Technology has revolutionized the real estate industry. Agents once spent long hours showing homes in person to prospective buyers. Now, thanks to virtual reality home tours, buyers can take their first look at a home from the comfort of their sofas. Let’s take a tour of a new technology that is changing home shopping.
Evolution of digital home tours.
The Internet first made it possible for real estate agents to market listings on their personal websites and social media feeds as well as on real estate search portals. Then static photos morphed into video tours. Now agents can provide clients with virtual showings through live social apps and video phone calls. The quality of these virtual tours has made them an effective alternative to an in-person tour. Buyers are coming to expect home marketing to include a virtual tour.
How virtual tours work.
The agent or a videographer uses a special camera to record video moving through the home. The camera pans each room of the house, highlighting its best features. If the house has a beautiful yard, outdoor amenities, and an attractive neighborhood, the video may include these as well. The videographer can shoot in two-dimensional or three-dimensional format. After editing, the agent uploads the video to her website and to search sites where she has posted the home.
Home shoppers can view virtual tours on their computers, tablets or phones. They can launch the tour and let it automatically lead them through the house, or use their device to control the tour themselves. Some agents now even provide clients with virtual reality goggles for a truly immersive experience. The buyer inserts his smartphone into the front of the goggles and watches the 3-D video.
Everyone saves time.
Buyers, sellers, and agents all benefit from virtual home tours. Home shoppers save time by visiting homes online instead of driving house to house with an agent. This is particularly beneficial for out-of-town buyers, especially those with a tight time frame to find a house because of job or military relocation. Buyers have even been known to make an offer based solely on a virtual tour! More typically, virtual tours help buyers narrow their choices to homes that best suit their needs. This allows buyers to make the most of their in-person viewing time.
Virtual home tours benefit sellers by exposing their homes to thousands of potential buyers. The tours also allow sellers to hold virtual open houses 24/7. Finally, sellers end up showing their homes only to serious potential buyers.
Because of these benefits to buyers and sellers, virtual home tours are also timesavers for agents.
Related – Should You Buy a Home Sight Unseen?