The harsh reality of the COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed how real estate practitioners do their jobs. In fact, despite the steady rollout of vaccinations, businesses across every industry will feel its effects for years to come.
Over a year into the pandemic, agents, building owners, and landlords continue to seek smarter ways to prioritize safety and sanitation while keeping their respective businesses running. One practice that has become commonplace due to the restrictions on in-person tours is using virtual means to market properties.
Aside from listing properties on online channels, a creative marketing method businesspeople must make use of today is platforms that allow virtual tours of houses and lots that are up for sale. Fortunately, these are now easier to make today thanks to apps and guides that simplify the process.
How Virtual Tours Benefit Real Estate Businesses
If your business has yet to fully invest in these practices, it is important to learn the many advantages you can enjoy, which extend well past safety against COVID-19.
1. It saves you and your buyers time.
Agents usually spend a lot of time preparing a home for every single house tour with different potential buyers. With virtual tours, buyers can access tours for properties they are interested in from the safety of their homes, using their computers or mobile devices—and they can take as much as time as they like. You can allot the time spent preparing, traveling, and scheduling for other efforts that will help you gain new customers.
Buyers also do not have to travel to and from house tours to decide if they are interested in purchasing a property. Virtual tours provide digital versions of properties that are true to life, helping them reach a verdict quickly.
2. You have a wider consumer reach.
When you invest in virtual tours, your properties’ reach is not bound by proximity anymore. Interested buyers from out of town can easily find the homes you have listed and tour your property at their convenience.
Your reach does not just go towards farther cities, either. Foreigners interested in purchasing secondary properties overseas will also be able to have a good look at your homes without needing to fly out to your country.
3. You spend less time staging multiple homes for tours.
One of the most time-consuming aspects of selling a home is the work of staging a home. You are tasked with the responsibility of making sure that the property is in top-notch condition before every single house visit, and those will not even guarantee a sale.
When you do virtual tours, you only really need to stage the property once before taking the panoramic pictures and videos that will go on your property’s 360 virtual tour. Once you have accomplished these, all interested parties from near and far will be able to view your home freely.
4. It leads visitors to your online channels.
Virtual tours can take many forms. Some agents prefer to market their homes in various channels, such as first-person video tours on YouTube, professionally shot photos on Instagram and Facebook, and in-depth virtual tours hosted on their business websites.
When you capture the interest of viewers in the online space, you raise awareness of your business. The longer they spend on your websites looking at houses through your virtual tours, the more opportunities for them to click on other parts of your website to understand your business better.
Increased site traffic also makes your business more credible, which is especially helpful to reach interested buyers. This is also one of the reasons why you should mind the quality of not only your virtual tours, but also your website layout and content.
5. It helps save on costs.
The upfront expenses on the equipment you will use for creating your 360 virtual tours will seem too much at first, but it is a great investment for your business as it adapts to today’s consumers. Once this investment has been made, you are able to save up on costs incurred from travel and preparations in doing house tours.
Many are initially unwilling to commit to virtual tours because of the perceived difficulties of buying expensive equipment that is too complicated to operate. In reality, a trusty 360-degree camera and tripod are more than sufficient in helping you shoot your virtual tours. There are also many free tutorials online that give you step-by-step instructions on how to shoot each room in your properties.
It is undeniable that virtual tours are a significant part of the future of real estate. The earlier you adapt, the quicker you can innovate and create the best outputs for future customers.