Three Ways to Virtually Show a Property During COVID-19
CATEGORY: Practice Tips
TAGS: COVID-19 Open Houses Resources for REALTORS® Virtual Showings
REALTORS® are being challenged to meet obligations to clients who they entered into a business relationship with before social distancing orders came into effect and to meet the needs of new clients who may need to buy or sell despite the pandemic. This means they're often caught in the crossfire of client expectations and civic duties, particularly when it comes to open houses and showings. While buyers are unlikely to purchase a home without ever seeing it in person, virtual tours are a great way to weed out the "Looky-Loos". Here are three options to virtually show a property during COVID-19.
Live Video Tour
If you're representing a buyer, try scheduling a private video tour with a prospective buyer via FaceTime, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Skype. Guide them through the property as you would in person, showing features and engaging with them along the way.
If you're representing a seller and want to host a more "traditional" open house during which many prospective buyers can view the property at one time, conduct a live broadcast on YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or scheduling a video conference on Zoom. This showing would happen at a specific time, be promoted in advance, and would allow you to walk through the property while speaking to a larger audience in one go.
Produced Video Tour
Many Realtors have already made a common practice of producing creative video tours of properties with the help of third-party contractors who specialize in multimedia production.
This type of video is often produced with higher quality camera equipment and as a result, provides a professional and appealing view of a property. It also allows Realtors to get in front of the camera, script out what they want to say and ensure nothing is missed when talking about the property. These types of video tours are often produced in conjunction with photos of the property and make for a comprehensive package that gives prospective buyers a good sense of the home without having stepped foot inside.
The most interactive type of virtual showing is likely a 360-degree tour of a property. This option allows prospective buyers to browse the home at their will, progressing through a hallway or entering a room when they're ready.
Solutions like Matterport offer a way to turn raw 360-degree video into a professional and interactive tour. These types of services range in cost and can be accessed by Realtors and brokerages alike. Many local media production businesses offer the creation of 360-degree tours as a part of their core services.
Realtors, however, can also create 360-degree tours on their own for little to no additional cost. One option is to use your phone to create a 360 photo or use a 360-degree video camera. These photos and video footage can be uploaded to Facebook for an immersive viewing experience.
While for many buyers, nothing will replace stepping into a home and doing their due diligence, using virtual tools to start the showing process is a great alternative.
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