What version of HomeGauge do I need to use 360º images?
360º images were introduced in HomeGauge 5.3. HomeGauge 5.3 was released on July 9th, 2018.
What is a 360 image and how does it work?
If you have ever used Google and seen their Google Street View, then you have seen a 360º image. 360º images simulate being in the shoes of a photographer and looking around to the left, right, up and down as desired as well as sometimes zooming. You just place the camera in the middle of the room and snap an image.
What will the home buyer see with a 360º image?
They will see a thumbnail-like representation of the image with the words "360" overlaid on top. When they click on the image, they will see something like this. Click or tap and drag on the image below to see how you get a 360º view.
Here is a link to a sample report with a 360º image.
Do I need to buy a special camera to use the 360º image feature?
Yes you do need to buy a special camera. 360º images are special images that can not be taken with your phone or a regular camera. We suggest the Ricoh Theta SC 360° Still Camera you can buy online.
Where can I find the recommended camera?
You can find the recommended camera on Amazon and most camera specialty stores including Best Buy. Here is the link to the listing on Amazon.
Does the 360º work on the HG Companion?
Yes and No. You can connect using the HG Companion if you desire, but it may be easier to upload the pictures directly into the HomeGauge Report Writer. Our early feedback has been that storing the 360º pictures in your photo gallery when you take them using the special camera is also a great option.
My smart phone says it can do 360º images already, so why buy a special camera?
There are different outcomes when using your phone. Many of the so called 360º features built into a smart phone is really a "panoramic" picture and NOT a 360º picture. Also it can take you two minutes to take a 360º using your phone because you have to take several pictures and then use a "stitch" program. It's not much fun and takes way too long and doesn't work as good as the special camera that can take a 360º picture in a single click. No stitching needed!
Can I include the 360º Images in the PDF?
Similar to standard videos, 360 degree images are only available with reports accessed on line. This is because PDFs are static or is just an image. PDFs are great for storing a file on your computer. But we recommend uploading your report to the Buyer's Dashboard to provide an interactive experience for your customers and real estate agents. Features such as video clips, expanding pictures to hi res when your customer and agent clicks on them, a floating content bar and the ability to have your buyer or their real estate agent create a repair request list for the seller (CRL - Create Request List) are just some of the benefits of delivering your report as a web presentation. Now we just added another with 360 degree images! See a sample report (click here).
Why should I care about 360 degree images?
As a home inspector, 360 degree images provides you with the ability to:
- Stand out from the competition: Provide a unique report to your real estate agents and homebuyers that allow them to view their home in a way no other service provider can deliver. Similar to a Google Street View, HomeGauge is first company to provide users a 360 view inside of the home using one image, providing speed and efficiency in delivering detailed information needed to complete the home buying process.
- Be more efficient: Run faster, more efficient home inspections for clients by having the ability to provide more details in one image. The 360º image can replace up to 4 storage photos of each room.
- Wow your client and real estate agents: Offer your clients including real estate agents and home buyers a clear view of the entire home without their having to ever step inside.
Click here to view a report that includes the new 360 degree image feature.
How should I use 360º images in my reports?
That is entirely up to you. You can WOW your client by merely including a 360º image on the cover. If you want to further WOW your clients and save time by replacing your storage photos, you can create a section in your report for a Home Tour that includes a 360º image of every room. See this demo of how you can use 360º images in your report.
If I use 360 images, will that mean I can’t use as many regular pictures or videos in my uploaded report?
Good news. We are so excited about the 360º images that we increased everyone's upload capacity from 30 MB to 100 MB. So now you can use these cool images and not bump against your limits. If you were paying for additional upload capacity, you will still get that extra capacity on top of the 100 MB. So if you purchased an additional 15 MB, you now get 115 MB.