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Virtual viewings: Experience real estate in 360° online

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House sales are now also possible digitally. The 2020 coronavirus crisis made it clear that sellers must follow buyers’ interests. As a result, virtual tours, which are possible via video recording or Zoom calls, have become established. In this article, you will learn how online viewings work, how you can show the surroundings of a property virtually, the advantages of online marketing, how much it costs and what you need for it.


How does an online viewing work?

Online viewings are now increasingly replacing traditional (initial) on-site viewings. The corona pandemic has led to increased demand and, especially in times of lockdown, digitalization is the most popular method for working in a wide variety of areas. Various sectors of the real estate industry are now following suit, but online real estate viewings are particularly noteworthy.


There are different ways to offer the apartment viewing online. For example, the estate agent can take detailed pictures and videos of a property with a high-resolution digital SLR camera and make them available to interested parties. The image material should show all the details of the property and leave no questions unanswered. That’s why the interior walk-through video is essential.


FYI: At properti, we work with unique camera technology that allows us to create high quality images, accurate floor plans and exciting 360° virtual tours.


In addition to the detailed video, prospective buyers often want a live viewing of the property. This is particularly important when buying a house, as several inspections are recommended.


Any internet-enabled device is suitable for the virtual tour. Using video telephony platforms such as Zoom, the broker can provide the customer with certain views and respond even better to questions. Calls via smartphone, laptop or tablet are common here.


Another option for online viewing is the use of virtual reality glasses. This allows interested parties to fully immerse themselves in the property. The technology is still being developed, but more and more start-ups and brokers are actively exploring the many possibilities of virtual reality glasses.


The following steps are essential for the virtual tour:

  • Set up your property as you would for a classic viewing. Home staging, for example, can help with this.
  • Have your property scanned by a professional estate agent who uses a modern 360° camera to record all rooms and create a detailed image of your property. Depending on the size of the property, the recordings take around 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Create a virtual tour. This can now be done using various software programs that convert the camera footage into a completely virtual walk-through model of the property in a short space of time.
  • Make the virtual walk-through available. This is part of the online exposé and offers all interested parties a state-of-the-art experience. Many platforms now offer video uploads.


How can I show the surroundings during the virtual tour?

In addition to the interior walk-through video, you can also create exterior shots for the virtual tour. This allows interested parties to see what the garden, terrace and surroundings of the property look like.


The environmental shots can be taken with a drone, for example. This can take photos from a bird’s eye view, but can also produce exciting flight videos. You can directly link important locations such as schools, stores and public facilities in the resulting image material so that users receive an interactive orientation map with meaningful images.


What are the advantages of an online viewing?

The virtual tour serves on the one hand as a complementary measure to the classic tour and on the other hand as a substitute for a personal tour. This always depends on the current health situation in relation to corona, but also on where the interested party is located. With the help of online viewings, you can also reach potential buyers who are far away or who have little time and thus tap into a new target group.


In any case, virtual property viewings are an innovative and effective marketing method. This is still fairly new, so you can stand out from the competition with a stylish video and other offers for online viewings.


You gain the following advantages from an online viewing:

  • Less time required, as the property only needs to be prepared once for the online viewing
  • Larger target group, as the tour is available online from any location, at any time and for everyone
  • Less passenger traffic, which is a big plus for everyone involved, especially in times of Corona


In addition, potential buyers or tenants of the property can also look forward to many advantages when viewing the property online. From the comfort of your own four walls, you get a detailed insight into your dream property and can save a lot of time in the process. You have no travel costs and no appointment restrictions. It is also possible to show the apartment to other family members or friends on the basis of the video.

By the way: In addition to the online viewing, you should also provide further information in the property description. Additional photos, an interesting description and details such as the floor plan and the energy status of the property should not be missing.


What does an online apartment viewing cost?

The cost of a virtual viewing depends on who you commission to carry it out and what results you want. While a professional video tour with all the details, including a 3D model and drone shots of the surroundings, can quickly cost several thousand francs, you can also do it yourself. By familiarizing yourself with the appropriate software, you can record the tour with your own camera and save costs.


It is usually most efficient to have the estate agent carry out the online viewing. This is because they already know your property and can therefore help you to offer a meaningful virtual viewing in the shortest possible time.


For your information: At properti, we take care of the entire real estate marketing process free of charge. Our services include, among other things, the placement on all common real estate portals in Switzerland, the creation of a VR tour and the exposé as well as the taking of high-quality pictures. properti clients only pay a commission on a successful sale or rental.


What do I need to offer virtual viewings?

To offer online viewings, you first need a device with a video camera. Nowadays, even smartphones are capable of taking high-quality photos and videos that enable a 3D tour of the home. A few extras such as an image stabilizer and a tripod make the pictures even better.


If you want to offer live viewings, you need a device with a stable internet connection and a video conferencing app. In addition to the classic Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp and similar providers are also conceivable.


Remember to advertise the possibility of online viewings on your website. To do this, you need an online registration form that allows you to manage registrations quickly and easily. The tool should be very user-friendly so that interested parties can get an appointment in just a few clicks.


You also benefit from the fact that when you register online, all of the interested party’s data is already stored in your system. This gives you a practical database. At the same time, you can rely on the system to automatically send invitations to view apartments online as well as reminders.


Ultimately, the rules for virtual viewings are similar to those for traditional viewings – the following tips will help you achieve maximum success:

  • The estate agent should be able to answer all of the prospective buyer’s questions
  • The more details you can see, the greater the interest
  • Honesty is also important with regard to defects in the property
  • At the same time, the object should be shown from its best side
  • Appointments in daylight are an advantage


Please also note that if a buyer is very interested, a viewing appointment is usually requested. This usually leads to a deal, so that you have already “sifted out” many interested parties thanks to the online apartment viewing.


Do you have any questions about online viewing? We are happy to offer you a free, no-obligation online video consultation to answer your questions!

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All data are without guarantee. The information on these Internet pages has been carefully researched. Nevertheless, no liability can be accepted for the accuracy of the information provided.


More about the author


Properti – we offer simple and understandable real estate expertise. Thanks to our many years of experience and focus on industry trends, we always have our finger on the pulse and can provide our clients with the most important information on real estate.

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