Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Virtual Tours

Last weekend, I had an Open House in a price range I don't usually work in.  It was very busy, and I picked up several buyers who came by and who were not already working with an agent.  This means that I have to do some homework to figure out what to show these people.

When I checked the MLS listings, there was an overwhelming amount of inventory.  Being naturally lazy, I was really hoping that I could check out the virtual tours and save the hassle of hopping in my car to preview.

OK.  In my firm, we are totally spoiled.  There is a professional photographer on staff who does our tours for us.  He has a fancy camera with a fabulous wide angle lens that doesn't really distort the rooms.  He is also the God of Photoshop.

And he is the exception!  As I flipped through the tours, there were many that did not include the house's facade.  There were no kitchen shots in many, leaving me to assume the kitchens must be really awful.  There were a lot of toilets.  There were a lot of shots of beautiful sofas, canopy beds, and corners of rooms.  But there were few tours that provided a real clue to what the place really looked like.

Oh, well.  So much for my lazy agent hopes that I could rely on the MLS and virtual tours to avoid going out into the incredible heat and humidity to actually preview some of these places.  

Yikes!  I had planned to shop for tile for the floors in my new bathrooms tomorrow.  But NO-OH!  I have to do some real homework.  

At least it's not as bad as it was back in the old days before we had lock boxes and had to run all over town to pick up and return house keys!  And I am really  dating myself!
Comment balloon 1 commentPatricia Kennedy • June 26 2007 10:12PM


Hi Patricia,

A lot of the time you will have to instruct your office photographer on what shots you want taken. Having the home photographed at a certain time of day can really make all the difference. We have customers who have basic digital cameras; they take their own photos and their photos like a million bucks. As you know, photos can make all difference when it comes to online home buying.

Below are some photos taking tips from our national photographer trainer. Print these tips out and give them to your in house office photographer. Once you have your photos, you'll then want something that will display the photos in the most attractive format so that it will attract online viewers.

The end result will look like this &

 I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thanks and have a wonderful day!




  • Turn on all lights including outdoor
  • Open all curtains and blinds-Have H.O. or agent do this.
  • Force the flash on the camera to add light including outdoors
  • Outdoor shots usually taken horizontal unless vertical is needed to see the whole home
  • Be sure to be close enough for a good picture of the home but far enough away to get the whole house
  • Set up the front pan with the house centered in one frame then rotate the camera to the left one frame and start the pan
  • Front pan should be 3 shots with house in center
  • Emphasize the home more than the neighborhood
  • Include a closer or angle shot after front pan
  • Inside pans turn the camera vertical
  • Show more floor than ceiling- it makes a room look larger
  • Line up crosshairs with opposite corner when starting a pan to make sure the room is straight within the frame
  • Pans are shot left-to-right and bottom-to-top always
  • Remember to take shots that can be used on the flyers (stills)
  • Don't overlook shots of the entry
  • Make sure lens is zoomed all the way out for indoor shots unless emphasizing a room feature such as a fireplace special consideration should be given to cameras with a wide angle lens
  • Pans to include: Living, Dining, Kitchen, Master, Front, Back and Family
  • Also include any rooms large enough for a pan
  • Shoot the master bedroom before other bedrooms so you know which it is.
  • Your flash will help balance the light from a window

Posted by Sheryl Green, TourFactory - Virtual Tour Support Specialist (Providing Virtual Tours & Online Marketing Nati) over 11 years ago