How to Create a Virtual Tour
The Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has required that properties quickly pivot their approach to selling their community to prospects. Typically, we’re used to relying on touch points via in-person walk throughs. Now, with social distancing recommendations, we have to rely on property videos and apartment virtual tours to bring a feature rich apartment tour experience to our prospects. All it takes are a few simple steps to brainstorm, plan, and film your virtual tours so you can easily share your best property features, fast.
Prepare for Your Moment of Fame
Put some thought into the virtual tour you are creating for your property. A few minutes spent on identifying elements like what residents’ love about your floorplans, nearby attractions, and distance to campus go a long way in helping a prospect understand your property and its location, especially when they can’t be on-site. Don’t forget to feature your “show-stoppers.” These are the amenities that you’re proud of or a #1 property feature you want future residents to know about. Focus on how you’ll communicate your brand and you’ll be on your way to stardom.
Apartment Virtual Tour: Casting and Set-Design
It’s time to choose the star of the show. This is your chance to make a real connection with your audience on a personal level. Consider “casting” a seasoned leasing agent who has given lots of tours. Can they speak clearly and are they relatable? Maybe you have an agent with a great on-brand sense of humor? Let them shine by creating a simple and unscripted outline for the virtual tour as they share amenities and FAQs.
Another important consideration is your “set.” We recommend planning your tour route and doing a walkthrough 24 hours, and a few minutes before, you’re ready to film. Check for any maintenance needs and make sure your property is looking neat and tidy and that your apartment model is ready for filming. Check out the full slide share below for checklists on what to double check in your clubhouse, amenities, and model. It’s also wise to consider lighting and sound. Be sure to avoid road noise and any clubhouse music (this can even be a copyright problem when shared on social, so we recommend just turning it off!).
Apartment Tour Filming Tips
We don’t expect anyone to be an expert videographer. Do you realize that the camera that is built-in to your smart phone is the same quality as many digital cameras from 5-10 years ago? You don’t need a fancy camera or equipment to film your video. However, if you want to up your game, you might try purchasing a wide lens, tripod, and/or microphone to help enhance your video quality.
As for editing, the standard video editing software that comes on your computer should do the trick! Our best tip for easy editing is to film the video in as few takes as possible. If you make a mistake, no big deal, just start over at the beginning of the room so that you can easily trim the clip and get the video back on track.
If background noise is a challenge, AirPods or a simple Bluetooth video mic purchased on Amazon can be very helpful. If you’re really looking to up your filming game to Spielberg level, you can experiment with a gimbal, tripod, or wide lens.
TIP: Film horizontally for your website and your online advertising sources and vertically for social media.
Best Tips for One On One Virtual Tours (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom)
To prepare for one on one video tours with prospects, you should still follow all of the steps above. Get a plan in place, and make sure your amenities and model are tidy. Don’t forget that the 50/50 rule still applies for video tours – your prospect should talk just as much as you do! Leave space in your presentation for questions and come up with check-in questions of your own to help get your prospect talking.
We can’t stress enough doing your best to avoid WiFi challenges. This will make your experience filming a virtual tour so much more seamless and less stressful. This is a great opportunity to set-up WiFi in your model and connect to WiFi ahead of time before your virtual tour even starts.
Red Carpet Premier
You’ve worked hard on your video and accomplished an incredible piece of media to share with prospects when they can’t visit your property in person. It’s never been easier to create and share high quality video to highlight the best features of your property and get prospects excited about signing their lease, so be sure to share it! Send it to 407apartments and we’re happy to host it for you on Wistia where we can then place it on your online listing with us and send you the embed code you can use on your website. If you have a YouTube channel or other social media accounts, be sure to share your video there, add it to your website, and send it to your current prospects.
Ready to learn more and master the art of the virtual tour?
Check out the full deck of slides from the webinar below, then test your new skills by filming a virtual tour of your amenities and most popular floor plan. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.
AAGO Webinar - Virtual Tours by Sydney Jamieson