Virtual Tour Software

Reviews, Links & Information for UK Estate Agents & Letting Agents

About Virtual Tour Software

This website was set up to help estate agents choose the best virtual tour software.

Why use virtual tours?

As an estate agent, new or old, we're sure you've realised that with an ever increasing number of internet savvy home buyers, your online web presence is both critical in terms of winning an initial instruction and also getting a sale or rental.

If your competitors are not offering virtual tours, then you should. If they are, then you definitely should.

Virtual Tour Online

It's a fact that sellers appreciate the extra effort that you are willing to put in to help them achieve a fast sale. Producing a virtual tour for their property is a good way to show sellers you are the estate agent who does all they can to get that all important property sale.

When it came to selling my home, I chose the estate agent who was able to offer me the full range of services including... virtual tours.

Deborah from Milton Keynes

Fact number 2, approximately 80% of potential home buyers review the online particulars of a property before requesting a viewing. With this in mind, a virtual tour is a great way to present a property to those potential buyers and is the perfect way to compliment your property description and photos. Web users love using the virtual tours, the longer you keep them engaged at looking at your property the better.

In the UK around 80% of house hunters now use the web to start their search for property.

Types of virtual tour

Virtual Tours are a way to group together a sequence of photos for a property and allow a potential home buyer to view each room in a more interesting way. There are two main methods of taking a photo of a room for use in a virtual tour:

Who takes the photos?

Traditionally property photos for use in a virtual tour had to be taken by a third party professional photographer as they were deemed more complicated to take than a regular photo and often required specialist and expensive camera equipment.

With the use of rectilinear images and leaps forward in technology you, the agent, are now more than capable of taking the photos for use in a virtual tour.

Do I need a special camera?

The answer is no, some of the virtual tour provders enable you to use your own standard digital camera to take a series of photos of a room and then either they or their software/service stitches these photos together to produce a wide rectilinear photo of a room. Taking the series of photos in this way does require some practice and the use of a tripod is recommended to get help with a perfect stitch.

Alternatively, due to a significant advancement in recent technology, many digital cameras include a 'panorama' feature of some kind. This can be used to generate a rectilinear wide photo perfect for use in a virtual tour. Some camera models are better at this than others so it's best to try some out for yourself. You may not already know this but with the introduction of iOS6 on iPhones, Apple made live a panorama feature built right in to the phones camera app, this too does a great job and producing rectilinear wide photos.

I want to offer my clients virtual tours, who or what should I use?

1. Virtual Tour Online

Virtual Tour Online have been a market leader in providing virtual tour software for estate agents for a number of years. Their solution works completely in the cloud so there's no software for you to install. This also means that you can get access to their virtual tour software from any computer with an internet connection and not dedicate just one computer at your office for producing virtual tours.

What impresses us with Virtual Tour Online is their ability to innovate, adapt and embrace new technologies. They started out with providing an online service for estate agents to submit a sequence of photos for each room which their online software then stitched together, this in itself was innovative as it was the only provder to offer this service online 'in the cloud'. Virtual Tour Online have now evolved and offer a free panoramic digital camera with every subscription which you can use to generate a rectilinear wide photo, there's no need for stitching, although they do still offer this service. They've also recently introduced a mobile web app for use with iPhones and other smart devices. If you want to use your iPhone to take the photos (as mentioned above) then you can publish virtual tours from your mobile device and not just from a computer.

With a simple one fixed price for unlimited use of just £40 including VAT per month and no contract, we think this is a no brainer.

2. Smart Panorama

Smart Panorama are a long standing provider who adopt the more traditional approach to generating a virtual tour. You take a sequence of photos for each room using a standard digital camera and use their Windows software to stitch the images together. The software then generates the virtual tour and uploads it to the Smart Panorama servers.

Licencing for use of the software is in the region of £400 per year per computer.

3. Virtual Tour Maker

Virtual Tour Maker is very similar to Smart Panorama above, you take the photos using a standard digital camera and use their Windows software to take care of the stitching and tour creation. The software is incredibly easy to use and we found the resulting rectilinear photos and virtual tours were of good quality.

4. Three Sixty Imaging

Three Sixty Imaging gets an honourable mention. They provide a comprehensive virtual tour service to estate agents and letting agents:

  • 1: You create your own virtual tours from start to finish. 
  • 2: Three Sixty Imaging generate a virtual tour from your photos. 
  • 3: Three Sixty Imaging take the photos and generate the virtual tour.

As you can imagine their pricing is scaled depending on the option you choose. Pricing was not available at the time of this article.

Video is 80% more effective at converting sales than the written word.

Video Tours

Video tours are relatively new but they are gaining momentum. These generally come in two forms:

  • 1. A series of photos which are animated/transitioned in an aesthetic manner and put together as a video. This tends to be an incredibly cost effective way of producing a video as you may not need a third party photographer to visit the property.
  • 2. A number of video recordings which are joined together to produce a video. This may sound easy however taking video and the consequent production process is incredibly time consuming, a video production specialist would usually be required to produce the footage. This tends to be an incredibly costly solution and often only in the remit of very expensive properties.

The benefit of using Video Tours is that they can be embedded directly into your property listings on property portal sites such as RightMove. They often include a pleasant piece of background music and some may include a professional voice over. They are incredibly engaging to the user/potential home buyer.

I want to offer my clients video tours, who or what should I use?

1. Viewing Video

Viewing Video works as follows: You take the photos of the property (wide angle and high resolution photos work best), you sign in to their online system, upload the photos, add a caption to each, generate a 150 word audio script which is professionally recorded by one of their voice-over artists and submit. A few days later your professional video tour is ready. Viewing Video work using credits as payment, a credit costs £25+VAT and each video costs one credit to produce.

With a simple pay as you go service at just £25 plus VAT per video and no contract, you should sign up now.

Thank you for reading.