Real Estate & Video. Realtors - Are You Using The Power of Virtual Viewings?
When video tours first made an appearance on the real estate scene, the technology was only available to those who either had the money to pay for it, or a techy teenager in the back room. These days video is as much a part of your marketing as business cards. Virtual viewings are no longer a tool for the elite, they are an essential part of listing 101.
Here are some reasons why, and some tips on how, virtual viewings should be a major tool in your Realtor toolbox.
Why is it beneficial for buyers?
The most obvious reason your potential buyers need (and want) access to virtual tours is for convenience. Buyers who are not local to the area they are looking to purchase love having access to more options. It’s much easier to “visit” many properties online and narrow down their list without having to visit each and every listing. Most people relocating to new areas don’t have the luxury of many visit before making a decision. With only a few days to spend in their new town to purchase a home, “seeing” properties in advance makes valuable use of their time. And yours.
Why is it beneficial for you?
The benefit for real estate agents is a no-brainer. A well done virtual property tour can be viewed anytime, from anywhere. Your buyers can look through your inventory and decide which properties they could be seriously considering. Rather than drive around all day eliminating what they don’t like, you can spend the day taking them to see homes they are most interested in. So you are using less gas, showing your clients properties that really fit their needs/wants, thereby spending time in the most efficient way for you and your buyers.
Make a virtual tour
Creating the best virtual tour you can will give you the best impact with future buyers. There are many tools these days that allow you to present a well done product without going back to school to become a professional video editor. There are also plenty of companies that offer assistance, from basic details to creation of the entire tour. Some of the best include:
- HomeScenes Virtual – Is a full-service tour creation and hosting.
- ImageMaker 360 – Offers a customized 360-degree virtual tour creation service.
- Online Open House – Will provide a turnkey virtual tour creation service.
- VisualTour – A great web-based solution for virtual tour creation and hosting.
There are other services online, spend some time and do your research. Decide how much you want to do yourself rather than pay someone. You may think doing it yourself is less expensive but remember time is money. Below are some suggestions for creating your own virtual viewings.
DIY virtual tour creation tips:
If you are tech savvy (or just want to learn) you can save a few bucks and create your own, virtual tours.
Take lots of pictures. You may not use them all but more is better. Use different angles, try various lighting options, any little thing you think would help a buyer feel like they are there. Snap away.
Panoramic shots. Even your smartphone takes good panoramic pics. These wider images present a unique view of the property to a virtual buyer. They give an overview of the entire property allowing people to get a better feel of the layout. Opening a virtual tour with this strong image gives the potential client a detailed blueprint of the property and helps them follow along easier when virtually visiting the individual rooms of the home.
Video clips. To make the tour more interesting, include video clips as well. Pick the best rooms and do a slow span of the space while standing in the center. Don’t forget to include clips that will show the flow of the house. Room placement and hallways can be difficult to see in single room picture – try taking footage while walking from the front door into the kitchen, and the master bedroom into the living room.
Voice overs. After you have created the perfect video, watch it a few times and make notes about the property’s best features. Turn on your microphone, play the video, and record your spiel. Go with what feels comfortable – say what you would say in a face-to-face showing. Remember to speak clearly and concisely. If you mess up, you can always record it again and again.
Once you create a few virtual tours, it will become easier to put them together. Having a tour for each or your listings will help you reach more potential clients while also showing that you are a up on the latest marketing technology. That will help you to get more listings as well.