If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words might a video’s flood of pictures be worth? The scientists at George Washington University approached the topic a few years ago in connection with real estate virtual tours. To those of us whose profession is helping our clients buy and sell homes in the Santa Barbara and Montecito, their findings were --to say the least-- interesting:
They arrived at this conclusion: “Adding a virtual tour decreases the expected marketing time by about 20% and increases the expected sales price by about 2%." I’ve added the italics, but you get the idea: those are some serious stats. Since today’s fast-paced world rewards being able to get information quickly, it’s small wonder that video tours are so powerful. But to be useful, video tours need to be well executed. Santa Barbara homeowners who are preparing for a video shoot can keep some general guidelines in mind.
For openers, it’s important to remember that the camera will be acting as the eyes of a first-time visitor, so prepare for virtual tour s as you would for an open house. Remove all personal effects like toothbrushes and medications from bathroom countertops, kid's artwork from refrigerator doors, and collectibles throughout. Stage furniture to look inviting, making certain that rooms are not overfilled. Just as in an open house, clutter can give buyers the impression that the house is smaller than it actually is.
Today's high-quality, 360-degree digital imaging can capture even tiny details, so be certain to thoroughly clean everywhere. Pay particular attention to reflective surfaces like mirrors, windows and appliances – the tiniest mark on these can pick up light and dominate an otherwise perfect scene.
Homes that are bright appear inviting and lead to greater buyer interest. Before shooting a virtual tour , be sure to replace any blown or dim light bulbs, clean all the windows, and open any window coverings to let in natural light. Don’t worry about too much light blinding the lens – the camera operator will ensure that doesn’t happen.