How to Prepare Your Property for a 3D Virtual Tour and get the Best Results:
The home should be ready just as it would be for an open house. Most real estate photographers just move items out of the camera angle to get the right photo shot, and sometimes more than we care to disclose. With the 3D technology, this is harder to accomplish because they scan the entire room from multiple angles.
The golden rule here is to declutter the entire home prior to filming the same as you would for an open house. Then stand at several points in each room and do a 360-degree turn while looking for things that might look out of place. With a still photo, items can be tucked out of sight of the camera angle, but with an entire room scan, there is no hiding.
You want the place to be beautiful and unchanging from the first scan to the last. Making changes in the middle of scanning often results in issues.
- Prep/Clean up (Is the home “Open House” ready?)
- Replace bad light bulbs (Is the lighting type/wattage consistent throughout the home?)
- Adjust lighting (Small lamps, recessed lighting and accent lights can have a positive impact, if available?)
- Don’t move anything once the scanning starts (Trying to “Pre-Stage” each room and will add to the scanning time & cost.)
- Door Position (Open or closed should be determined prior to scanning. This includes garage doors.)
- Outside (Photos may be taken first, last, or both depending on sunlight.)
- Clean, organize, and arrange the property as you want it to appear in the 3D Virtual Tour. Please clean and stage all rooms and hallways in your house. Dishes need to be put away, blinds and drapes open, beds are neatly made, and laundry is not visible.
- Hide anything you don’t want people to see such as personal or private items. This includes unattractive parts of the property.
- The camera will capture EVERYTHING. Please put away any personal items you do not want to be photographed. Consider – family photos (if you’d like them to remain private), prescription bottles, important paperwork, jewelry, or artwork. The photographer will need to go in every nook of the house, so you have to conceal items if you’d like them to not be picked up on the camera.
- Windows: Clean them. Clean windows can have a significant effect on making a home look clean and well-cared for, and they also have a huge impact on photography. Dirty windows show up in still pictures, and they will certainly show up on a whole-house scan. The 360 camera will see through the windows to the outside.
- Clean windows are especially vital if your home has a great view that you are trying to capture in your shots. This clean standard also applies to all glass surfaces and mirrors in the home.
- Eliminate accessories – Along the same lines of cleaning your home and decluttering, be sure to remove garbage cans, dog bowls — and all pet-related items — refrigerator magnets, small kitchen appliances. Remember: When in doubt, move it out.
Lights and Ceiling Fans:
- Please turn on every light & lamp in your house for the photographer. Make sure the space is well lit. Dark rooms can’t be scanned. Make sure all bulbs are working, and if possible are the same wattage/type as others in the lighting fixture. Minimize bright, direct sunlight into the property when possible. Open shades, blinds, and/or curtains for dark rooms.
- All ceiling fans need to be off, and dusted.
Don’t Move Anything:
- Don’t move anything after the first scan. This includes chairs, doors, furniture, etc. Moving objects can cause alignment errors.
- Keep out moving objects like pets and people. They can cause alignment errors, poor quality photos, or just distract from the experience.
- Pets – The photographer is pet friendly, but the special 360 camera is not. If you have pets, please find a comfortable and contained space for any pets. It’s best if they are not in the house while the photographer is on the job. Large animals could knock the camera over and cause damage. If you need to keep your pet in the house during this time, we ask that you keep them with you and out of the way of the photographer.
People in the House:
- People – The photographer is people friendly too, but may be on a schedule for other properties. If at all possible, it is best if the photographer can be alone in the house to create the 3D tour. Every 30 seconds or so, the photographer moves the camera and has to hide out of the way so the 360 degree camera can scan the room. Depending on the size of the home, this will be done around 60-200 times. It becomes difficult when the photographer has to make sure others are hiding as well. We realize you may need to be there and of course we will work out a plan to accommodate your needs!
Keep doors completely open or closed while you are on the property:
- A closed door means the photographer won’t be scanning that room and it won’t be part of the final 3D Virtual Tour. Keep closet doors closed if you don’t want them to be scanned. However, most people will want to see the master closet space.
- Door stops may be used to avoid unintentional door movement.
- 360º Views will be used for outdoors.
- Be aware of trashcans. A visible trashcan looks much better neat and straight with the lid closed.
- If possible, move all vehicles away from the property. Move vehicles outside during inside photography, and inside the garage (if available) during the outside photography.
- Outdoor furniture, grills, fire pits, etc. need to be neat and straight.
- In most cases, drones or elevated cameras will be utilized in the outdoor photography. Think about what can be seen from above.
Plan on the photographer taking forty minutes to one hour for every 1,000 sq. ft. of living space to complete the entire 3D photo session.