Virtual Home Tours

Why Virtual Home Tours Will Become The New Normal For Buyers

Virtual home tours

The concept of buying and selling homes has been around for thousands of years. While technologies like virtual home tours have been used as a tool to add value to the sales process, the foundation of real-estate transactions is being disrupted in a way never before seen at a global scale. The ability for home buyer’s to visit and inspect a property prior to submitting an offer has been fundamentally challenged by the outbreak of COVD-19, and pervasive risks of future public health related shutdowns. 

Moving forward consumers are likely to exercise more caution when visiting unknown spaces, or avoiding them all together. This includes taking tours of properties in which potentially hundreds of visitors could have walked through recently, propogating the spread of viruses and bacteria. For this reason, many real-estate companies and individual property owners are doubling-down on virtual home tours as the foundation to provide home buyers and sellers a safer experience.

In this article, we will discuss why virtual home tours could become your best option to present your property to the largest pool of interested buyers. 

  1. Virtual tours are epitome the of social distancing
  2. Virtual tours can provide more value than in-person tours
  3. More opportunities to hold live Q&A sessions
  4. Ability to sell additional services to prospective buyers

The HGTV Generation Of Home Buyers

Beautiful home view

December 1, 1994 is a day that holds a special place in the hearts of millions of real estate and home & gardening enthusiasts. It was the day Home and Garden Television, also known as HGTV, launched, allowing millions of spectators to evaluate properties from around the world from the comfort of their living room. In fact, according to Move.com, over 60% of home shoppers at one time were willing to do a property renovation as some result of the exposure to the massively popular TV network.

However, with a global economy and public health sector hard hit by the coronavirus, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the freedom to walk in and out of a complete strangers’ property will continue to maintain the same illustrious appeal for  that it once did. With new realities facing property sellers all around the world, more people are turning to virtual home tour technology platforms. Let’s examine some of the ways virtual home tours can inject new life into your real-estate scene.

1) Virtual home tours are epitome of social distancing

Couple sitting on a couch looking at a computer screen

Many of the things we may have once thought of as being unrealistic can quickly become normal almost overnight. Much like the pivot seen in the auto industry, the majority of customers would never have imagined purchasing a high-ticket product such as a vehicle or home, based solely on a virtual experience. However, in time, this too may become the new reality for many homebuyers. 

“When options become limited, what was once unthinkable will likely become the social norm, specifically in regards to the real estate market. Add into the mix the worst health and economic crisis we have seen in our lifetimes, we expect to see a rapid adoption of technologies that allow consumers reasonable alternatives to traditional shopping experiences,” says Nick Scott, the Founder of New London Media International LLC.

As practical social distancing techniques become more clear to the vast majority of Americans, home sellers will need to get more creative in how they present their properties to buyers. While increasing time intervals in between in-person showings in order to properly clean and sanitize will be necessary, there is simply a portion of buyers that will not step foot into a property if they can avoid it. Virtual home tours could be a useful social distancing tool for property sellers, allowing them to provide engagement and interface with the property without the need for an onsite presence.

2) Virtual home tours can provide more value than in-person tours

There is no denying that seeing a property in-person comes with a unique set of advantages. But if pictures only tell a thousand words, and being physically onsite is ideal, then virtual home tours can provide a firm middle ground to provide an engaging shopping experience for buyers. As we have seen amid a crisis, using virtual home tours may become the only option available as the likelihood of future economic shutdown orders classify real-estate activities as non-essential. If this is the case, the question many real-estate professionals want to know if how they can create a valuable shopping experience for buyers sitting behind their computers?

Purchasing a home is one of the few activities in society in which most people will make the largest purchase of their lives, while often having the least amount of time to conduct research and due diligence. A typical experience walking through an open-house or agent-lead tour, while valuable, can still leave much to be desired. Often, many buyers are rushed through a home while trying to juggle both listening to the agent and observing the cosmetics of the property itself, which can result in a missed opportunity to ask important questions. Virtual home tours can help solve this problem by allowing customers to thoroughly review the interior and exterior of a home without feeling rushed. 

3) More opportunities to hold live Q&A sessions

Person sitting at a computer messaging

The real-estate market as a whole has traditionally relied on supply and demand economics as a benchmark to determine property value in an area. As more people become more financially conservative due to the state of national economies, there will likely be a major shift in consumer spending habits. Buyers will be more reluctant to feed into the frenzy of bidding wars without thoroughly researching the property and receiving satisfactory answers to their questions.

Virtual home tours can provide sellers the opportunity to answer questions in a live Q&A format, providing buyers equal access to listing agents and owners to get the background on a specific property. Because the tours are entirely virtual, having live Q&A sessions could also help customers feel more comfortable about the prospect of purchasing a property remotely because they are interacting with the same person that would have shown them the property in person. Adding these types of human-to-human touches in a progressively digital world can go a long way in establishing consumer confidence.

4) Ability to sell additional PRODUCTS to potential buyers

In addition to the purchase price, oftentimes, one of the biggest points of contention that can make or break a real estate sale is the property inspection. Depending on the real estate market of the area, it is unlikely to find a serious buyer without permitting one, and in hot markets, it can be standard practice for buyers to waive it all together to stay competitive with other bidders. In either case, as more deals are closed virtually, this could provide an opportunity to present your buyers with a package they can purchase for the inspection.

For example, you can find a third-party consultant to hire an independent property inspector and have the inspector video the entire inspection process. They can point out all the areas of concern, as well as make recommendations on things to be improved. Lastly, they provide an overall scorecard of the property conditions, as well as make final recommendations. You can then allow potential buyers to view the video at an additional cost, helping them also feel more confident in their buying decision since they cannot view the property themselves.

Virtual Home Tours Could Become The New Normal

After reading this article, you now have a few more ideas about how you can leverage technology as the core foundation of selling your home. The world is changing rapidly, and consumer behavior will undoubtedly continue to evolve at breakneck speeds. Digital Marketing will become increasingly important to reach consumers that are looking for homes, and virtual home tours are the vehicle that will help close the deal.

The HGTV generation was amazing while it lasted, but the future of how properties are bought and sold will likely see a major disruption, just like many other industries.

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DISCLOSURE: New London Media International LLC participates in various affiliate advertising programs. We earn compensation by referring you to Third-Party products and services.

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