How Much Does It Cost to Create a Virtual Tour?7 min read

How Much Does It Cost to Create a Virtual Tour?7 min read

30/05/2020 0 By Vasyl Tsyktor

The cost of making a virtual tour depends on a specific software pricing and hardware you will use to take panoramic photos of a property. You also can consider free virtual tour software packages like Lapentor or Marzipano to save your money. They, however, either offer limited features, for example, no virtual tour sharing and branding allowed, or require coding skills to embed a panoramic tour on your website. One way or another, paid solutions provide much more advantages of virtual tours for real estate businesses than free ones.

Taking into account, that the cost of virtual tour software packages is quite low, you should fully benefit from the capabilities of paid tools. Instead, you can save your money on hardware and use your mobile device to take a series of wide-angle photos. Some solutions, iStaging for example, allow users to make a virtual tour with iPhone or an Android smartphone. How much does it cost to create a virtual tour with specialized hardware and mobile device? This post will help you manage with the cost of real estate virtual tour software and decide which option matches your needs.

Hardware cost

Such additional devices as fisheye lens, rotator, and 360 camera can greatly simplify the panorama taking process, ensure higher image quality, and allow you to create more advanced and engaging virtual tours than using only a smartphone. If you decide to use your mobile device without any supplementary hardware, we will not include the price of your smartphone in the overall cost of Google virtual tour panoramas. Instead, software will be the only expense in your case.

Fisheye lens

Moment 15 mm

A fisheye lens is a small portable optical device that allows you to take wider photos than images shot with many of today’s smartphones. For instance, the 15 mm Moment fisheye lens supports 170-degree photos compared to only 75 degrees for iPhone 7. Such lenses typically either have clips for mounting over a built-in mobile device lens or require a special separate case for you to attach the lens to a smartphone. 

Some smartphones, however, have built-in wide-angle lenses enabling users to take convenient panoramas for virtual tours. In particular, affordable Samsung Galaxy A40 can take a 123-degree photo with its 5MP ultra-wide camera in addition to its 16MP main one. This photo scale can be enough for regular virtual real estate tours. The cost of fisheye lenses for your mobile device varies from $6 to $100 including a mount case. 

For example, the above-mentioned Moment fisheye lens made of the aerospace-grade metal and hand-polished glass costs about $80 without a required case sold separately. Pricing depends on the quality of a particular lens, zooming capabilities, and materials. You also can find phone camera lens kits coming with a few lenses with different shooting angles as well as macro lenses.

Rotator

Fleemy 360

A rotator is an automatic smartphone rotating device that allows you to easily take panoramic photos in 360 degrees. Instead of changing your body orientation while holding a mobile device in your hands and trying to take convenient photos of a certain environment and avoiding shaking a built-in camera, you can mount your smartphone on a rotator, set a timer auto camera, and let the rotator do its job. 

The rotator rotates your mobile device in 360 degrees during the automatic photo-taking process while remaining at the same place within your interior, thus ensuring a proper photo shooting point for each panorama. Unfortunately, it’s hard to call rotators cheap, unlike eyefish lenses. For example, the Fleemy 360 degree electric panoramic ball head with remote control costs about $130. iStaging, however, offers a virtual tour making kit including a 720-degree lens and rotator for only $50. To buy this kit, you have to sign up for one of the available virtual tour software packages.

360-degree camera

Samsung Gear 360

A 360-degree camera can replace both a smartphone and fisheye lens. Combined with a mini tripod, it also eliminates the need for a rotator. You should consider a 360 camera if you have an outdated mobile device with a low-quality camera without a wide-angle lens. For instance, Samsung Gear 360 enables you to take 30MP photos and tape 360-degree 4K video. For about $200, you will have a high-end camera capable of capturing an image above, below, and all around the device with one shot since it has two wide-angle lenses making using a rotator worthless.

Software cost

How many do virtual tours cost? The varies from vendor to vendor. Depending on the number of virtual tours needed, you may spend from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars per month. Fortunately, many software development companies provide flexible pricing policies which enables users to pick the most convenient option in every particular case.

For property owners

Making a virtual tour

If you’re a regular property owner who wants to sell his own house, apartment, etc. and you need only 1-5 virtual tours for a limited period until you find a buyer, then you a starter package will be enough for. For example, Matterport offers 5 virtual tours for $9.99 per month. Taking into account that it typically takes from 65 to 93 days to sell a house you will need to spend about $30 for a few virtual tours. Unlike Matterport, iStaging offers 3 virtual tours for $5 with each next tour for $2.5 which makes their software a better choice for individuals.

If you’re a regular property owner who wants to sell his own house, apartment, etc. and you need only 1-5 virtual tours for a limited period until you find a buyer, then you a starter package will be enough for. For example, Matterport offers 5 virtual tours for $9.99 per month. Taking into account that it typically takes from 65 to 93 days to sell a house you will need to spend about $30 for a few virtual tours. Unlike Matterport, iStaging offers 3 virtual tours for $5 with each next tour for $2.5 which makes their software a better choice for individuals.

For real estate agents

Professional agents selling from 10 to 30 real estate objects per month will need more advanced software plans than individual property owners. In this case, you should consider second-level plans from iStaging, Matterport, My360, or SeekBeak. For a couple of tens of virtual tours, you will have to spend from $15 to $70 depending on a vendor. For this money, you will get such features as custom branding, floor plans, sharing capabilities, and more.

For real estate agencies

The virtual tour software cost for real estate agencies varies from $40 to $310 per month on average. For such a price, developers offer premium packages with 25-100 available tours. In some cases, you can get such features as Google Analytics integration, third-party Javascript/HTML embedding, regular reporting, 2-factor authentication, data exports, etc. Some companies also provide custom pricing for agencies, so you can negotiate on a special price for the capabilities you need.


Total cost

How much do virtual tours cost? If you need a single virtual tour to sell your house and you strive to spend as little money as you can, you can use your mobile device without any additional hardware. In this case, the virtual tour cost will equal about 15$ for the entire property selling period. With minimum required useful hardware this amount will reach $65. Real estate agents will have to pay from $100 to $300 for 30 virtual tours along with a rotator and 360-degree camera, while agencies should prepare $300-$400 for 100 virtual tours, advanced features, and high-end hardware.