Do you want to create a virtual tour but don’t have the money to buy a fancy camera? Or maybe you’re just not sure how to use one? In this blog post, we will show you how to make a virtual tour with your iPhone!
It’s actually very easy and doesn’t require any expensive equipment. You will be able to create an amazing virtual tour of a home or property using nothing more than your iPhone and some free apps.
So read on for instructions on how to get started!
What is the difference between a virtual tour and a video tour?
When you can’t visit a house in person, it is possible to do it “virtually”.
Some real estate tours are recorded and posted on the internet, and others are done “live” by an agent with a cellphone at the house.
The virtual tour can be used as a video or pictures.
A virtual tour is a recording of a real estate property that can be viewed on the internet. It usually consists of several still images or videos that are put together to create a virtual walkthrough of the property.
Virtual tours are becoming increasingly popular because they allow potential buyers to get a better sense of a property before they even step foot inside. They are also a great marketing tool for real estate agents.
A video tour is similar to a virtual tour, but it is usually just one continuous video that gives the viewer an overview of the property. Video tours are often shorter and less detailed than virtual tours.
Video tours are typically done “live” by an agent showing a house. They typically use their cell phone and do a video call or something similar while they walk around the house.
Who watches video or virtual tours?
Perhaps someone is relocating to a new city and wants to see what their options are before making the big move. Or maybe they’re interested in purchasing a vacation home but can’t take the time to travel there right now. Whatever the reason, virtual tours are a great way to get an up-close and personal look at a property without ever having to step foot inside.
I’ve watched the behavior of dozens of different homebuyers as they search for their new home on-line.
When a buyer finds a home they are interested in, they begin to do a deep dive on the property, learning as much as possible as they can.
They will search the web using the address and scroll several pages deep to find unique and trustworthy information on the property they are interested in.
In addition to the search, many people will also use google street view.
Using Google Street View app to look at Houses
Google street view is an amazing project. They have hired thousands of people to walk the streets of every town in the world with special cameras that capture panoramic images.
Then the software engineers at Google stitch all these images together
If you are interested in learning more about the project, here is their description. Otherwise, just visit maps.google.com on your laptop and type in the address of interest.
In the lower right corner of the map is a little orange figure.
Simply drag that figure onto the exact location of the map you are interested in and you will be taken to street view.
If you are on a cell phone I recommend downloading the Google Maps App. While it is possible to use the internet browser as a better experience is with the Google street view app.
There are 3 Different kinds of virtual tours
A virtual tour allows a homebuyer to tour any home, anywhere, at any time.
There are three primary kinds of virtual tours based on the kind of cameras used to make them
- Still photos
- Video camera
- 3-D camera/scanner
Still Photo Virtual Tour
The most common virtual tour is one made with still photos. You can use any digital camera to make this kind of virtual tour, but we will focus on how to do it using an iPhone camera.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
Find a property that you want to create a virtual tour for. This can be your own home, or a friend’s home, or even a property that you are thinking of buying.
Start by taking a few pictures of the outside of the property. Include any special features like gardens, pools, or sculptures. Then move inside and take photos of each room. Try to get a variety of angles and shots so that viewers will get a good sense of the space.
Once you have all of your photos, it’s time to start putting them together into a virtual tour. You can do this using any photo editing software, but we recommend using iMovie. This is a free app that you can download from the App Store.
How to Make a Virtual Tour with iPhone
After you have captured your images or movies on your phone they are stored in the camera roll in the photos app. There is no need to save image to any specific place.
A great feature is that when you use iMovie the photos are automatically linked to the app.
Open iMovie and create a new project. Then start adding your photos to the project, one by one. You can add music or narration if you want, but it’s not necessary.
I like to use the Ken Burns effect which adds a zoom or pan effect to each image. This helps provide some motion to the video, and makes it more interesting.
You can also use music or even a voice-over to narrate the tour. This can all be done through the free iMovie app.
Once you have all of your photos in the project, export it as a video. This will create a virtual tour that you can share with anyone on Youtube, Instagram, or even by email. If you have a Real Estate Blog, this is a great way to create content for your listings.
If you have an iPhone, this entire process can be completed with the pre-installed and free software from Apple. Nothing else is needed, and the results can look professional.
Video Camera Virtual Tour
If you want to take your virtual tours to the next level, you can use a video camera instead of still photos. This will allow you to create a more immersive experience for viewers, and gives you the ability to add things like sound and narration.
The best part is that you don’t need an expensive video camera to do this. You can use the iPhone that you already have!
First, find a property that you want to create a virtual tour for. This can be your own home, or a friend’s home, or even a property that you are thinking of buying.
Start by taking a few videos of the outside of the property. Include any special features like gardens, pools, or sculptures. Then move inside and take videos of each room. Try to get a variety of angles and shots so that viewers will get a good sense of the space.
For a better video, hold your phone in landscape mode instead of portrait – this way you create a video that covers the entire screen. Just turn your phone 90-degrees and record as usual.
Once you have all of your videos, it’s time to start putting them together into a virtual tour. You can do this using any video editing software, but we recommend using iMovie. This is a free app that you can download from the App Store.
Open iMovie and create a new project. Then start adding your videos to the project, one by one. You can add music or narration if you want, but it’s not necessary.
I like to keep my video virtual tours to around 4-7 minutes to keep the viewer’s attention. Faster and you risk showing all the details. and if it is much longer you may lose your viewer’s attention.
These videos can then be uploaded to YouTube or hosted on Google Drive.
3-D Virtual Tour
For the highest quality most professional video tours, you can create a 3-D virtual tour. This method uses virtual reality and is the closest thing to actually being there, and allows viewers to explore the space in a way that is not possible with traditional photos or videos.
For this type of tour you do need a special camera. The current industry standard for 3-D Virtual Tours is the Matterport system.
This is a camera that captures both photos and 3-D data, which is then used to create an interactive 3-D model.
Using Matterport to create virtual home tours.
If you are serious about virtual tours, then the Matterport system is definitely worth considering. It’s not cheap, but it will allow you to create virtual tours that are truly unique and will wow your viewers.
The Matterport system also can create a detailed floor plan of the property, and even calculate the square feet measurements of the home.
This type of your can be viewed on a computer or mobile phone, but for the best experience using a VR headset like the Occulus is recommended.
Do you need special virtual tour software?
Depending on the type of virtual tour you are making, it probably isn’t necessary to purchase or download any special virtual tour software.
You can use any video conferencing software you like.
Some examples are:
All of these are free downloads from the app store.
When I perform a video tour for a client, I always ask what their preferred method is. I then accommodate their request using that program.
Each of these, as well as many others, are available for both iPhone and Android devices.
There you have it – 3 ways to create virtual tours that will give your viewers a new way to experience your properties.
You don’t need special virtual tour software, and any real estate agent can do this.
Whether you use photos, videos, or 3-D, virtual tours are a great way to add value and stand out from the competition. So get out there and start capturing.
Now that you know how to make a virtual tour with iPhone, will you be using this technique to help your clients?