How to Start a 360-Degree Photography and Virtual Tours Business

Are you interested in turning your passion for photography into a profitable business venture? Starting a 360-degree photography and virtual tours business may be the perfect opportunity for you. With the rise of technology and the increasing demand for immersive visual experiences, virtual tours have become a valuable marketing tool in various industries, including real estate, hospitality, retail, and tourism.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential steps to launch your own 360-degree photography and virtual tours business. From understanding the business concept to acquiring your first customers and scaling your business, we will provide you with valuable insights and strategies to set you up for entrepreneurial success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Starting a 360-degree photography and virtual tours business can be a lucrative endeavor in today’s visual-centric market.
  • Virtual tours are in high demand in industries such as real estate, hospitality, retail, and tourism.
  • This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to start and grow your virtual tours business.
  • Understanding client needs and providing high-quality tours are essential for success in this industry.
  • Investing in the right equipment and adopting an expert provider mindset are crucial for establishing credibility and attracting clients.

The 3 Pillars of Your Virtual Tour Business

Building a successful virtual tour business requires a strong foundation based on three essential pillars: hardware, virtual tour software, and acquiring paying clients. Let’s explore each pillar in detail:

1. Hardware

High-quality hardware, such as a 360-degree camera, is the backbone of your virtual tour business. Investing in reliable and advanced equipment ensures that you capture stunning visuals and provide immersive experiences to your clients. Whether you choose a DSLR camera or a specialized 360-degree camera like the Matterport Pro2 Camera, it is crucial to prioritize the quality and capabilities of your hardware.

2. Virtual Tour Software

Virtual tour software is the key to transforming your captured images into engaging virtual experiences. Choose a software solution that allows you to create interactive, user-friendly virtual tours with customizable features. Look for software with easy editing tools, mobile compatibility, and hosting capabilities. This will enable you to deliver seamless virtual tours that impress your clients and stand out from the competition.

3. Acquiring Paying Clients

While having top-notch hardware and software is essential, they are meaningless without paying clients. Acquiring clients is a crucial aspect of running a successful virtual tour business. Develop a strategic marketing plan to generate leads, build relationships with potential clients, and convert them into paying customers. Consider partnering with real estate agencies, event organizers, hotels, and other businesses that can benefit from virtual tours. Additionally, leverage online platforms, social media, and your professional network to reach a wider audience.

By focusing on these three pillars – hardware, virtual tour software, and acquiring paying clients – you can lay a solid foundation for your virtual tour business. Now that we have explored the pillars, let’s delve into the next section to understand the expert provider mindset required for entrepreneurial success.

The Expert Provider Mindset

As a virtual tour provider, it is essential to cultivate an expert mindset that goes beyond just the tools and technology. To truly succeed in this industry, you must prioritize understanding and solving your clients’ needs and problems. By aligning your services with their goals, you can attract more clients and generate higher profits.

Building an expert provider mindset starts with developing a deep understanding of your clients’ requirements. Take the time to listen to their challenges and objectives, and seek to uncover the underlying issues they are facing. By empathizing with their needs, you can position yourself as a trusted partner who can provide valuable solutions.

Once you have a clear understanding of your clients’ needs, it’s time to tailor your virtual tour services accordingly. Focus on creating customized experiences that address their specific pain points and deliver tangible results. Whether it’s showcasing the features of a property for a real estate agent or highlighting the amenities of a hotel for a hospitality business, your expertise should translate into exceptional virtual tours that meet and exceed expectations.

In addition to delivering outstanding virtual tours, adopting an expert provider mindset also involves providing insightful guidance and advice to your clients. Share your industry knowledge and best practices to help them make informed decisions about their virtual tour strategies. By positioning yourself as a trusted advisor, you can build long-lasting relationships and secure repeat business.

To summarize, the expert provider mindset is all about understanding and solving your clients’ needs and problems. By prioritizing their goals and customizing your virtual tour services, you can position yourself as a valuable partner who delivers exceptional results. This mindset will not only attract more clients but also set you apart as a leader in the virtual tour industry.

Determining What Is Really Important to Your Clients

Understanding the goals and priorities of your clients is vital for providing exceptional virtual tour services that meet their specific needs. By asking the right questions and diving deep into their businesses and objectives, you can uncover valuable insights and tailor your offerings accordingly. This client-centric approach not only sets you apart from competitors but also establishes long-term relationships based on trust and satisfaction.

Uncovering Client Needs

To determine what is truly important to your clients, it’s essential to engage in meaningful conversations and actively listen to their challenges and aspirations. By empathizing with their pain points and goals, you can identify the key features and benefits of virtual tours that will address their specific needs. These may include:

  • Enhancing online presence and customer engagement
  • Increasing sales and conversions
  • Showcasing unique features and amenities
  • Providing an immersive and interactive experience

During these discussions, take note of any recurring themes or requirements that clients express. These insights will guide your business decisions and help you refine your virtual tour offerings to align with their priorities.

Tailoring Virtual Tours to Client Objectives

After understanding your clients’ needs, it’s time to tailor your virtual tour services to their specific objectives. This involves customizing your approach, technology, and deliverables to meet their expectations and deliver exceptional value. For example, if your client is a luxury real estate agent, you may want to highlight high-end features and incorporate advanced features like drone footage. Alternatively, if your client operates a hospitality business, focusing on creating immersive experiences that showcase amenities and ambiance may be the key.

By aligning your virtual tours with your clients’ goals and priorities, you position yourself as an invaluable partner who can help them achieve their objectives effectively and efficiently.

Creating a table to compare client needs and how virtual tours meet those needs:

Client Needs How Virtual Tours Meet Those Needs
Enhancing online presence and customer engagement Immersive, interactive, and engaging digital experiences that capture attention and create a lasting impression. Enables customers to explore spaces remotely and make informed decisions.
Increasing sales and conversions Virtual tours provide a visual and interactive sales tool that helps showcase products or properties effectively, increasing customer interest and driving conversions.
Showcasing unique features and amenities Detailed 360-degree views allow clients to highlight their unique selling points, such as architectural details, interior design, or attractive amenities.
Providing an immersive and interactive experience Virtual tours offer an immersive experience that allows customers to explore spaces at their convenience and interact with hotspots to access additional information or features.

This table showcases how virtual tours align with the specific needs of clients in different industries, highlighting the importance and relevance of this technology in delivering rich and engaging experiences.

Picking a Profitable Niche

Choosing a niche market is an essential aspect of establishing a successful virtual tour business. By focusing on a specific niche, you can tailor your marketing efforts and pricing structure to attract high-paying clients. To find the right niche for your business, conduct thorough research, evaluate market size, and consider the willingness of potential clients to pay for virtual tour services.

When selecting a niche, it’s crucial to identify a profitable market that aligns with your expertise and interests. Look for industries or sectors that have a high demand for virtual tours, such as real estate, hospitality, or tourism. By catering to a specific niche, you can position yourself as an expert in that field and differentiate your business from competitors.

Here are some steps to help you pick a profitable niche:

  1. Research potential niches: Identify industries or sectors that align with your expertise and interests. Consider areas that have a growing demand for virtual tours.
  2. Evaluate market size: Assess the market size within your chosen niche. Look for indications of growth and potential profitability.
  3. Consider willingness to pay: Determine if clients in your chosen niche are willing to pay for virtual tour services. Evaluate their budget and understand the value they place on high-quality virtual tours.
  4. Assess competition: Analyze the level of competition within your chosen niche. Look for gaps or underserved areas where your business can thrive.

Focusing on a profitable niche allows you to establish yourself as an expert in that specific area, gain a competitive advantage, and attract higher-paying clients. By offering specialized services tailored to the needs of your niche market, you can position your virtual tour business for long-term success.

Acquiring Your First Customers

Acquiring your first customers is a crucial step in launching your virtual tour business. The initial momentum and positive reviews from these early customers can pave the way for future success. Here are some effective strategies to help you acquire your first customers:

1. Tap into Your Existing Network

Start by reaching out to your close network, including friends, family, and colleagues. Inform them about your new virtual tour business and offer them discounted tours or free demos. This not only allows you to practice your skills but also helps generate word-of-mouth referrals.

2. Partner with Local Businesses

Collaborate with local businesses, real estate agencies, and property managers to showcase the value of your virtual tour services. Offer to create compelling virtual tours for their properties and venues, highlighting how your services can enhance their marketing efforts and attract potential customers. This partnership can lead to referrals and expand your customer base.

3. Utilize Online Platforms

Make use of online platforms and directories to promote your virtual tour business. Create engaging listings on websites such as Google My Business, Yelp, and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Optimize your profiles with high-quality images and compelling descriptions to capture the attention of potential customers searching for virtual tour services.

4. Attend Local Events and Trade Shows

Participating in local events and trade shows related to real estate, tourism, or hospitality can expose your business to a large audience. Set up a booth or display your virtual tour services to attract potential customers who are actively seeking new solutions for their businesses. Be prepared with informative brochures and a captivating pitch to leave a lasting impression.

5. Offer Incentives and Referral Programs

Encourage customer acquisition through incentives and referral programs. Offer discounts or rewards for customers who refer new clients to your business. This not only motivates your existing customers to spread the word about your services but also helps build a loyal customer base.

6. Collaborate with Influencers

Identify influencers or popular content creators in your niche who can showcase your virtual tour services to their audiences. Reach out to them and propose collaborations or partnerships that can mutually benefit both parties. Their endorsement can significantly boost your visibility and attract potential customers.

By implementing these strategies, you can start acquiring your first customers and build a solid foundation for your virtual tour business.

Pricing Your Services

Setting the right pricing for your virtual tour services is crucial in attracting and retaining clients. By carefully considering various factors, such as the complexity of the project, the value you provide, and the local market rates, you can determine a pricing strategy that aligns with your business goals and meets the needs of your clients.

Factors to Consider when Pricing Virtual Tour Services

  • The Complexity of the Project: Take into account the time, effort, and resources required to complete each virtual tour. Projects that demand more specialized skills or extensive post-production may warrant higher pricing.
  • The Value You Provide: Assess the unique selling points of your virtual tour services. Consider the quality of your visuals, the level of interactivity, and any additional features or extras you offer that set you apart from competitors.
  • Local Market Rates: Research the pricing landscape in your area to understand what other virtual tour providers charge for similar services. This helps you position your prices competitively while accounting for regional variances.

It’s also recommended to offer different pricing packages to cater to various client needs. This allows you to accommodate both budget-conscious clients and those seeking premium services. For example, you can create packages based on the number of scenes or rooms included in the virtual tour, the duration of the tour, or additional services like aerial photography or video integration.

By providing clients with options and transparent pricing information, you can better meet their specific requirements and increase the perceived value of your services. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Remember that pricing is not set in stone and can be adjusted as needed. Monitor the effectiveness of your pricing strategy and regularly assess the results. If you find that you’re consistently attracting clients but struggling with profitability, it may be necessary to revise your pricing structure and consider factors such as overhead costs, time commitment, and resource allocation.

With a well-thought-out pricing strategy, you can position your virtual tour business competitively in the market while ensuring profitability and sustainable growth.

Delivering High-Quality Tours and Getting Paid

To ensure the success of your virtual tour business, it is vital to prioritize the timely delivery of high-quality tours and establish a smooth payment process. By focusing on these two key aspects, you can build trust with your clients and ensure their satisfaction.

Creating Immersive Tours with Professional Editing Software

To deliver exceptional virtual tours, utilize professional editing software and tools that allow you to enhance the visuals and create an immersive experience for your clients. These tools enable you to edit and optimize your 360-degree images, add interactive features, and integrate audio or video elements to elevate the overall quality of your tours.

Establishing Clear Payment Terms

Defining clear payment terms is crucial to avoid any misunderstandings or delays in receiving payment for your services. Clearly communicate your rates, payment methods, and deadlines to your clients upfront. This transparency ensures mutual understanding and helps maintain a professional working relationship.

Following Up for Prompt Payments

Once you have delivered the virtual tour, it is important to follow up with your clients to ensure prompt payment. Send reminders or invoices to gently remind them of their outstanding balance and provide convenient payment options. By staying proactive and responsive, you can minimize payment delays and maximize your revenue.

Benefits of Delivering High-Quality Tours and Establishing Smooth Payment Process

Benefits Description
Enhanced Client Satisfaction Delivering high-quality tours will impress clients and increase their satisfaction, leading to positive reviews and recommendations.
Repeat Business Providing exceptional tours and a smooth payment process encourages clients to return for future projects, ensuring a consistent stream of revenue.
Referral Opportunities Satisfied clients are more likely to refer your services to others, expanding your client base and boosting your business growth.
Professional Reputation Consistently delivering high-quality tours and establishing a reliable payment process helps build a strong professional reputation in the industry.

By prioritizing the delivery of high-quality tours and ensuring a seamless payment process, you can establish yourself as a trusted virtual tour provider and set the foundation for long-term success in your business.

Scaling and Growing Your Business

Once you have laid a solid foundation for your virtual tour business, it’s time to focus on scaling and growing. Expanding your services, hiring additional team members, and investing in marketing and advertising are key steps to attract a larger client base and achieve business growth.

Here are some strategies to help you scale and expand your virtual tour business:

  1. Diversify Your Services: Consider offering additional services such as aerial photography, 3D virtual staging, or virtual reality experiences. This expands your clientele and revenue streams, attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.
  2. Hire and Train a Team: As demand for virtual tours grows, consider hiring and training additional photographers and virtual tour creators. This allows you to handle more projects simultaneously and provide faster turnaround times.
  3. Invest in Marketing and Advertising: Allocate a budget for targeted marketing campaigns and online advertising to reach a broader audience. Utilize social media platforms, search engine optimization tactics, and content marketing strategies to increase your visibility and attract potential clients.
  4. Build Partnerships: Collaborate with real estate agents, property developers, travel agencies, and other businesses in related industries. Joint marketing efforts and referrals can help you expand your reach and secure more high-value clients.

Remember to continuously monitor the market trends and adapt your business strategy accordingly. Stay updated with the latest technology advancements in the virtual tour industry to offer cutting-edge solutions to your clients.

Benefits of Scaling Your Virtual Tour Business Actions to Take
1. Increased revenue and profitability 1. Diversify your services to cater to different client needs.
2. Reach a wider audience and attract higher-value clients 2. Invest in marketing and advertising to increase your visibility.
3. Ability to handle larger projects and multiple clients simultaneously 3. Hire and train a team to support your growing workload.
4. Build a reputable brand and gain industry recognition 4. Collaborate with industry partners and establish strategic alliances.

By implementing these strategies, you can position your virtual tour business for long-term success and achieve sustainable business growth.

Benefits and Potential of the Virtual Tour Industry

The virtual tour industry presents significant opportunities for growth and profitability. Businesses across various sectors, including real estate, hospitality, retail, and tourism, are increasingly utilizing virtual tours to enhance their marketing and sales strategies. By embracing this technology, you can position your business for long-term success.

Virtual tours offer several benefits that make them an attractive option for businesses. Firstly, they allow potential customers to visualize spaces remotely, providing a realistic and immersive experience. This capability is particularly valuable for industries such as real estate, where buyers can explore properties without physically visiting them.

Moreover, virtual tours save time and resources for businesses by minimizing the need for in-person visits and reducing travel costs. They also eliminate geographical limitations, allowing businesses to reach a wider audience and target both local and international customers.

Additionally, virtual tours can improve customer engagement and conversion rates. According to research, incorporating virtual tours into websites can increase user engagement by up to 300%. By providing an interactive and captivating experience, virtual tours enhance customer trust and confidence, leading to higher conversion rates and potential sales.

The potential for growth in the virtual tour industry is vast. As businesses realize the benefits of this technology, the demand for virtual tours is expected to surge. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global virtual reality market is projected to reach $44.7 billion by 2024, fueling the growth of the virtual tour industry as well.

To illustrate the growth potential, consider the following table showcasing the forecasted revenue in the virtual tour industry across different sectors:

Sector Forecasted Revenue
Real Estate $X billion
Hospitality $X billion
Retail $X billion
Tourism $X billion

As you can see, the virtual tour industry offers immense potential for revenue generation and business expansion. By capitalizing on this trend and providing high-quality virtual tour services, you can establish yourself as a leader in the industry and unlock new opportunities for growth.

Now, let’s explore the necessary startup expenses and equipment investment required to launch your virtual tour business in the following section.

Startup Expenses and Equipment Investment

Starting a virtual tour business requires careful budgeting and investment in necessary equipment and tools. The initial costs will depend on the type of virtual tour equipment you choose, such as a DSLR camera or a 360-degree camera like the Matterport Pro2 Camera. In addition to the camera, there are other essential expenses to consider when setting up your business:

1. Camera Gear:

  • High-quality camera or 360-degree camera
  • Lenses and accessories
  • Tripods, stabilizers, or camera rigs

2. Editing Software:

  • Professional photo editing software for post-processing
  • Virtual tour software for creating interactive tours

3. Website Development:

  • Domain registration and hosting
  • Web design and development

4. Marketing and Advertising:

  • Online marketing campaigns
  • Printed marketing materials
  • Social media advertising

5. Other Tools and Expenses:

  • Computer and storage devices
  • Liability insurance
  • Transportation costs
  • Office supplies and miscellaneous expenses

By carefully assessing your startup costs and allocating your budget effectively, you can ensure that you have all the necessary equipment and tools to launch and run your virtual tour business successfully.

Expense Average Cost
Camera Gear $2,000 – $10,000+
Editing Software $100 – $500+
Website Development $1,000 – $5,000+
Marketing and Advertising $500 – $3,000+
Other Tools and Expenses $500 – $2,000+

Note: The above cost ranges are estimates and can vary based on factors such as the quality of equipment and services, location, and individual business requirements.

Setting Up Your Virtual Tour Business

When starting your virtual tour business, it’s important to consider the legal and financial aspects to ensure a smooth and professional operation. By addressing these crucial steps, you can establish a solid foundation and comply with legal requirements.

Establishing a Legal Entity

One of the first steps in setting up your virtual tour business is to establish a legal entity. This protects your personal assets and provides a separate legal identity for your business. Consider options such as forming a limited liability company (LLC) or a sole proprietorship, depending on your specific circumstances and goals.

Registering for Taxes

Registering for taxes is an essential part of any business. Consult with a tax professional or the appropriate government agency to determine the specific tax obligations for your virtual tour business. This may include obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and registering for sales tax if applicable.

Opening a Business Bank Account

To keep your business finances separate from personal finances, it’s essential to open a business bank account. This allows for easier tracking of income and expenses, simplifies tax filing, and enhances your professional image. Research different banks to find one that offers the services and benefits that best suit your business needs.

Obtaining the Necessary Software Licenses

Depending on the virtual tour software you use, you may need to obtain specific licenses or permissions. It’s important to research and comply with any legal requirements related to the software you utilize for your virtual tours. This ensures that you operate your business within the bounds of the law.

Legal and Financial Checklist

Steps Completed
Establish a legal entity [ ]
Register for taxes [ ]
Open a business bank account [ ]
Obtain necessary software licenses [ ]

Note: Checkmarks can be added to the “Completed” column as you complete each step in the checklist.

By carefully addressing the legal and financial aspects of your virtual tour business setup, you can ensure compliance, protect your assets, and operate professionally. Taking these steps early on can set you up for success as you embark on this exciting entrepreneurial journey.


Starting a 360-degree photography and virtual tours business can lead to entrepreneurial success in the thriving virtual tour industry. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can pave the way for a rewarding and profitable venture.

To ensure your success, it is essential to prioritize client needs and consistently improve your skills and services. By understanding and addressing the goals and pain points of your clients, you can position yourself as a trusted provider in the virtual tour business.

Remember, success in the virtual tour industry is not only about the technical aspects but also about adopting an expert provider mindset and delivering exceptional customer experiences. Continuously invest in expanding your knowledge and staying updated with the latest trends and technologies in the field.

By building a reputation for high-quality tours, delivering exceptional customer service, and continuously refining your offerings, your virtual tour business has the potential to thrive and achieve long-term entrepreneurial success.


What are the three pillars of a virtual tour business?

The three pillars of a virtual tour business are hardware (such as a 360-degree camera), virtual tour software, and paying clients.

What mindset should a virtual tour entrepreneur have?

A virtual tour entrepreneur should adopt an expert provider mindset, prioritizing understanding and solving their clients’ needs and problems.

How can I tailor my virtual tour services to my clients’ needs?

To tailor your virtual tour services to your clients’ needs, it is important to ask questions about their business and objectives to uncover their pain points.

Should I focus on a specific niche market for my virtual tour business?

Yes, choosing a niche market is a strategic approach that can help you target your marketing efforts and attract higher-paying clients.

How can I acquire my first customers for my virtual tour business?

Start by reaching out to your close network and offering discounted tours or free demos. Partner with local businesses, real estate agencies, and property managers to showcase the value of your services.

How should I set the pricing for my virtual tour services?

Consider factors such as the complexity of the project, the value you provide, and the local market rates when setting the pricing for your virtual tour services.

How can I ensure timely delivery of high-quality virtual tours and smooth payment processes?

Utilize professional editing software and tools to create immersive tours and establish clear payment terms. Follow up with clients to ensure prompt payments.

How can I scale and grow my virtual tour business?

Explore opportunities to expand your services, hire additional team members, and invest in marketing and advertising to attract a larger client base.

What are the benefits and potential of the virtual tour industry?

The virtual tour industry has immense potential for growth and profitability, with businesses across various industries utilizing virtual tours to enhance their marketing and sales strategies.

What are the startup expenses and equipment investments required for a virtual tour business?

Startup expenses for a virtual tour business include the costs of equipment, such as a DSLR camera or a 360-degree camera like the Matterport Pro2 Camera, as well as editing software, website development, and other necessary tools.

What legal and financial aspects should I consider when setting up a virtual tour business?

When setting up a virtual tour business, it is important to establish a legal entity, register for taxes, open a business bank account, and obtain the necessary software licenses to ensure compliance and professional operation.

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