Tips to make a home stand out for virtual tours

While the novel coronavirus may have changed how showings take place, people are still buying and selling homes! Sellers and their listing agents have had to get creative about how to show a home to prospective buyers; one of the most effective ways to do so is through a virtual tour.

Virtual tours are an effective, interactive way to show off a home – while maintaining social distancing regulations or stay-at-home orders. Buyers, however, are looking for more than just a series of pictures strung together in a video. The following tips will help a home stand out for virtual tours.

1. Capture the neighborhood
Home buyers are looking for the perfect neighborhood as well as the perfect home. Most virtual listings neglect to show the neighborhood; consider adding content to the virtual tour that includes highlights of the surrounding area. This could include parks and playgrounds within walking distance, photos of past block parties, bike and walking paths, and other features that make your neighborhood unique.

2. Turn yourself into a TV host
Get ready to have your turn in the spotlight! Consider putting yourself as the host of the tour; this gives you the opportunity to discuss highlights of the home, special features or details about the property, or talk about the surrounding community.

3. Include interactive floor plans
It is easy for buyers to get “lost” in a virtual tour, particularly in homes with unique layouts. An interactive floor plan can give buyers a better sense of the flow and spaces in a home. Apps like MagicPlan and Stanley Floor Plan allow you to create two-dimensional floor plans on a smartphone in as little as 30 minutes.

4. Highlight upgrades and improvements
Virtual tours allow you to control what prospective buyers see; make sure to highlight upgrades and improvements that have been made to the home. Include photos and videos of recent home improvement projects, as well as before and after photos whenever possible. Showing off the work that has been done to a home shows buyers the care and attention that has been poured into a property.

5. Get out of the way!
Remember: if you can see the camera, the camera can see you! Make sure you stay behind the lens at all times to avoid accidentally appearing in photos or videos. Don’t forget to watch out for shadows; you may be out of the way of the camera, but it still might pick up your shadow lurking on the floor. Don’t forget to check reflective surfaces to be sure the camera – or the photographer – isn’t seen in mirrors or windows.

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