How To Create A Real Estate Virtual Tour To Increase Conversion
- Last updated on: 19 mins read
If you’re working in the real estate industry, you’re always concerned about increasing the conversion rate of your listings.
In July 2020, more than 900,000 households were sold in the US, even amidst the Covid19 pandemic, which is around 36% more compared to last year.
This rapid growth in the real estate industry seems really promising, but the competition is very high.
On top of that, due to Covid-19, there was an 18% increase in the number of homes sold, resulting in a total of $41.3 million in home sales in the first part of 2021.
So, in order to scale up your real estate business, you have to work hard to make the right decisions and use effective marketing tools for your business.
There is a proven tactic that can help you increase your conversion rates much faster.
It’s to let buyers take a virtual tour of the properties on your site.
A virtual tour will help sell a property on its own while motivating buyers to make a decision sooner.
Now, creating a real estate virtual tour is not as complicated as it sounds. Neither it is as expensive as making a video tour. You will learn how as you read along.
After reading this guide, you’ll be able to:
- Understand why and how virtual tours can help to sell more properties,
- Learn what crucial elements you should include in a real estate virtual tour,
- Create an engaging real estate virtual tour that will convert.
Let’s get started.
Why Use A Virtual Tour?
Virtual tours are a must use tool and you can get special benefits.
- Virtual Tours Are More Engaging Than Flat Images
- You Will Get A Higher Conversion Rate On Your Listing
- No More Wasted House Visits, Saving You Time
**I will explain more details about these benefits near the end of this article.
Your Buyers Expect A Virtual Tour
As more and more realtors are using real estate virtual tours to sell and rent their properties, your clients are now getting used to experiencing virtual tours of properties for sale.
According to the annual report of National Association of Realtors:
- 54% of the buyers will not look up to a property if it doesn’t have 360-degree images.
- 50% of the buyers found virtual tours really useful.
So if you’re not using a virtual tour of your property, more than half of your potential buyers won’t show any interest in your property and will turn to take service from your competitors in the industry.
Crucial Elements To Include In An Ideal Real Estate Virtual Tour
A virtual tour is not just a 3D space for a buyer to look around. It is a tool with which you can interact and engage with the buyers, and influence the buyers’ intent.
So you have to make sure that you include some of the crucial elements that an ideal real estate virtual tour should have.
Keep in mind, a real estate virtual tour will sell only if you create it right.
Here are the crucial elements you should include on an ideal real estate virtual tour to increase conversion rate:
i. Information Inside The Virtual Tour
While taking a tour, your buyers will find it more meaningful if you can provide more information on the property they are visiting. So, you should include information on your real estate virtual tour as much as possible.
Maybe you can include information bubbles for a person to click on to get interesting facts about the house or a particular spot they are looking at on the tour.
For example, let’s say the fireplace is an exotic one. You can provide more information about it so that the buyers can find out without having to ask you about it.
Or, let’s say there is a swimming pool in the property, then you can let people click on an icon to learn about its dimensions.
You can even provide information such as the floor type or the ceiling material, etc.
All these will just make it easier for the buyer to realize if this is what he/she is looking for.
ii. Make It Easy To Contact You
You have to make it easier for your buyers to reach out to you if they like what they see.
Once a viewer is interested in a property after taking the real estate virtual tour, he/she will want to contact you. So why waste more time by leading the buyer elsewhere for an email address or a contact form?
The best thing to do here is to include a contact form within the real estate virtual tour.
That way, the buyer will be able to get in touch with you even without leaving the tour.
It will not only save time, but also keep the buyer excited about the property while he/she requests a call back or visit.
Naturally, you will find it much easier to close deals with these buyers.
iii. Your Company And Service Information
While a potential buyer is experiencing your tour, you have to find a way to let them know who you are.
In that case, you may include your Company logo on a corner of the real estate virtual tour so that clicking on it will give people further details about your business, and contact information.
This is partially a brand promotion. People will remember you more easily if they see your logo.
(It will also help your re-targeting Ads to get noticed more effectively.)
iv. Keep A Gallery To View All Available Scenes
The easier your buyers can navigate the tour, the more time they’ll spend on it.
If the property has a lot of rooms or views, then the virtual tour can be confusing when navigating back and forth between different scenes in the tour.
A logical thing to do here is to include a gallery that will show the available rooms/views in the property, which people can click-to-view right away.
v. Cover Every Inch Of The Property
Keep in mind, the virtual tour should be a replication of a real life tour. So make sure you manage to highlight all the rooms or views of the property.
For example, if a house has 5 rooms, then you should include at least 5 scenes in the virtual tour (1 for each from the middle of the room).
Plus it’s an added benefit if you include scenes for the restrooms, kitchen, the front yard, and the backyard. For a duplex, a view from the stairs will be great.
Show the whole property to your buyers on the real estate virtual tour. This will let them know exactly how the property is structured and will remove any doubts related to the number of rooms and how they are organized.
How To Create A Real Estate Virtual Tour That Converts
Now, I will give you a complete guide on how you can create a virtual tour for real estate property.
To create a real estate virtual tour, you will need to follow 3 steps:
- Take 360 panoramas of all the rooms/views of a property
- Use a reliable tool to convert these images into a virtual tour
- Customize the tour into a realistic experience for maximum engagement
And once your real estate virtual tour is ready, place it on your website and start getting better results with your potential buyers.
To take 360 panoramic images, you may use DSLRs, digital 360 cameras, or mobile apps. (Click here to learn more about capturing 360 panoramic images).
I personally recommend using Digital 360 cameras, such as Ricoh Theta V, as they are much easier to use and deliver high-quality images.
And to create a real estate virtual tour, you will need a reliable tool that you can use to create and customize virtual tours easily.
If you are using a WordPress site, then the best tool you can rely on is WPVR.
In the next few steps, I will show you how easily you can create and customize a real estate virtual tour, on your own, using WPVR.
Trust me, it’s really easy and very effective.
Create A Basic Real Estate Virtual Tour (For Beginners)
First, we’ll create a simple but proper real estate virtual tour using the free version of WPVR.
For this, you need to install and activate the free version of WPVR which you can find here.
Follow this guide to install and activate WPVR.
Now, follow these steps to quickly create a basic real estate virtual tour.
1. Add Scenes to Your Virtual Tour
First, let add some scenes or 360 images to create a virtual tour.
Follow these steps:
i. Go to your WordPress Dashboard > WP VR > Add New Tour.
You’ll be taken to the General Settings page for creating a new virtual tour.
ii. Set a title for your virtual tour.
iii. Click on the Scenes tab.
The Scenes page will allow you to add scenes or 360 degree images to create the tour.
iv. You can set the first scene as the default scene from the Set as Default option.
This scene will appear at the beginning of your tour. Only one scene can be set a default.
v. Assign a Scene ID to your scene.
Each scene should contain a unique Scene ID. Now spaces are allowed here.
vi. Click on the Upload button to upload a 360-degree image. You can manually upload an image or choose from your media folder.
Here, I’ve added 4 scenes.
After uploading, each scene will have a thumbnail of it under the Scene Upload section.
vii. You can add a new scene by clicking on the plus(+) button on the top.
viii. Click on the Preview button.
You’ll see a live preview of your virtual tour on the Tour Preview section.
The current scene which you’re previewing will be highlighted.
**You can add upto 5 scenes on each virtual tour, with WPVR Pro, you can add unlimited scenes on a virtual tour.
Now, to allow your viewers to move from one 360 degree image from another, we’ll add some clickable points or hotspots on these images.t’
You can also display information, images, and videos through these hotspots.
Let’s see how you can set them.
2. Add Hotspots To Your Scenes
There are 2 types of hotspots available in WPVR:
- Scene Type Hotspot
- Info Type Hotspot
i. Add Scene Type Hotspots For Navigation
The scene type hotspots will allow you to move from one scene to another and come back to the previous scene.
This will allow your viewers to move around your entire property virtually.
Here is how you can set scene type hotspots:
1. Click on the Hotspot tab while you’re on the default scene.
2. Set a unique Hotspot ID for this hotspot.
3. Set the Hotspot Type as Scene.
4. On the live preview, click on the spot where you want to set a hotspot. You’ll see the Pitch and Yaw value for that position under the preview.
5. Click on the Down Arrow button just beside the Pitch and Yaw values. The values will be set.
6. On the On-Hover Content field, set a suitable text for giving information.
Suppose, by clicking on it, you want your viewers to go to the second scene. So set instructions for it.
7. From the Select Target Scene from List, choose the Scene ID where you want your viewers to go by clicking on it.
The Target Scene ID will be set.
8. To add hotspots on other scenes, go to Scenes section > Click on your desired scene > Click on the Hotspot tab > add hotspots.
ii. Add Info Type Hotspots To Show Images, Videos, URL and Information on Virtual Tour:
These hotspots are used for displaying information through text, image, and videos on your virtual tour.
Here is how you can add Info-Type Hotspots:
1. Assign a unique Hotspot ID.
2. Keep the Hotspot Type as Info.
3. Set a suitable position for the hotspot on the scene.
4. Set a text on the On-Hover Content field that will show some information about any element of this 360-degree image.
This will show up once your viewer hovers on the hotspot.
You can also set Images, Videos, and GIF files here.
5. Set information on the On-Click Content field that will show up when your viewer clicks on the hotspot.
You can set images, videos, and GIF files here.
6. You can set a web page URL on the URL field. This will take the viewer to that web page once they click on it.
**You can not set bot URL and On-Click Content on a hotspot
**You can add up to 5 hotspots on each scene. With WPVR Pro, you can add unlimited hotspots on each scene.
Now we’ll set up some basic settings and control buttons for your real estate virtual tour.
3. Set Up The Basic Settings and Control Buttons
Go to the General tab.
Here you’ll find two options are enabled by default:
- Tour Autoload
- Basic Control Buttons
This feature will automatically load the virtual tour once you land on the web page that contains the virtual tour.
Keep this option enabled.
Basic Control Buttons:
This feature will show the basic control buttons ‘fullscreen’, ‘zoom-in’, and ‘zoom-out’ on the virtual tour.
These buttons will allow your viewers to control the tour.
Keep this option enabled too.
That’s it. You can now just click on the Publish or Update button to save or update your tour settings.
This is how the tour looks like once you’ve published it on your website.
You can now interact with the tour to check out all of its features.
Now, we’ll customize this virtual tour to make it more engaging for your viewers.
Let’s get started.
Customize Your Real Estate Virtual Tour To Make It More Engaging
Since you’ve learned how to create a basic real estate virtual tour, now we’re going to customize this tour to make it more engaging for your viewers.
For this, we’ll be using the WPVR Pro plugin.
If you haven’t got the plugin, here is how you can upgrade to WPVR Pro.
One the WPVR Pro is installed and activated, you can now start customizing the virtual tour.
Here are few ways you can add your customizations on this tour:
1. Add Scene Title and Author Information on Each Scene
Go to the Scenes tab.
Now, you’ll find these options:
- Author URL
With the Title field, you can add a suitable title to your every scene. This title will also give an idea about this scene or 360-degree image to your viewers.
The Author field simply indicates the person or the company this tour is created by.
You can set your website or your company website URL here.
2. Customize The Hotspot Icons of Your Real Estate Virtual Tour
Go to a Hotspot tab under a scene.
Here you’ll find these options:
- Hotspot Custom Icon
- Hotspot Custom Icon Color
- Hotspot Animation
Hotspot Custom Icon:
Using this option, you can set custom icons to your hotspots.
Just click on the dropdown option and you’ll find 900+ custom icons you can choose from.
There is also a search bar where you search for an icon.
Hotspot Custom Icon Color
This option allows you to set a custom color for your hotspot icons.
You can add custom colors from RGB, HSL, and Hex mode.
By turning this option On, there will be smooth and slow flickering animation on your hotspots.
3. Display A Scene Gallery on Your Virtual Tour
Since we’ve created this virtual tour with multiple scenes, we can enable the scene gallery option where all the scenes will be shown as a thumbnail.
Go to the General section then click on the Advanced Controls tab.
You’ll find an option here named Scene Gallery.
Turn it on and a new option named ‘Scene Titles on Gallery‘ will appear.
This option will show your scene titles on the top of each scene thumbnail in the scene gallery.
We’ll be turning this option On as well.
4. Add Background Music on Your Virtual Tour
You can also add soothing background music on your entire virtual tour.
While on the Advanced Controls tab, enable the Tour Background Music option.
These new options will appear:
- Upload or Set Audio Link
Turning on the Autoplay option with automatically start playing the background music.
Turning on the Loop option will play the background music on a loop.
With the Upload or Set Audio Link field, you can either set an audio link here or upload the audio file manually or from your media server.
5. Add your Company Logo and Description
Adding your company logo on this virtual tour will show authority and let your clients learn a little more about your company and service.
Here, you’ll find these two options:
- Upload Company Logo
- Company Details
Upload Company Logo:
This will allow you to upload a company logo to be shown on the top right corner of your virtual tour.
You can add a small but informative description of your company here.
Once your viewers click on your logo, this description will appear.
6. Add A Home Button To The Virtual Tour
WPVR allows you to add a home button on your real estate virtual tour that will take your viewers to the default scene by clicking on it.
To add this button, go to General > Control Buttons.
Find the Home option and turn it On.
You can also customize it’s icon and icon color.
7. Add Contact Forms On Your Tour
One of the most important elements you can add to your real estate virtual tour is a contact form.
Suppose a potential buyer just had a look around your tour and now is interested in the property.
Now, he’ll try to contact you to learn more about this property.
You can allow him to contact you instantly by keeping a contact form on this virtual tour.
For this, you need the WPVR Fluent Form Add-on and the Fluent Form plugin installed on your site.
You’ll get the WPVR Fluent Form Add-on with the WPVR Pro plans.
Once you’ve created a suitable form for this purpose, you can easily integrate this form on your virtual tour.
i. Go to the Scenes section and add a new hotspot.
ii. Select the Hotspot-Type as Fluent Forms.
iii. From the Select your forms section, choose your desired form.
iv. Publish or Update the virtual tour.
v. Now the form hotspot will appear on the tour preview.
Click on the hotspot and the form will pop-up on the tour.
So now, your potential clients can contact you immediately when they’re experiencing the tour.
This is how your real estate virtual tour looks like after you’ve applied all the customizations.
You can realize it’s way more engaging than the basic real estate virtual tour.
You can add information to your tour and customize it using the rest of the features of WPVR Pro.
Check out all the features of WPVR Pro.
Why Use A Virtual Tour To Sell Real Estate Properties
There are a lot of reasons real estate virtual tours are so effective at selling more properties.
Let us look at some of the major benefits you can get when using virtual tours of properties for sale.
i. Virtual Tours Are More Engaging Than Flat Images
A virtual tour will create more engagement than regular flat images as the viewers feel like they are taking an actual live tour.
This creates a positive impact on your viewers and if the property is somewhat suitable to their requirements, they’re more likely to keep it on their consideration.
ii. Get A Higher Conversion Rate
A person taking the tour will experience how the property is structured and organized. This makes it easy for viewers to understand if this house is suitable for them.
People will be able to make decisions more easily. So, the calls you receive, chances are, most of them are already interested; making it easier for you to close the deal.
iii. No More Wasted House Visits
As a real estate agent, one of the most irritating issues you have to face is wasted viewings of your properties.
Many people visit the properties and you take time and effort to give them a good tour but most of them end up declining your offers.
According to Property Week, using virtual tours will reduce the number of your wasted viewings by 40%.
If someone requests a live visit after taking a virtual tour, then he/she is probably serious about the deal, thus increasing the possibility of closing deals for your property with less effort.
If you need help with taking professional panorama images, you can find some reliable companies that provide real estate photo editing services.
As you can see, I’ve easily created a complete virtual tour of a real estate property using WPVR and you have learned why you should use virtual tours to sell real estate properties.
However, the main concern of an ideal real estate virtual tour is creating the tour properly and using all the crucial elements on the tour. So, even if you don’t use WPVR, make sure that you’ve used these elements on your virtual tour.
You can also check out these virtual reality stocks if you’re thinking about investing in the VR industry.
Since you’re working in the real estate industry, you can check out this amazing list of free real estate WordPress plugins.
To get more help with creating stunning real estate virtual tours on your own, read this complete guide.
If you require help with any of the WPVR features, you can watch WPVR tutorials.