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  • Writer's pictureJay H

The Ultimate Virtual Tour Preparation Checklist for Home Sellers

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

A great way to show potential customers what your home or business looks like is a 360 virtual tour. Setting up a virtual tour shoot takes careful planning and preparation, so it's important to know what you're doing before you get started. Here are some tips for preparing for a successful virtual tour shoot.

Before hiring a company to create your virtual tour, the best way to start is by creating a list of the spaces you need to be captured. Go through each area and decide if it would be essential to be featured on your virtual tour. Run through the below checklist item by item. This should include any essential areas you want to ensure are captured on your virtual tour. You'll also want to consider what type of tour you're getting done. You may need to prepare more for more complex tours, such as a Matterport Tour.


Hire a photography company you can trust


When it comes to capturing, hiring the right photography company is crucial. Photography companies can create beautiful images that will be cherished for years to come, so careful consideration should be given when selecting one. 3D pictures taken by a professional photographer create an immersive experience beyond the capability of standard cameras and smartphone lenses. Don't settle for anything less than the best - choose a trustworthy photography company.


When looking for a photography company, it's essential to research online before making any decision. There is so much available on the web in terms of reviews, stories from past customers, portfolio samples, and pricing that can provide invaluable insight into the services provided by a Photography Company. Ready customer feedback will help you determine whether or not a Photography Company is reliable and trustworthy. A thorough online search of Photography Companies in your area can help prepare you to make the best choice possible for your needs.


Questions to ask photography companies


Whether hiring a photography company or a real estate agent to do this for you, look for someone with a proven success rate at selling homes in your neighborhood. Here are some important questions to ask photography companies and real estate agents.

  • What is your photography style?

  • Do you have a portfolio that I can look at?

  • What are your rates?

  • Do you have any discounts or promotions?

  • What is included in your packages?

  • Do you charge for travel expenses?


bedroom photography
Bedroom photogrpahy.


Virtual Tour Checklist: Preparing For The Photographer


To-Do Checklist

1. Clean and Clear Clutter


The last thing you want showing up in your virtual tour is a cluttered or dirty home. Clear the clutter and give your virtual tour a spark by taking a thorough approach to home organizing. Start by targeting items for donation or resale, sorting out items you could use in different areas of the home, and tidying up piles of paperwork waiting to be acted on. Removing excess items can instantly make any home look bright and inviting while freeing yourself from the task of dealing with it later on. Take a few hours now to clean and clear your home and watch as it drastically improves your virtual tour.


2. Turn on all the lights and replace any burned-out bulbs


A home with all the lights turned on creates an inviting feeling. Every room will come alive, and you can show off the home in its brightest state. If there are any burned-out bulbs, it's best to replace them right away so you can maximize the home’s potential. The bonus of making this extra effort can be seen throughout the home tour as new shadows, textures, and colors are uncovered where there were once dark corners and faded shades occupying a space. Taking the extra step to turn up the wattage will only improve your virtual tour.


3. Open all blinds and window treatments


With the windows uncovered, sunlight can stream in to showcase the home's layout and charm. Open all window treatments and blinds to bathe your home in natural light, creating a bright atmosphere that will be sure to impress everyone on the virtual tour! There's something special about having a home filled with natural light; it removes any feeling of stuffiness or darkness, letting visitors feel comfortable as soon as they walk in. Show off your home by opening your windows and treatments - you won't regret it.


4. Turn off ceiling fans and tv's


Turning off ceiling fans and TVs is a must-do for virtual tours to create a clean outcome. TVs and moving fans can appear blurred in the finished tour, creating a messy unprofessional look. These extra steps will reduce ugly distractions from competing with their viewing experience.


5. Remove pets and people if possible


When getting a virtual tour, one of the best pieces of advice you can get is to remove pets and people (including yourself) from the property during the shoot. This is important for many reasons. Mainly, It is distracting for the photographer to worry about a shot getting ruined by accident. Often, the photographer won't know a shot is ruined until they are back home doing edits. Shadows or reflections of people and pets are often found in mirrors or glass surfaces during post-editing. This can very frustrating for a photographer and may ruin a vital shot forcing the photographer to come back and re-shoot — costing you money.


6. Remove any items you don't want to be captured


Before your photographer starts filming, take a quick look around the rooms and ensure there are no items you don't want to be captured in the footage. Get rid of any clutter, clear off messy surfaces, and make sure there isn't anything embarrassing that could show up in your home tour video! It's worth doing this one last time, even if you did it before the photographer showed up.


7. Park vehicles down the street


If you've seen a virtual tour online, you know how breathtaking it can be. In most virtual tours, the photographer will include a shot from the front and back of the home showing off a home's exterior and stunning landscaping. It's important to keep vehicles far enough away that they don't appear on the tour. Not only will this ensure that your home looks its best on camera, but it will also give potential buyers viewing the footage an accurate representation of the property's beauty and aesthetic.


8. Tidy up the garage and shed


The tour is all but ruined if your garage and shed are a mess - and who wants to show all the clutter inside anyway? Tidy up the garage and shed. Take the time to clear out unnecessary items, sort through things, and put everything in its designated place. The result will be an orderly home that shows the tour viewer how much you care. You'll be proud when you're ready to show them that home tour in person too!


9. Mow, rake, and clean up landscaping


Whether mowing, raking, or general cleanup, taking care of your home's exterior can add value to the home and make a great impression on your virtual tour viewers. A home that looks taken care of reflects the same attention to detail inside the home. Taking the time to keep up with regular mowing, raking leaves, and other maintenance items will make your home look pristine.


Be Prepared to Reschedule


As with most photographers, they work around the weather. The roads may be unsafe, they may hit severe traffic, or if it's raining or too windy, they may opt to reschedule. Ensure your phone is on if they need to call and reschedule your photoshoot.


Make Plans if Possible


It's best to plan to leave and give the photographer a non-occupied space to work with. It also helps them not to get distracted. Even if you're shuffling from room to room to stay out of the way, it's very distracting. Make plans to go to the store, hit the gym, or take your pup on a stroll to give the photographer room to work.


Why It Matters


Your marketing is the most crucial piece of the selling puzzle. It begins with your preparation and is paired with a great set of creative photography skills. Completing the items on this checklist will ensure you get the most for your time and money.


luxury home photography
Luxury home photography.

Virtual Tour Checklist: After the Virtual Tour Is Posted Online


Review their completed work for issues


It's easy to forget this vital step. Reviewing the completed virtual tour is an important part of the process. Make sure to click on each hotspot and walk through the entire home. This helps identify any issues or problems with the photographs that must be addressed promptly. As with all your marketing, you must ensure that it is of the highest quality and meets any agreed-upon standards. Taking the time to thoroughly review their work helps photographers deliver a well-crafted final product.


Ask where the 3D tour will be posted


With the photography session completed, you will want to confirm where the tour will be posted. It's not unheard of that a tour is completed and is never posted online! It is also important to know where it is posted so that you can review it again and ensure it looks good on all platforms.


Ask how long the 3D tour will be active for


Virtual tours have never been easier to take. However, many people don't realize that they have an expiration date, which depends on the photographer and their hosting options. Make sure you know as early as possible how they plan to host your tour and when exactly your tour will expire so you don't send possible buyers to a dead link (yikes!).


Conclusion


Capturing a virtual tour requires careful planning and preparation to create an engaging experience for viewers when they watch it online. Creating a shot list ahead of time will help ensure that each scene has adequate coverage while asking the proper questions, and following up will ensure you don't get left high and dry. Finally, having a solid plan before shooting will save valuable time and money during filming while helping ensure nothing gets captured that shouldn't be out on the web! With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward creating a spectacular virtual tour experience!


If you have any questions about getting a virtual tour of your home or want to contact us please call us at ‪(720) 295-8225 or email info@jeevesdrones.com.

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