Virtual house tours and the future of buying property

The process of purchasing property has largely stayed the same since the invention of the newspaper. Even the advent of the internet did little to change the experience for buyers. Ads that once appeared in newspapers and catalogues simply appeared online. Sellers and agents had a powerful new tool to reach customers and make their property more visible to a greater number of potential buyers, but buyers themselves got the same experience as ever with just a slight increase in ease.

But 360° virtual tours is changing the name of the game, and finally giving buyers the upgrade they’ve been waiting for. For several years, virtual tours faced the challenge of accessibility that a lot of new technologies have to overcome. Now the dam has burst and virtual tours are accessible to just about everyone who wants it.

This proliferation of virtual tours capabilities is changing the real estate market for good. Applying virtual tours to create house tours is a powerful tool for a number of reasons:

1 – It’s a great way to get people excited, especially while the experience remains fresh. Imagine being a buyer who walks into a realtor’s office planning to browse through a website, but they get to show a virtual tour instead and view multiple locations with far greater intimacy. Not only does this experience make the properties look better, the potential buyer is also going to be impressed with the technology itself, creating a positive impression of the realtor and the locations.

2 – It gives buyers more information and helps them narrow down their choices with greater accuracy. Having that kind of access to a property without having to view it in person is a boon for buyers. They’ll still want to see a property in person before making a purchase, but they will be able to eliminate many more options and focus on just a few. With virtual tours, they already know which properties they like, the only question is: which is best?

3 –  It saves tons of time – for everyone. Buying property is a big investment and buyers like to take their time, making sure they have made the right choice. virtual tours gives them greater confidence in their options in a far shorter amount of time. Especially for someone looking to buy property in another state or country, this is a huge development. Meanwhile, realtors also save countless hours showing homes that buyers were only mildly interested in.

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These are just a few of the main reasons that 360° virtual house tours are gaining steam in the real estate market, but now another phenomenon is setting in: expectations are changing. Both buyers and sellers that have familiarized themselves with the concept of virtual house tours are hoping and expecting agents to offer this as a service.

When text messaging first came out, most people were confused. Type on your phone? Why? What’s the point when you can call the person you want to talk to? Somewhere along the line, expectations shifted – big time. And now the questions have been reversed. Call someone? Why? What’s the point in making a voice call when you can text and the person on the receiving end can respond at their convenience?

A similar shift is happening with virtual house tours and the question has become: why spend days visiting a dozen properties you probably won’t like if you can browse a few virtual tours and see them all in just a few minutes? It’s exciting, it’s quick and it’s a big help in making a big decision. Who wouldn’t want that?

 

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