What You Need to Perform Virtual Viewings Like a Pro in a Post-Coronavirus World
How to make sure that people can see a piece of property that you have available for sale has likely never been a problem for you before. After all, you just host an open house or give everyone a chance to schedule a private showing at their own convenience.
But the coronavirus has changed everything and that includes the way that you can show property to interested people. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to show and sell properties for your clients. So, what can you do?
What Are Estate Agent Virtual Viewings?
Virtual viewings were starting to gain popularity before the coronavirus, but they’re definitely becoming an essential part of your arsenal now.
But do you even know what they are or how they work? Well, let’s start with what an estate agent virtual viewing is and then we’ll talk about how they work, what you should be doing to make the most of them and more. That way, by the time we’re done here you should be able to host your own with some success.
An estate agent virtual viewing means that you are making it possible for potential buyers to look at a property without physically entering the property.
Much like the virtual reality games that are continuing to grow in popularity, virtual viewings for a property allow the individual to feel like they are there without actually being there.
Of course, they’re not always quite as high-tech as a virtual reality game or simulation. Rather, these types of virtual viewings will generally consist of using a video camera to showcase all areas of the house and even to talk about them in a way that would be very similar to a standard showing.
Benefits of Estate Agent Virtual Tour
With a virtual viewing the potential buyer is able to look at whatever property they are interested in from the comfort of their own home, which is an important part of the process.
It allows the seller the chance to still sell the property and the buyer the chance to see properties that are available no matter what else might be going on in the area.
With the coronavirus stopping a number of different normal parts of life, this is something that many have been looking for as a way to continue on with their moving plans.
Another benefit of this type of estate agent virtual viewing is the options that are available to everyone involved.
The buyer, seller and the estate agent all have a lot of options when it comes to setting up a virtual viewing and making the most of it. You could choose to do a live viewing, for example, where each potential buyer is given their own tour of the property.
On the other hand, you could choose to have a standard viewing available as a video to any interested buyer either as a first look or as the full viewing.
If you do opt for a viewing that is recorded, either an individualized live viewing or a standard viewing posted on a website, the potential buyer can look back at it whenever they choose.
This could actually increase the likelihood of interest in the property because they are not limited to just one walk-through.
Instead, they are able to go back to the video and look at the property multiple times. This allows them to really get a good idea of the positive features of the property while making sure they don’t overestimate any negatives.
Virtual viewings help to protect the property for the seller as well. Even potential buyers who are very careful and very conscientious of the seller’s property will cause wear and tear as they walk through the property and look at everything.
Some buyers may also be inclined to look into spaces that the seller may not want them to (such as dresser drawers or other areas that are not important to the sale of the property).
This type of estate agent virtual tour help maintain the level of privacy and security that a seller would expect and even extends this higher than what would be normal for a standard viewing.
If you do opt to make your estate agent virtual walkthrough open to everyone through your website you’re also going to increase the people who are able to see the property.
Where someone who lives a distance away may not request a standard viewing or even a personalized video viewing with no knowledge of the property, they might see a video walk-through and change their mind.
That means you could end up with an out-of-town buyer for your property because they are able to get a look at the house without asking for their own showing (at least at first).
When you have standard showings you also have a lot of people who want to take a look at the property even though you and they both know that they’re not going to buy it. With an estate agent virtual walkthrough already available online you don’t have to worry about that.
After all, they can take a look at the walk-through and see everything about the property without having to come to the property or request a personalized viewing.
This saves you and the seller time but still keeps all of those people happy because they still get to take a look at the property.
Finally, you’re going to have the potential for an even higher selling price for the property that you’re looking to turn over.
That’s because the more people who are able to see a property the more people who are going to be interested. And if more people are interested there is the opportunity for a bidding war.
If that happens you and your seller have the potential to increase your revenue. And you don’t have to inconvenience the seller with a large number of viewings because you already have the walk-through available for those potential buyers to take a look at.
Hosting Virtual Viewings
So, if you’re ready to start hosting estate agent virtual tours of your own it’s time to look at what the options are and how you can create the best quality viewing.
How are you going to make sure you’re maximizing your time as well as the time of the seller and still giving the buyer everything that they need in order to make a decision?
It’s going to be a balancing act for you, but it’s definitely going to pay off in the end if you’re able to help match up a buyer and seller.
Create a Video Walk-Through
A video walk-through is one that you’ll create as a standard. You won’t be directing any specific buyer through the property, but you do want to make sure that you go over some of the best features of the property.
With this type of video you want to walk through the property with a video camera (or have someone follow you with a video camera) just the way a potential buyer would. Start outside the house with the first impression the buyer will have and then through the front door.
Walk into the house and look around from the door.
You’ll want to look into each of the rooms, walk around, look at windows, floorboards (especially for wood floors), closet space and anything else that a potential buyer would want to see. And you don’t have to just show them these things, talk to them.
Talk like you were directing a buyer through the house and point out the important features or the special things that are included with the house.
This video may be a little long, but it should show the potential buyer enough that they are interested and may want a more personalized virtual tour.
This video walk-through doesn’t have to be available to anyone who visits your website, but it should be the first thing that you send someone who is interested in the property.
That way they can get a good understanding of the property before you set up an individualized viewing. Then, if they’re still interested and want to see a little more you can set up a time with the seller that you can go back and do a live video where you actually show them the specific things that they need or want to see.
That first walk-through, however, will help you cut down on the number of individualized walk-through you need.
Create a Live Walk-Through
A live estate agent virtual tour is a great way to make sure that your potential buyers get the personalized interaction that they’re looking for and it’s also a great way to make sure that they stay interested.
When you take the time to go over everything about the property specifically with that potential buyer you’re showing them that they are important to you.
While this is something that’s considered normal in a pre-coronavirus world, it’s something far more difficult to achieve with the limitations that are in place with the virus.
A live walk-through is going to be different from the standard or default walk-through that you created because you’ll be talking directly to a potential buyer.
They will also be able to interact with you, which means they can ask specific questions or request specific areas to look at more closely.
You will be able to make sure the walk-through is customized to them and helps answer any additional questions that they might have about the property after seeing the standard video. It also allows them to get an even closer look and feel more important in the process.
What Your Viewing Needs
There are some things that your virtual viewing is absolutely going to need and these are going to make it possible for you to get more for your time.
If you take the time to create a high quality viewing from the start you’re going to put yourself and your seller in a much better position to sell the property without spending a whole lot of time and effort on the process.
So, what exactly do you need to know and how can you make sure the virtual viewing you create is the best possible?
Make it Real
Many estate agents create a rendering of their property in order to give someone a virtual tour. They might create a 3-D model on a program and use it to show potential buyers what the property looks like.
Or they might have a drawing of the property that they use to show to potential buyers. These can be a good supplement for the potential buyer to look at and get an idea of the size or shape of rooms, but they definitely don’t take the place of a full walk-through or virtual viewing.
You want to have a full viewing of the property, as it is. You want an estate agent virtual walkthrough the physical property to get your video because that’s going to show the potential buyer everything they need to see and help them make a decision.
Keep it Smooth
The estate agent virtual walkthrough that you create needs to showcase the property at its best and that’s not going to happen if your camera moves a lot or if you jump from one room to the other.
Instead, you want to have someone controlling the camera who can keep it steady. You also want to make sure that as you move through the house you actually flow through from one room to the next.
This is going to make it look more realistic and it’s going to help the potential buyer get a better idea of what the house actually looks like.
If you jump around too much you could confuse the potential buyer who might think that the house is set up differently than it is. You could also turn off a buyer who decides they don’t like the property based on an estate agent virtual walkthrough that isn’t quite accurate.
Use High-Quality Imaging
If you want people to look at your virtual tour you need to make sure that any still images and the video as a whole are high quality.
They need to be clear and crisp enough that the viewer is able to make out every detail and they definitely need to be clear enough that they keep watching all the way through.
That’s the only way they’re going to decide that they actually want to look at the property closer or set up a personalized estate agent virtual viewing. By using high quality images and video content you’re showing off the property in the best possible light.
Highlight the Features
Every property has some features that are really something. Maybe there’s a really big yard or a pool. Maybe there’s a bonus room that’s already been set up as a media room or a state-of-the-art kitchen.
No matter what it is, you want to highlight that feature in your estate agent virtual viewing. People want to know what they’re going to get for their money and those big features are going to help you and your seller to get a potential buyer interested.
Now, if the property that you’re showing has several of these great features make sure you intersperse them throughout the video.
This is also an important thing to keep in mind if the property has a few features that aren’t as great. If the kitchen is spectacular but the bedrooms haven’t been updated in a while you’llwant to make sure you really showcase the good and make the not as good seem less important.
Clean Up the House
Just like with a regular, in-person viewing, you want your estate agent virtual viewing to show the house in the best light possible.
If there’s clutter or a lot of personal belongings scattered through the house it’s definitely not going to give off the best impression. Get your seller to clean up the place or set them up with someone who can stage the property so that it looks the best it possibly can.
That’s going to make it easier for a potential buyer to imagine themselves and their family living in the property rather than thinking of it as someone else’s home.
Cleaning up means that all of the drawers, cabinets, cupboards and closets should close completely. You may open them in the course of the walkthrough, but there shouldn’t be so much stuff inside that they’re difficult to close.
There should be minimal personal belongings sitting out and those should be tasteful décor or a few photos, but not toys, clothes or other items. You want the house to look fresh and clean.
How often have you watched a video of anything and wished you could freeze it at just a specific moment? Maybe there was something in the background that you thought you missed or you just wanted a little more time to look at something in particular.
Well, your estate agent virtual viewing should absolutely have the option to slow down the video and to freeze frame it so your potential buyers can get a closer or longer look at anything they want. That’s going to help you really get them interested.
Now, it is possible that this will allow them to look more closely at some of the negatives of the property that you might be trying to skim over, but it’s going to be an important step to make sure they know exactly what they’re looking at and what they’re getting into.
After all, if they don’t notice that problem until later you could get a whole lot further into the process and find out they’re not actually interested. That’s not good for anyone involved.
Show the Entire Room
Potential buyers want to see everything that they’re getting and that means you need your walkthrough to showcase all parts of the room. Show just how large the space is and what’s included in that space.
If it has a closet make sure you show that closet. If the room has several windows show those as well. You may want to show the room from the doorway and do a slow scan all the way around and then actually walk around the room to show off some of the additional features.
That’s going to make it easier for a potential buyer to picture how they would want that room set up.
Make it Mobile Compatible
Finally, your estate agent virtual viewing needs to showcase the room as well as possible, but it also needs to be highly accessible. The days where all online activity was done through a desktop device or even a laptop device are long gone.
Nowadays, most people do their online viewing and activities on a mobile device. That means your estate agent virtual viewing needs to be accessible from a mobile device.
Any potential buyer needs to be able to render the images and to play the full video through their smartphone or they likely won’t watch the whole thing.
While it may not seem like a big deal to allow viewing on mobile, there are many people who won’t go to a desktop device to view something if they’ve already tried and failed on a mobile device.
You get one chance at getting someone interested and making sure that they are going to take a closer look at the property you have for sale.
You don’t want to lose that chance because your estate agent virtual tour wasn’t able to play through their device of choice.
With the changes that are taking place around the world as a result of the coronavirus, it’s important to really pay attention to your options. You still can sell property, but you’re going to need to get a little more creative to do it.
A virtual viewing is going to make a huge difference for you and it’s definitely going to help you create the best and most realistic viewing experience for your potential buyers.