Last Updated on September 20, 2016 by Mark Lavington
For a long time, holiday homeowners have faced a similar problem; how do you do the interior of your property justice with photography? How do you encapsulate the views, the local surrounds and everything outside your cottage?
Whilst you’ll all know the importance of professional photography in promoting your holiday home, how about taking it a step further?
360-degree videos are becoming increasingly popular, and they’re certainly impressing the guests…
What is 360 degree video?
For those of you not familiar with it, 360 degree video is a relatively new technology which is gaining rave reviews, particularly for its use on mobile phones. The user can simply tilt their phone in the direction they’d like to view and the scene they’re viewing will tilt in the same way, just like virtual reality.
It takes the standard photograph or video and really brings it to life. With internal photography very tricky to get right, this adds a literal extra dimension to your property.
We’ve already mentioned that these videos are great on mobile and this is a big bonus, as that’s likely where more than 50% of your website visitors are coming from.
If your holiday cottage is in a particularly competitive tourist area the chances are that visitors are going to be looking at a number of different properties; this is a great way to make yours stand out from the crowd, and to engage with visitors beyond the traditional flicking through of images.
Also consider how you can use it seasonally; more and more holiday homes will be trying to boost bookings all year round. 360 videos, particularly of the exterior of the property and surrounding area could be just the thing to entice people in the autumn, winter and early new year. What better way to demonstrate just how magical your cottage looks when surrounded by autumn colours or covered in snow?
The final thing we would say is that early adopters always stand out; whilst some have adopted this technology in the tourist sector, it’s far from common so if you’re looking to stand out in a crowd there’s no better time than now.
There are a few ways to create a 360 degree video of your holiday home. Whilst they have their pros and cons, you’ll not be surprised to hear that the more expensive option will see your life being easy, and the cheaper route is going to be harder, time consuming and perhaps a little tedious unless you’re technically minded.
- Stitching panoramics
If you’re feeling creative, the first option is for the budding DIY enthusiast.
You’ll need to set up your camera in the center of the room (make sure you use a tripod to eliminate wobbles) and take panoramic shots from one end of the room to another. Upload the images to your computer and stitch them together using video software (available from the internet). If you’re using a PC, Windows Movie Maker will do the job.
You’ll then be able to upload this video to YouTube or your website as a standard video.
Please note viewers will not have any control of moving left/right/up/down.
- 360 Degree cameras
Option number 2 can be pricey, but the end product is interactive and will most likely look a lot cleaner. YouTube have recently added a 360 degree video option, but only 3 cameras are compatible with it. These are the Ricoh Theta S (£299.99), Kodak SP360 (£384.99), and IC Real Tech ALLie (£503). With these cameras you just have to set them up in the middle of the room and hit record. It will then film 360 degrees around the room seamlessly.
Once you’ve done your filming, simply upload to your computer and follow YouTube’s instructions here.
When the video has been correctly uploaded (it can take up to an hour), you will notice that there is a pan button in the top left of the video. Viewers can use this button or the arrow keys on their keyboard to rotate the camera and view different areas.
3. Use a professional to create your 360 degree video
As with everything, you get what you pay for so if you’re looking to really promote the quality of your holiday home using a professional is likely to be the preferred route, albeit at a cost. You’ll have to weigh up the return that you are likely to receive in increased bookings in return for your investment in a 360 degree video. If you use a holiday letting agent to promote your holiday home speak to them about your options, they may well have a solution.
One video professional whose work that has caught our eye recently is Luke Power of Property Videos who is using the latest Virtual Reality (VR) technology to create truly immersive property tours like this one of a stunning 6 bedroom holiday home in Cornwall (click the link and scroll down to explore the 3D interactive tour). .
Holiday Home Security
Whilst promoting your holiday home with a 360 degree high definition video will no doubt help you attract more bookings, we must consider the fact that opening your home up for all to see could potentially attract the wrong attention. Whilst burglaries are relatively few and far between it pays to consider your holiday home security.
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.
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