Every industry is currently facing its own sets of challenges and is looking for ways to adapt. The real estate business is no different. Over the years, the industry has been taking steps to become more digital, however, the recent crisis has expedited the real estate world into the digital age. Now, the possibility of receding back to the old ways is unlikely. Virtual property tours are not a drastically new concept, as they’ve been around for years. But for some reason, many realtors have avoided implementing this technology into their business until now. Below we’ll dive into what these virtual tours have to offer your business and how, for the time being, they’re an essential part in keeping your business alive and thriving.
Zillow has reported that listings which feature a virtual property tour are specifically labeled with a tab, making it easier for buyers to find them. This March alone, those listings received about 50% more site visitors and were saved about 60% more frequently. There is a current demand for this feature and now is not the time to fall behind. You don’t just want to provide any virtual tour, you want the best.
If your real estate business is lacking virtual tours, your competition probably loves you. It might be comfortable to stick to the old ways of doing business, but by limiting what you have to offer you are actually just limiting your number of potential clients. Buying a home or an apartment is a monumental decision that dramatically affects a person’s life. Because of the importance, buyers are going to be looking into multiple outlets. Videos and virtual tours are amazing tools that will help ensure buyers choose you over other brokers or agents.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
How many times have you corresponded back and forth with a potential buyer about a property and set up appointments for walkthroughs. Only for them to tell you once they get there it’s not what they’d imagined? The problem isn’t what you are doing, it’s what you’re not doing. Virtual tours allow potential buyers to get the look and feel for the property more accurately than a slideshow ever could. These more realistic tours are more likely to get you responses from people who already understand and enjoy the layout of the property. This leads to more worthwhile walkthroughs with clients who have an intent to buy. Ultimately, closing more sales by doing the same amount of work. Say goodbye to tirekickers.
Just as virtual tours are more beneficial for you, they are more convenient for your clients. Purchasing real estate is a huge decision and your potential buyer has probably gone through dozens of property slide-shows. Each offering them small peeks into what the property is like. Offer them something more. A virtual tour sets you apart and clients will appreciate being able to fully experience the property. All without even having to step foot inside! Not to mention, not every client looking into these properties is going to be local. Virtual tours will allow long-distance clients to feel more secure in their purchase. Even if they never had a chance to attend an in-person walk through.
Virtual Tours are an Investment
Most realtors think that it’s wildly expensive to create and implement these virtual tours. Although, what’s more important to consider is the opportunity costs you lose when you don’t provide this asset. Choosing to not invest in virtual tours means you are choosing to lose out on the 73% of potential home sellers who would choose an agent that uses video to sell their home over one that doesn’t. You’re also choosing to not receive the 403% more inquiries that listings containing video get. It’s truly an investment that your clients are demanding and will continue to provide returns for the long run.
Look More Reliable
A buyer sees a listing for a spacious apartment, but there are only a few pictures listed in the slideshow and a standard description of the property. “What are they hiding?” is inevitably going to be their first concern. Show the client you’re not trying to keep anything from them by (digitally) handing over the keys. A virtual tour allows the buyer to scope the place out inch by inch to their liking. Buyers want to purchase real estate from people they can rely on. The transparency of virtual tours is a great way to build that trust.
Show Your Clients You’re Evolving
When you promote a property using dated methods, buyers naturally assume the property itself is dated (and not in the cool vintage-y way). Gen Z and Millennial buyers make up the largest portion of potential buyers. As they enter into the real estate market, the industry is making drastic changes to keep up with their digital demands. According to Zillow’s latest trend report, “About a quarter of recent home buyers say they prefer 3D tours to in-person viewing, and 46% said they wish more listings included 3D tours.” By staying stuck in the stone age, those potential buyers are sure to turn elsewhere.
Adapting to Covid-19
Due to current restrictions, casually scheduling a property walk-through is no longer the norm. That doesn’t mean people are going to stop buying, selling, or leasing their homes though. Virtual walkthroughs allow for you to safely provide tours to potential buyers while still following stay-at-home orders or whatever guidelines regarding your city has enforced. According to Zillow, there’s been a major spike in the use and demand for virtual property tours. They’ve reported, “The number of 3D home tours created on Zillow in March was 188% higher than the previous month. In the last week of March alone, tours jumped more than five times (+408%) from a typical week in February”. Clearly, the normal procedures have shifted. Realtors who had already integrated this asset into their business are currently patting themselves on the back. However, it’s not too late for those who haven’t.
If you aren’t using the power of virtual tours to your benefit, we’re here to help! Reserve a free strategy session at the link below.