Virtual Tour Handbook

Updated: May 26

Brown Harris Stevens is committed to helping you sell your home, even in these extraordinary times. We’ve put together this virtual tour guide for sellers which outlines step-by-step how to stage, film, and digitally showcase properties to a global audience. Create compelling content by harnessing the power of your agent and the world-class Brown Harris Stevens marketing team.


Preparing Your Space

According to the Wall Street Journal, buyers spend 60% of their time looking at listing

photos, and only 20% on the listing description, so it’s paramount to ensure your home looks its best. For more on the importance of visuals in real estate, see more from our partners at Meero.


To prepare

  • Remove all clutter.

  • Organize and clean closets.

  • Make sure any other occupants are out of frame and earshot as much as possible.

  • All windows should be very clean.

  • Maximize natural light.

  • Remove any furniture blocking the path to any window.


Lighting Your Space

  • Consider the time of day you are shooting — filming during the middle of the day in a home with huge windows is not going to work well.

  • Do not point the camera directly at bright windows.

  • Fill the rooms with light. Turn on all artificial lights even in the daytime.

  • Shoot during the “Golden Hour” — a short period of time each day when the natural light is perfect for filming: in the morning just after the sun rises or late in the afternoon as the sun is beginning to set over the horizon. There are apps that help you determine the Golden Hour for your location including Golden Hour Calculator, Exsate Golden Hour, Magic Hour App.


Shooting Your Space

  • Become familiar with best practices for filming with your phone.

  • Hold the phone vertically.

  • Make sure it is level.

  • Hold the phone around chest height (roughly 5’ off the ground).

  • Know your shot — figuring out what your shot is before you begin filming keeps you focused and deliberate in how you move the camera.

  • When panning a room, start in one corner and pan from left-to-right or right-to-left.

  • Be aware of your feet — pay attention to your footsteps.

  • Crouch and bend your knees slightly.

  • Walk on balls of feet slowly.

  • Hold your phone approximately 12” away from chest.


Finding Your Frame

• Make sure images of the rooms are balanced and airy.

• Rearrange the furniture or remove excess chairs to balance out your shot.

• Highlight views & outdoor spaces if applicable.

• Shoot the exterior, if possible, to give an idea of the block/neighborhood.

• If you live in a building, consider filming the lobby if appropriate (and safe!).


Tips & Tricks

Accessories Not absolutely necessary, but these items can help to steady the camera and can be purchased online: Gimbal, Cell phone holder, Tripod


Clean your lens

We have our phones with us everywhere in our pockets, in a purse, on a counter, in the car, etc. All this can leave dust and grime on the camera lens. Gently wipe off the lens of the camera with a cloth to get the clearest image.


Framing shots

Look for interesting angles, symmetry or reflections. If there is a ceiling fan in the shot turn it on for movement.


Experiment

Try filming in slo-mo vs regular to see what you like best.


Trial and error

Practice. Learn what works and what doesn’t work.


Livestream Your Space

  • If you want to host a virtual open house with your broker, use a conferencing app like Zoom or Facetime.

  • Work with your broker to let them guide the tour — you are the camera, they are the guide.

  • Explain how the tour will work:

  • Will you talk them through everything? Remember less is more.

  • Will you simply hold the camera and walk from room to room, pausing only to answer questions?

  • Keep the focus on the space.

  • Highlight views and outdoor spaces,

  • When the tour ends, allow time for a Q&A session.



Producing Your Tour

Once you have filmed your property, email or text all files to your broker.

The BHS Marketing Team Will Then:

• Edit your videos.

• Add BHS Branding for a more professional and polished feel.

• Guide your agent on best practices to share, upload and post your tour across multiple channels.



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