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How to Build Better Real Estate Listings with Immersive Content

November 13 2023

Welcome back to our "Tips and Tricks Tuesday" series, which highlights articles around a monthly theme. November's theme is "How to Be a Better Me." Read on for tips and tricks on being your best self:

Capture3xThe global pandemic significantly amplified the need for virtual tours, especially in the real estate industry, given buyers and renters weren't able to view properties in person. These realistic walkthroughs allowed buyers to "visit" a property without physically being there, providing real estate professionals a simple and effective way to not only showcase a home in an immersive way, but to also streamline their workflow, improve sales, and place more value on a property. And although the pandemic has subsided, virtual tours are here to stay – a study found that 54% of prospective home buyers will not even consider a property that does not have a virtual tour in the online listing.

Realtors bring industry knowledge and the emotional element to the home buying process; however, virtual tours provide viewers with an authentic view of the space and help them decide whether a visit to the property is needed based on what they're looking for. Embracing this technology and incorporating it into your business strategy can save time and extra costs, while increasing sales and efficiency.

To be a successful real estate agent in today's market, you must understand the benefits of virtual tours and how they can enhance listings to stand out from your competitors, and ultimately grow your business.

Outlined here are a few of the benefits of incorporating virtual tours into your listings:

1. Elevate a Client's Experience

Today's home buyers and renters are expecting nothing less than a listing that provides them with an authentic view of a property. Through virtual tours, a client can explore a space when they choose, reference the property multiple times, and gain a strong sense of the layout remotely. This is especially helpful for those seeking properties in different states or countries, reducing travel costs and time. With an interactive, user-friendly interface, virtual tour solutions can make the viewing process enjoyable and straightforward for all parties involved.

2. Streamline Workflow

While virtual tour creation may seem complicated and time consuming, tours are easy to make and can streamline your workflow. A tool like the RICOH THETA X can easily capture 360-degree images of a space and immediately upload images captured to a smartphone. The point-and-shoot feature removes the time-consuming process of capturing countless professional photos of a space at every angle. The camera allows for a fully spherical image or video with immersion and interactivity for the viewer. The RICOH THETA X seamlessly works in conjunction with RICOH's proprietary virtual tour platform, RICOH360 Tours, which comes equipped with modern technology to streamline content creation. This includes automated functions such as AI Image Enhancement which guarantees high-quality images through editing capabilities, as well as the AI Video Maker for easy creation of video content to share to the MLS or social media, AI Auto Generation for automatic property descriptions, Auto Image Cropping to edit images, and AI Virtual Staging to fill a vacant room.

3. Bolster Marketing Materials

Real estate professionals can incorporate virtual tours in marketing materials to share and reach potential buyers or renters. Incorporating them onto a website, portal site, social media, or newsletters will assist in acquiring leads on a listing. In addition, virtual tours make a business look more professional and modern, thus improving a Realtor's or broker's reputation while also attracting and retaining talent. With customization options like creating and setting brand banners, adding a company logo for branding or creating a property introduction page, virtual tours can help content stand out and make your business top-of-mind for clients. Additionally, Realtors can analyze marketing data gathered through clicks and time spent touring to better understand your target market and tweak future tours to resonate well with potential customers.

Now that you understand the benefits, here is a brief primer on the tools you'll need to have in place before you start building your own tours. First, you need to select the right camera and software. RICOH360 Tours is a popular solution due to its simplicity and ability to create professional looking virtual tours or videos to support your goals. It couples well with the RICOH THETA X, a portable 360-degree camera with a compact, lightweight body that can capture floor to ceiling imagery with just the touch of a button. The camera can automatically upload photos to the cloud after shooting by using the official RICOH THETA app and is also equipped with a large touchscreen, interchangeable battery, built-in GPS, and smartphone connectivity to transfer still images or videos to a mobile device. Additional accessories that are beneficial for real estate photography and virtual tour creation include a tripod for stability and remote control to shoot hands-free.

To start creating your own tours, visit RICOH360 Tours and sign up for a free demo today.