The global coronavirus pandemic significantly changed the way people do business. Now, more people are working from home, while major processes and transactions are transitioning online.
One of the most notable effects that we see today is the dramatic shift in how buying and selling homes work.
Traditionally, real estate transactions dealt a lot with face-to-face meetings and on-site property visits. But because COVID-19 is making people keep their distance, alternative methods and processes were needed to get things done.
The virtual home tour is an excellent example of these emerging alternatives.
How virtual home showings became popular during the pandemic
The rapid spread of COVID-19 ground our day-to-day affairs almost to a halt earlier this year. Fortunately, various technologies were already in place to allow us to adapt to a suddenly impersonal and forcibly distanced world.
High-speed broadband internet is everywhere, available either via physical, wired connections or wirelessly. With it, we have the virtual infrastructure to stay connected with our employers and colleagues, families, and friends anytime, anywhere.
In addition, computers and smart mobile devices are now a staple of the modern lifestyle. These devices are complemented by various software applications and networking platforms designed especially to promote real-time communication and connection, regardless of any physical distance.
With the popularity of social media networks and video chat apps, it was only a matter of time before these recreational platforms found practical use in various professional fields.
The real estate industry recognized this quickly and adjusted accordingly. As a result, Realtors and brokerages have been able to respond swiftly to homebuyers—who suddenly had more time to browse listings over the internet due to lockdowns and shelter-in-place measures.
How to plan and carry out a successful virtual house tour
If you are selling your house during the pandemic, be sure to include a virtual home showing in your marketing strategy.
Here are three tips to guide your preparations:
- Work with a savvy Realtor
To prepare for a virtual home tour, start by turning to a local market expert. An experienced and knowledgeable local agent can help you identify which parts of the house to highlight and concentrate your staging efforts on. They can also provide you with insights on what buyers in your local market are looking for in a house.
Once your house is ready to be presented, leave it to your agent to take interested buyers “in and around” your home, showcasing its best features and amenities along the way.
- Know your tools
Do you know how your video chat or conferencing app works? Does your home have a suitable internet connection to support a live stream of your house tour? Are you going to rely on your or your agent’s smartphone or do you have access to better cameras and equipment?
Consider these questions to handle the technical side of the virtual tour before going live.
- Be patient and understanding
Virtual home tours are a relatively new technique in selling a home, so don’t expect every buyer to be familiar with the experience. Seeing your house through a computer or phone screen may not provide the necessary opportunities for buyers to scrutinize every aspect of the property, so there may be a lot more in-depth inquiries between your agent and potential buyers before an offer can be made.
Preparing to put your house up for sale? Contact David DePaola & Company Real Estate, the leading brokerage serving the Pennington, Ewing, and Lawrence, NJ housing markets. Call 609.883.4161 or email david(at)depaola(dotted)com to learn more about our services.