Key Highlights

  • Tools, tech and tactics needed to market properties and show them at safe distance
  • Tour types
  • Tour cameras
  • Tour software
  • Tips and tricks


Whatever you like to call them, virtual tours, 3D tours, video walkthroughs, etc. are likely to remain if/when the COVID pandemic ever abates.

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Here’s a summary of Inman’s Handbook for Creating Online Home Tours. Take a look:

Tour Types

Matterport is to online property tours as is Kleenex to facial tissues. This outfit brought online property tours into the mainstream by putting a house and its multiple rooms directly in front of a potential buyer without the buyer having to actually be inside the house.

First-Person Immersive Tours

The only place the buyer has to be is in front of a screen to see that house via the property tour a listing agent has created. The tour is run from the perspective and under the control of the potential buyer.

All the listing agent (or the person creating the tour) needs is a camera with a 360-degree capability to offer the potential buyer multiple looks and perspectives of the rooms in the home

Some tours can be enhanced with in-tour links to neighborhood amenities, maps, school rating and/or exterior views.

Augmented Reality Tours

These first-person, augmented reality tours also include interactive icons that display information about the home. Think information about countertops, backsplashes, summarized histories of room renovations.

Agents can monetize these tours by identifying artwork or furniture brands or hardware specifics and retail partners and/or designers.

Hosted and Non-Hosted Video Tours 

These tours are stories about a house so a potential buyer can get a feel for what it’s like to live in the house. Typically introduced and hosted by the listing agent and filmed/edited by a professional vendor, these tours have voice-over narration and often have bottom-third graphics and text, music and transitions.

This type of tour is obviously more costly to create and produce but it is likely to have more marketing impact and generate more views and leads.

Livestream Tours

These tours offer the potential buyer the most human interaction of all video tour formats and allow the listing agent to answer questions from the potential buyer in real time. This format involves the listing agent performing a live, web-connected broadcast of a client’s home with a specific start and end time and specific date.

Recorded Live Tours

Recorded live tours can be a professionally created walkthrough video to a recorded and screen-shared Matterport tour via Zoom. Once the content is created, it can be used again and again and in multiple ways

Virtual (VR) Tours

These virtual tours are used most by developers (both residential and large-scale commercial), new construction agents, staging professionals and architects. Why? They best describe computer-rendered, photo-realistic images of prospective homes or room renovations. Also, apps that offer for-sale virtual furniture placements often utilize VR tours.

Regardless of the type of tour that works best for you and your budget, know there are lots of vendors who can help you create whatever you’d like. And, even if your particular housing market allows in-person home tours, online home tours actually help agents sell homes.


Thanks to Inman.

Also read: Matterport Releases iPhone-Based 3D Home Tour Tool, Podcast: Your Exact Plan How To Become Truly Rich (and STAY Rich), Podcast: Are You FINALLY Ready To Be A Listing Agent? | Tim and Julie Harris

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