Virtual house tours are the answer to the difficult situation that Covid-19 has put potential home sellers and buyers into. Although people still want to buy and sell property, the spreading virus has caused governments all over the world to implement widespread lockdowns. Because the coronavirus is spread via minute droplets in the air, social distancing is now the norm in all public spaces.
Social distancing has had an impact on the real estate market. While open homes and private inspections have long been the gem in the crown of real estate marketing, allowing prospective buyers to see and inspect a property firsthand, lockdowns and social distancing tactics have made it nearly difficult to employ this vital marketing tool.
Not to be discouraged, the real estate business has capitalised on technological advancements. The property market, like many other industries that use the internet to work remotely and comply with lockdown and social distancing restrictions, has devised ways to present houses in the best possible light while keeping buyers and sellers secure. In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, virtual tours have proven to be the real estate industry’s saving grace.
How Real Estate Virtual Tours Work
Virtual home tours were around well before Covid-19, generally sold as a niche offering to sellers as a marketing tool. Traditional home viewings became difficult when the coronavirus forced buyers indoors for fear of endangering the health of vendors, buyers, and real estate agents. Auctions were also halted, and real estate agents were left with no choice except to rely on virtual tours to sell their listings.
Virtual tours were a component of the real estate agent’s marketing arsenal before the outbreak of Covid-19 and the accompanying worries for the health of buyers, sellers, and agents, but they were never meant to replace the traditional open home. Virtual tours were an excellent way to provide interested purchasers with a video-enabled remote tour of the property that was as near to an actual open house as possible if they were unable to visit the property in person for any reason (for example, if they were interstate or overseas).
Virtual tours have become the preferred method for sellers and agents, enabling properties to be marketed as widely as possible without face-to-face contact.
Virtual House Tour Types
When it comes to virtually presenting the property, the internet provides a plethora of possibilities, and, contrary to popular belief, many of these options do not necessitate the use of specialised programmes and/or software.
Using video-calling or conference services to show a home to potential buyers is one of the simplest ways a real estate agent may use the Internet to display a home to potential buyers. Simply put, a real estate agent may use FaceTime or WhatsApp’s video calling feature to take individual purchasers on a tour of the property, allowing them to request that the agent focus on specific areas of the home that they are interested in viewing.
Virtual open homes allow larger groups of people to view a property at the same time, and video conferencing software like Zoom (which has also become one of the most popular remote meeting tools in the Covid era) could be very useful to home sellers and the agents assisting them in getting their property off the market in this regard. Pre-coronavirus, no doubt, the use of professionally produced footage of a property would have been a fantastic marketing tool. Nowadays, home buyers are able to view “raw” footage of any properties they are interested in. Live events like these also allow potential buyers to ask any questions they may have regarding the property.
Setting up a 3D house tour of the property is another alternative to consider if you’re marketing your home without the freedom of having open homes or private realestate inspections. Some agents offer 3D tour services, but since it is a specialised service it’s advisable to hire a professional that is experienced in creating 3D tours. Special 3D cameras are used to gather photographs of the property and all of the rooms. These are then generated in three dimensions using specialised software, allowing potential purchasers to see the property from a variety of perspectives and gain a true feel of the “flow” of the property.
3D tours may be included as part of the marketing plan of the real estate agency you’re working with to help you sell, and they can be rather costly. However, 3D tours can be quite effective, especially if you’re selling high-end luxury property (which is normally more expensive and may need to be advertised more aggressively and to a wider buyer pool).
Inquire with your real estate agent about 3D house tours as a marketing option for the selling of your home.
Virtual Home Staging
Home staging allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home they are viewing online. Whether a home is virtually or physically staged, the goal is to make the area as neutral as possible. This usually means removing personal items such as family photos and decorative elements that may be distracting and/or draw attention away from the positives of the property itself.
While traditional home staging may seem like a waste of money when buyers will not be seeing the property in person, technology has made it possible to digitally stage the home. When a home is virtually staged, there is a lot more flexibility in terms of how it might be “styled.” When a home is virtually staged, colour and décor options are essentially limitless, unlike when a home is traditionally staged.
Staging software rethinks everything from paint colours to furnishings and ornaments in a property using virtual photographs of the rooms. In many ways, the virtual version of house staging provides home sellers with considerably more alternatives than traditional staging at a much lower cost.
Real estate agents frequently propose staging a home shortly before showing it to potential buyers, eliminating the need to paint over accent walls that may not appeal to potential buyers. Agents also suggest sellers remove other décor items that may detract from other, more appealing characteristics. Changing anything from a room’s set-up to its colour is a breeze with virtual house staging, and it doesn’t require any further financial input from the seller aside from the cost of virtual home staging.
How Virtual Tours Help Home Sellers Find the Best Buyer
Although many of the tools used to virtually showcase properties existed before the breakout of the pandemic, virtual tours are really coming into their own as agents, buyers and sellers try to adhere to social distancing rules and regulations within the real estate market.
Most buyers still prefer to visit a property in person before making an offer on it, but in the absence of open houses, virtual tours have become the most effective way to present a property in the best light when it is advertised online. While internet listings used to be used to provide potential buyers a general notion of what’s available on the market, they now require significantly more persuasive power because purchasers don’t have quick access to the property.
Virtual house tours have certainly become the next best thing thanks to technological advancements such as video chatting and conferencing, 3D tours, and virtual home staging. Virtual tours allow purchasers to get to know a home almost as well as if they were seeing it in person.
When potential buyers visit the property in person, real estate brokers and home sellers must take every care to prevent them from becoming infected with the coronavirus, including offering hand sanitiser, disinfecting wipes, and masks. Additionally, sellers, agents, and purchasers shall maintain a social separation of at least 1.5 metres between themselves and others.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, showing a home provides significant problems and risks to buyers, sellers, and agents. As a result, online tools such as virtual home tours, 3D tours, and virtual staging have emerged as viable options.
Real estate agents can now conduct virtual tours of properties to individuals and groups of buyers using video chatting platforms like FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Zoom, allowing them to ask all the questions they would at a traditional home showing.
While virtual options such as these are unlikely to replace traditional showings once the property industry is able to operate as it did before Covid-19, they have provided viable options to the real estate industry as a whole as it grapples with the pandemic’s impact, and they are likely to be used more in the future.
Interactive Open Homes is the leading provider of standard / 3D photography, virtual tours and video walk-throughs throughout the Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Fraser Coast regions. We can provide our services directly or via local real estate agency Property Brokerage located in Urangan.
Make a virtual tour booking today. Or call 0424 133 443 to speak to a team member.