you. This also comes with a free 30-day trial so you have plenty of time to play with. However, unlike Adobe, they don’t have a subscription so you have to pay the entire amount up front.
- MAGIX Movie Edit Pro: This is a very economical option for people who don’t want to spend too much time editing. If you are not looking to make it look like a Hollywood video with special effects, then try this. The Pro Plus comes with a free trial, and if you like you can get it for only $99.99.
- Fusion Studio: If you already own a GoPro, this is going to save you a lot of time and money. The best thing about it is it comes with your purchase. It’s easy to use: just drag and drop. Even being a free software, it can help you tackle issues such as stitching when you have to merge videos together.
5. Use BRIOVR to Share Your VR Tour:
This is the easiest part of the entire process. Simply upload your pictures and videos on BRIOVR platform and share it with your network. All you have to do is make an account, upload your content and share your 360 virtual tour with anyone you need to. If you have a digital 3D model of your property, you can upload it to the BRIOVR platform and drop in ‘waypoints’ that will set up an automated tour that shows your clients exactly what you want them to see. It’s that easy. You get your first 250 MB for free!
Once you share it with your clients or stakeholders, they will be able to view it on desktop, mobile and all major VR headsets including, but not limited to, Google Cardboard, HTC Vive and Samsung Gear. Our software is compatible on both iOS and Android.
Making a 360 virtual tour to promote your real estate business will improve branding, sales and efficiency. As a real estate professional, you will be able to reach out to potential customers who are a great distance away, show multiple properties without any travel to help domestic buyers narrow down their choices, and finally, upsell fixtures all within the virtual tour.
Ultimately, VR in real estate will save you time, money, and increase efficiency. With the help of immersive technology your clients will be able to access properties from anywhere around the world at any time.
If you are interested in creating a 360 virtual tour for your real estate business, BRIOVR offers 250MB of free storage to first time users and no cost to start. What are you waiting for?