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The Landlord’s Guide to Virtual Property Tours

By 7 min read • July 1, 2024
Skyscraper background. Laptop with blue screen and outline of house.

Want to make your property listings more dynamic and eye-catching? Including a virtual property tour within your listing could help you fill vacancies faster, improve tenant satisfaction, and ensure your ads stand out from the crowd.

Virtual property tours first became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, when social distancing made it difficult for landlords to conduct in-person property tours safely. Landlords had to get creative to keep their rental businesses running smoothly, and technology helped them to do this. Offering a virtual property tour allowed tenants to check out the property from the comfort and safety of their homes.

Although social distancing feels like a distant memory now, virtual property tours have not lost their appeal. Technology is changing property management and tenant expectations. Including a virtual property tour within your property listing helps potential tenants get a feel for whether the property is right for them without having to travel to the property. This helps to reduce the number of in-person viewings, saving both tenants and landlords the time and hassle of attending unnecessary viewings.

If you’re not yet leveraging virtual property tours, this article is for you. We’ll explain how virtual property tours work, why they’re a win-win for landlords and tenants, and how you can get started.

What are virtual property tours?

A virtual property tour is a tour of your rental property that can be viewed online. Commonly featured in property ads, virtual tours are usually used alongside a detailed description, photos, and a floor plan.

Virtual tours offer an immersive and sometimes interactive property viewing experience from the comfort of the viewer’s home. They provide a richer and more detailed sense of the property’s space and layout – far beyond what photographs alone can convey.

Virtual tours can be a game-changer, helping tenants decide whether to visit the property in person and allowing them to view it at their leisure, even if they live far away or overseas.

Digital property tours can be created in several different ways. The term ‘virtual property tour’ is sometimes used when referring to different formats. Let’s learn about the different types of virtual tours that are available.

  • Video tour

This is standard video footage. Someone uses a video recording device to walk around the property and record a continuous visual stream. The video walk-around is then saved and uploaded online for others to watch. It’s a straightforward solution and can be effective when recorded professionally.

  • 360 video

360 videos are a little more advanced as they use special 360-degree cameras to capture a spherical view of each room. A well-known example of a 360-degree camera is the GoPro Max. With a 360 video, you can see in all directions – up, down, and all around – giving you the impression that you’re right there in the middle of the room. 360 videos tend to provide a much more immersive experience than a regular video tour.

  • Virtual tour

Finally, a virtual property tour is the most advanced, immersive, and interactive option. These digital tours are created using a series of 360-degree photographs that are stitched together. Viewers can then click through and navigate a ‘virtual walkthrough’ of the property at their own pace. Virtual tours allow viewers to check out each part of the property from every angle. It’s as close as you can get to an actual walkthrough without being there in person.

Landlords find that virtual tours can complement in-person tenant viewings or be used in their place, depending on the viewer’s needs. Many people like to check out the virtual tour first to see if the property ticks the right boxes before deciding to visit it in person.

Why offer virtual property tours?

Sure, you don’t need a virtual tour to post a property ad online, but once you’ve explored their benefits, you’ll understand why so many landlords are now choosing to invest in them. We’ve broken down the benefits of virtual property tours for both landlords and renters.

How do virtual property tours benefit renters?

  • Convenience and accessibility – Virtual property tours allow prospective tenants to view available properties at their leisure, from anywhere and at any time that suits them. This flexibility is particularly useful for those with very busy schedules and those who live far from the property.
  • Time-saving – Virtual tours eliminate the need to schedule and attend multiple in-person viewings, which can often be time-consuming and difficult to arrange.
  • Informed decisions – Taking a virtual tour online allows renters to assess whether the property meets their needs before they arrange a physical viewing.

How do virtual property tours benefit landlords?

  • Enhanced tenant experience – Virtual tours are convenient for prospective tenants and help to improve the overall tenant experience.
  • Wider reach – Offering an online property tour can help landlords attract a wider audience, including international and out-of-town renters.
  • Cost-effective – Virtual tours help to minimise the number of in-person viewings that landlords are required to conduct and the associated preparation and travel.
  • Competitive edge – Listings that feature virtual tours stand out in a crowded market. They help attract more eyes to your property listing and generate more interest, which can increase the demand for your property.
  • Reduce no-shows – A virtual tour gives renters a good understanding of the property, helping them to make an informed decision about whether to arrange to visit in person and reducing the chance of no-shows. In some cases, a virtual tour may even eliminate the need for in-person viewing altogether.

While virtual property tours can offer significant advantages to all types of landlords and renters, some specific demographics may find them especially useful. For example, landlords renting to students may find that offering virtual tours significantly increases interest in their property as it makes it accessible to students searching for student property from overseas or distant cities.

Recording a virtual tour: DIY vs. professional service

If you think a virtual property tour could transform your property listings and help you fill your vacancies faster, then it’s time to learn how to get started with recording a virtual property tour.

The first thing you’ll need to decide is whether you’re going to try your hand at creating your own virtual tour or hire a professional to do the job. The right option for you really depends on how confident you are with technology and whether you have the time to play around and learn the ropes. If you’re tech-savvy, then recording your own virtual tour could be a fun project. This route tends to be more cost-effective and gives you full control over the process. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time or don’t feel confident in your technical abilities, there are plenty of professional companies out there that specialise in creating virtual tours. Using the services of a professional may also help you to achieve a more polished and professional tour.

What to consider when recording a virtual tour

If you plan to create your virtual tour yourself, you’ll need to plan and prepare thoroughly to achieve the best results. Here are some key considerations to get your new project off on the right foot.

  1. Type of tour

As we’ve already explored, there are various types of virtual tours to choose from. First things first, you should decide which type of tour best suits your needs and budget. While an interactive virtual tour is the most advanced and dynamic option, you may want to begin with a simple video tour – which you can easily film yourself – to gauge its impact on your property’s appeal.

  • Technology and software

Next, you’ll need to research the best camera and software for creating the type of tour you want. If you’re opting for a 360 video or virtual tour, then you’ll need a good-quality 360 camera and specialist software for editing your tour. Many 360 cameras come with their own software.

  • Lighting and time of day

Lighting can make or break a virtual tour. Always film in natural light on a bright day, preferably early in the morning or late in the afternoon, to avoid the harsh midday sun.

  • Staging the property

Before you film your virtual tour, make sure you clean and declutter the property, just as you would for an in-person viewing. Spend time making sure each room looks tidy and appealing to help tenants envisage themselves living there.

  • What to show

A virtual tour should provide a clear and comprehensive view of every part of the property you would see if you visited the property in person. This includes all rooms, closets, outdoor areas, and amenities. Be sure to highlight any features that are unique to the property or particularly appealing.

  • Length of the video

Your virtual tour should be edited down so that it lasts no longer than 2 to 3 minutes. This should be long enough to give a comprehensive tour without losing the viewer’s interest.

Uploading and sharing your virtual tour

Once your video is ready, it’s time to upload it online. Some property websites may allow you to upload it directly to their platform, while others may require you to host it elsewhere. If this is the case, YouTube is an ideal platform for hosting a video tour and ensuring it is easily accessible. Your virtual tour can then be embedded or linked to your property listing.

Virtual tour tools and technology

When it comes to creating virtual property tours, selecting the right tools and technology can significantly influence the success of your project. The right tools for you depend on how often you’ll be making property tours, your budget, and the needs of your target audience. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular options for producing high-quality virtual tours.


Matterport is one of the most popular tools out there for creating immersive 3D property tours. It offers a variety of different plans, allowing you to choose an option that meets your needs, budget, and objectives. The Matterport software is highly customisable and gives you access to powerful built-in tools, add-ons, and integrations. It can be used with any compatible camera, from a phone camera to specialist 3D cameras. Alternatively, you can opt for one of Matterport’s Capture Service Technicians to film the tour for you.


CloudPano is a versatile virtual tour software that enables users to create professional 360-degree virtual tours. Known for its user-friendly interface, CloudPano makes it simple and hassle-free to create immersive and engaging virtual property tours. Users simply upload panoramic photos taken with a 360-degree camera, and the platform seamlessly stitches them together to create a slick virtual tour. The tour can then be customised using interactive hotspots, information tags, and embedded media.


Kuula is a straightforward yet powerful virtual tour software packed with advanced features. Start by uploading 360-degree photos taken with any compatible camera before using Kuula’s tools to add interactive elements like labels, custom hotspots, background audio, and floor plans. Kuula virtual tours are also optimised for mobile users to ensure that they enjoy a smooth and pleasurable viewing experience no matter what type of device they’re using.

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