LATEST BLOG POSTS

LATEST BLOG POSTS

Staying safe when selling your home in a Covid19 world!



Many people I talk to these days about selling their home express concern about the safety of having a bunch of strangers traipsing through their home at all hours and the exposure to their family that still lives there. So, I decided that I should put down some thoughts on how I think sellers and agents can best protect themselves in these difficult times. Make sure to read all the way to the end to find out about the latest technology advances that your listing agent should be using.
 

Listing Sanitization Stations

 


I see many listings on a regular basis that have “sanitization stations” in them similar to the one pictured here from one of our listings. I do believe that this helps as it provides prospective buyers with the tools needed to minimize the impact on them and their impact on the seller’s family as well, but I think we as agents representing our clients owe them more than this. So, what else can be done?

I believe the way to protect our sellers begins long before a prospective buyer gets to the property to see it. With today’s advances in technology, the days of clients arriving at a property and seeing it for the first time should be long gone. If a property has sufficient multimedia coverage online, then only buyers that are actually interested in possibly buying the home will look to see it in person – thus reducing the overall number of in-person showings dramatically.

Proper Online Property Representation Leads to Less In-Person Showings

Properly represented listings get thousands of online views and relatively few in-person showings compared to even a few years ago. Advances in the count and quality of photography associated with listings on national sites have helped this reduction in personal visits by buyers that were just curious about a property and found once there that there was something that eliminated it as an option for their purchase.

Are your prospective buyers disappointed when they show up in person?

Many brokerages, agents, and professional photographers alike use this opportunity to showcase the property’s best features and for many years this was the best practice as we were trying to drive buyers to the property in person. So, the online photos, which were often only of a few main areas like the front of the home, kitchen, and backyard, were put out there to give a buyer just enough of a taste of the property to want to see it in person. This, unfortunately, led to many unhappy buyers who didn’t know from the limited photos that the bathroom was not to their liking and therefore removed the property from their potential list of properties they would consider buying.

Honesty in Photography is the New Norm

While I would like to say that this statement is true, unfortunately, I see listings every day that are listed by agents stuck in the past showing just a few teaser photos of their listing online in hopes to drive traffic to the property and make their sellers “happy.” I would argue that the sellers would be happier if the buyers that made them spend hours cleaning and preparing their home for a showing and then took the dog and family to the park to keep them occupied while the property was being shown spent more than two minutes in the house because they had already seen an honest representation of it online and this was really a second showing for them. And, of course, most importantly, actually thought this property was near the top of their potential purchases list from their initial online viewing.

Enter the guided video tour!

An agent guided tour is the best way for prospective buyers to see your listing. It is as close to walking the property in person with an agent as possible. Since it is guided by the listing agent, it also gives them an opportunity to “sell” the benefits and features of the property to a buyer that they wouldn’t normally get to do during a typical showing by the buyer’s agent. A good guided tour will take the buyer from the front of the property through every part of the home and into any additional outdoor spaces that are often missed in 3D tours. These video tours are not a new thing for the industry, but unfortunately, not enough listing agents have embraced the technology to help market their listings. And, some agents have gone so far as walking into pools, falling while running through a house, and so many more “stunts” to help the video go viral, but not actually represent the property. These videos should be about the property and mirror what you would experience in person, not be a way for the agent to gain in personal popularity.

3D Tours

Modern agents and photographers show the good, bad, and the ugly of their listings online with complete photography and advanced multimedia options that emulate the experience of being in the property in person. Many professionals accomplish this by utilizing services like Matterport, a top provider of 3D property tours nationally. These programs allow buyers to “walk through” the property virtually from anywhere in the world. They can also be used to highlight key features with embedded notes like “Viking Range.” Buyers can jump from one viewpoint to another all around the property seeing every detail. This does a great job of providing an unfiltered view of the property with all its glory and flaws alike. Buyers tend to trust this more than still photos because it “feels” more real and less likely to have been doctored to look nicer than it does in person. An example of this type of multimedia is below.
 
 

Beyond the Traditional Virtual Tour

3D tours are at the top of the food chain in the world of “virtual tours” in real estate as many agents just make a slideshow of their still photos to provide a video they can insert in the virtual tour slot on MLS’s and public real estate websites.

Many people complain about getting dizzy or disoriented in watching these 3D tours. Or, they find it difficult to “jump” from one spot to another to actually see the whole property up close. And while the 3D dollhouse view is a unique perspective on a property, the variety of skill levels by the photographers doing these tours often limits their true usability. So, is there something better than this high-end tour?
 

Enter the guided video tour!

An agent guided tour is the best way for prospective buyers to see your listing. It is as close to walking the property in person with an agent as possible. Since it is guided by the listing agent, it also gives them an opportunity to “sell” the benefits and features of the property to a buyer that they wouldn’t normally get to do during a typical showing by the buyer’s agent. A good guided tour will take the buyer from the front of the property through every part of the home and into any additional outdoor spaces that are often missed in 3D tours. These video tours are not a new thing for the industry, but unfortunately, not enough listing agents have embraced the technology to help market their listings. And, some agents have gone so far as walking into pools, falling while running through a house, and so many more “stunts” to help the video go viral, but not actually represent the property. These videos should be about the property and mirror what you would experience in person, not be a way for the agent to gain in personal popularity.

360-degree video is the next level

Imagine being able to look around the room while you “walked” through the property with the agent on the guided tour. This is what 360-degree video brings to the guided tour. These videos are best viewed, as most videos these days are viewed, on a mobile device that you can physically move around to see other parts of the room as the video progresses. On most devices, you can actually pause the video and take your time looking around a space that intrigues you before moving on with the agent who is patiently waiting to continue the tour when you hit play! Nothing can hide or be misrepresented/omitted as long as the agent goes everywhere in the property :)
 

Virtual Reality Property Tours

According to Google, you might be wondering about how all of this fits with Virtual Reality. This was a trendy thing for a while that still continues to be prevalent mostly in the gaming world, but there is also a way to utilize this for real estate as well.

Both the 3D tour and the 360-degree guided video tour can be viewed on virtual reality glasses using your typical cell phone. The 3D tour is typically a higher definition view of the property providing spectacular details for finishes. With the 360-degree video tour, the option to pause the video and look around becomes so real that I have seen prospective buyers speak to the agent guiding them as if they were really there. This completely immersive showing experience is even better than an in-person showing because it is done when the buyer is able to do so, as many times as they want, pausing when they desire to look more closely and all without causing any disruption to the seller’s daily routine.

The Bottom Line

So, whether the buyer is able to actually pull the trigger on making an offer on a property thousands of miles away that they have never stepped foot in or they decide they want to spend the time/money/effort to travel to the property to see it in person already having seen it, this is a better way for both buyers and sellers to do real estate transactions in 2020!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Name
Email
Phone
Comment