The pandemic may have locked up people in their homes, but it did not stop them from looking for a new place to live. In fact, COVID amped up the real estate market so much so that jaws were dropping.
How were people buying houses, though, if they were under lockdown? According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, 98% of buyers turn to search online when looking for homes. Instead of driving around looking for yard signs and attending open houses, people narrowed down their home searches through real estate websites.
Virtual tours, therefore, were one of the driving factors for potential buyers to contact an agent about a specific home. A strong online presence is key for successfully selling a home fast.
To get you up to speed, here is the ultimate realtor's guide to virtual tours.
What Are Virtual Tours?
If you are in the real estate game, you are aware that one important step to putting a house on the market is to list it online. The next step is to put up a substantial amount of pictures for potential buyers to peruse.
For years, houses have been selling due to a great online presence with a lot of impressive pictures. Sellers might even have the house deep cleaned and staged to impress viewers. Technology and consumer demand, however, never ceases to grow and evolve.
Pictures are not good enough anymore. As home buyers browse online for the perfect fit, they are looking to be certain about their choice before they bother to see a house in person.
Virtual tours are now a prominent part of listing a home online. A virtual home tour allows home buyers to have almost the same experience as walking through a home in person, but they don't have to leave their couch.
An online tour can be done in a number of ways. It could be a video of you walking through the home and pointing out key features like you would during a normal tour. It could also be a digital rendering of the house that allows the buyer to "walk" through using their device's controls.
When the pandemic set in, agents started doing tours over the phone and on Zoom as a way to keep the market moving despite restrictions. This convenience will now be expected as a norm, even after COVID.
Benefits of Virtual Tours
It might be obvious due to the points above, but there are so many benefits to creating a virtual tour and including it on the home's online listing. Virtual tours do not just make an online listing look impressive—it is a huge convenience, time-saver, and more.
Helps Buyers Look for Homes Far Away
It has been all over the news that people in the northeast are moving in droves down to southern states, especially Florida. The uptake of remote work and the draw of sunny weather, for starters, have made destination areas irresistible. People who had been putting off moving until retirement are now prematurely taking action.
People do not necessarily have more time off to take long weekend trips to their favorite areas. Instead, they are taking advantage of online home buying tools to learn about new construction, meet with agents, and narrow their search.
With virtual tours, it is now easier than ever for someone in New Jersey, for example, to tour homes in three different states all in the same day. If your home is not selling, it might be because people are less likely to visit in person without a stellar online profile.
Makes Buyers Feel Safer
The scare of the pandemic might be waning in 2021, but there are still real threats throughout the world. Many people choose to continue wearing masks and not everyone has received their vaccinations. For many, life will never go back to the way it was in 2019.
Providing alternatives to in-person tours and open houses will accommodate even the most concerned buyers. Sellers will not have to open their homes to crowds or an unnecessary amount of people, and buyers will not have to enter homes that they are not comfortable in. Agents will also be able to reduce their exposure to potential buyers.
Houses with Virtual Tours Sell Better
When it comes to real estate marketing, virtual tours are one of the most effective tactics. They are much more immersive than static photos and allow buyers to get a better feel for the space. People are more engaged and spend more time viewing videos or interactive experiences rather than pictures.
A study by Seek Beak showed that 67% of consumers wish more companies offered virtual tours, because it significantly affected their buying decisions.
Without virtual tours, remote buyers would have very little information about the houses they were buying. Potential buyers are more likely to click on and stay on a home profile that has an immersive experience. They are also more likely to follow up with an agent about that house if they are interested.
A shocking study by Redfin found that 63% of buyers from 2021 put an offer on a property they never saw in person. Instead, they relied on virtual home buying options. Even with COVID restrictions lessening, buyers are more likely to continue this trend, so incorporating virtual tours will greatly help you in the long run.
Saves Time for the Agent, Sellers, and Buyers
Offering virtual tour options for a home is not only convenient but saves everyone's time. Buyers generally know what they want, and they do not always appreciate agents bringing them to homes that do not match all their wants or fit in their budget.
Virtual home tours allow buyers to browse homes on their own time and make their own decisions without the pressure of sales tactics or potential hurt feelings.
Buyers can tour as many homes as they want without needing to take time off of work or make appointments. They are more in control of how much time they spend looking at each house and making their own judgments.
In turn, sellers do not need to plan for many open houses or in-person tour appointments. The traditional home-buying process was once disruptive to sellers' lives, but virtual tours have made the process less invasive.
Agents benefit from home tours as well. Less time is spent walking potential buyers through homes and more time is spent focusing on interested parties and offers.
Saving time means saving money, too. The cost of fuel seriously decreases as agents and buyers are not driving around as much to homes.
Buyers will be able to continue their normal work schedules and continue making money. Agents will be able to spend their time doing work that earns them a commission rather than hours of wasted home tours.
The Main Type of Virtual Tour
Now that you are ready to start benefitting from virtual tours, you must be wondering how they are created. There is one main type of virtual tour that we at Hommati offer our clients.
3D Walkthrough and House Tour
A 3D tour is a huge step up from a basic video walkthrough tour that does not allow the view to decide which path he or she wants to take. It creates a digital rendering of the home using data from pictures taken throughout the property using a specific camera. These renderings are highly manipulatable for buyers and offer a lot more information about the home.
Viewers can "walk" through the home at their own pace and choose what matters most to them to view. They can also discover features of the home that were not mentioned in the description or in a basic virtual tour.
These tours are done by professional companies like Hommati who have the knowledge and experience to create the perfect tour to catch the eyes of potential buyers.
Viewers can also zoom in to see room details or zoom out to see the entire house's layout at once, also called a dollhouse view.
Because 3D tours create digital renderings of homes to scale, potential buyers can even use a measurement tool to find measurements of anything in the home. This will help when figuring out if furniture will fit within the space of each room.
Boost Your Real Estate Marketing Today
Virtual tours are the key to the real estate future. Soon, homes without virtual tours included in their listings will be disregarded by potential buyers completely. Working with a company like Hommati will get you familiar with the ins, outs, and benefits of virtual tours on your listings.
Hommati.com is a revolutionary real estate listing site that has embraced the power of virtual home tours. On the site, you can search for homes, agents, list homes, and browse the many virtual tours available.
List a home on Hommati.com today!