12 Reasons For Residential Agents To Do Virtual Tours
- Win More Listings
For estate agency, the number one task is to get new properties to market. However, selling to landlords is not an exact science, and an agent must do all they can to differentiate themselves from the competition. Any service that gives your agency an edge over your competitors will go a long way to securing that all-important listing.
- Secondary Viewings
A little first-hand experience, here. I was in a cafe with one of our clients. I could never forget what she said: “I do a virtual tour for every single listing in order to have strong sales material to send together with a brochure after the viewing. It’s like buying shoes; if you like them, but they are really expensive, you go back and back to the store, check pictures on Instagram, and so on. For a house, going back to it several times is not as easy, but if I can give the buyer a perfect digital tour, that allows them to let their imagination fly.”
- Show husband!
There is rarely just one decision-maker involved in a property purchase. The buyer is likely to need approval from their husband, wife, parents or friends (or at least be seeking their validation). Realistically, however, not everyone will be present at an in-person viewing. A virtual tour allows all parties to get sight of the property at its best, without multiple viewings, saving estate agents’ time as well as increasing the odds of a sale.
- Rent and buy online
The world today moves faster than ever before. People relocate to study or to work in huge numbers. Virtual tours facilitate the online process for overseas renters, buyers and investors.
- Return on Investment for virtual imaging, subscriptions etc. is estimated at less than four weeks
Unlike other content initiatives that can take months to prove ROI, businesses that utilise virtual tours see results much quicker.
Virtual tours follow all the guidelines for the perfect digital content, they’re unique to your brand, interactive and compelling.
- Cut Down On Wasted Viewings
This has been the number one tag line for adoption of virtual tour technology. In real life, this hasn’t played out as well as in the marketing because viewing count also impacts other aspects of the business and purely measuring this is hard, but clients are reporting figures in the range of 30%-70% drop in wasted viewings. Even though it is hard to measure and assess the actual value impact on the business, qualitative results have been clear; people view more properties online, visit only properties that they are really interested in, and arrive at a deal faster when virtual tours are employed as a marketing strategy.
- Virtual tours keep people on your website 5-10 times longer
On average, when viewing a 2 bedroom apartment online, people spend 2 minutes and 10 seconds. Property photography gets 3 seconds’ attention and video 48 seconds.
Virtual tours get over five million visits a day, because they spark interest and are an important component of the decision-making process to customers.
Naturally, people spend 5-10 times longer on websites with an embedded tour than those without.
We have developed a lead capture / generation feature for our subscriber agents which sends lead details directly to the agent.
- Real estate listings with a virtual tour get 87% more views
Virtual tours for real estate have become an imperative part of the real estate marketing funnel. Listings that have a virtual tour typically spark more interest than those that do not have virtual imaging tied to their listings.
Consider customers who may be looking for a home from another region or country. Real estate virtual tours are a 24/7open house that does the job of the agent even when interested clients can’t be in person to tour a home.
- Two-thirds of people want more virtual tours
Because virtual tours are popping up on real estate websites, more and more customers expect them. Accordingly to Google, the majority of people want virtual tours today, with 67% of surveyed participants saying they want a virtual tour when looking at a listing.
- Content Marketing
Imagine organising an important dinner in a restaurant that you have never been to. Online, one restaurant’s website shows smartphone photos from the venue. The second restaurant has wide angle photos, a virtual tour, a plan of the venue and (of course!) a menu. Which do you choose? Content has been king of marketing for a long time, and virtual tours offer an example of outstanding content. Even if you don’t measure quantitative value for a specific property transaction, the overall marketing value of offering attention-grabbing, tech-literate content is powerful in many aspects of business.
- Better Service for Customers
Respect your buyers. As a salesperson, it is your job to show them what the property has to offer. Pushiness dispels trust, which is a value that every agent needs on their side. Virtual tours enable you to step back and let the property do the talking, which it will. Consumers, across all industries, place a high value on being in control of their purchase decisions, and on the experience they have with a brand throughout their purchase journey. By offering virtual tours, which they can take in the comfort of their own home, at their own pace, you give them that all-important sense of control, and the space they need to make the right decision. And once they are ready, you can be there to guide them through the next stage with care and due attention.
It has never been more important to keep up with the times. Innovate or die, so goes the saying, is truer than ever. Even though real estate is notoriously slow on the uptake of digital transformation, change is coming. Indeed, the best agencies are already deep into their technological journey. Virtual tours are a simple-to-enact tech solution that is both cheap and fast to implement. Do not fall by the wayside and be caught on the wrong side of history. Innovate.