Digital Tools or Open Houses?

How the pandemic shifted the way potential buyers view homes.

It’s becoming increasingly clear what industries have changed and how as a result of the pandemic. From restaurants making takeout ordering a bigger part of their consumer experience to businesses switching to Zoom meetings rather than in-person meetings, life as we know it is going to look a bit different moving forward. The positive note to keep in mind is that change is the “spice” of life. It certainly keeps things interesting, and more often than not, the outcome of a transition is better than the way that tasks were completed in the past.

The real estate industry is going through some modifications as well. The share of listings on Zillow advertising an open house in April was down 42% from pre-pandemic levels, while those featuring a 3D tour were up about 200%. There is a good reason for the spike in 3D and virtual tours too, they benefit buyers, sellers, and agents. Now, we know what you may be thinking, “It’s impossible for digital tools to positively impact all parties involved in a real estate transaction.” Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s not only possible, but it’s currently happening. Here’s a breakdown of what’s taking place in the world of real estate right now from our Twist Tours Team:

The Buyer Advantage

For potential buyers, it doesn’t get more efficient than touring a house virtually. By visualizing it this way, travel time and open house appointment lines are eliminated, distractions are minimized and properties can be “toured” an unlimited amount of times, allowing for a much more buyer-centric process. To make things even better for potential buyers, virtual tours are now a fully immersive experience where they can see high-quality photos of a property, aerial videos, and also Matterport 3D videos that actually allow them to “walk” throughout a space. This has been shown to speed up the selling process. The convenience of being able to walk over to a computer screen, fully tour a property in a timeframe that works for the buyer, and then move on to the next home (hopefully your listing “wowed” them enough to prevent further searching), makes digital tools an asset that will be sticking around for a long time to come.

Floor Plans: A vast majority (79%) of those interviewed by Zillow in February 2021 said they wanted the availability to view a virtual tour when searching for a home. The same percentage also said they would like to be able to view a digital floor plan too. This great amount of popularity showcases that this trend is not going away anytime soon. In reality, future innovations are going to make Floor Plans, 3D Models and virtual tours an even larger part of the home purchasing experience, even as the pandemic continues to subside! As a professional real estate marketing company, this is music to our ears.

Don’t get us wrong, open houses do have their advantages, like actually seeing a house in-person, having the opportunity to actually experience the feeling of being within a residence, and speaking with a realtor on site, but the demand for them in today’s world has understandably shifted to adapt with the times.

The Seller Advantage

For those of you who thought virtual tours only benefited buyers, think again. According to Zillow, home listings with 3D tours and other digital optimization tools get more attention from prospective buyers in the crucial early listing period. In real estate, speed is the name of the game so maximizing this specific period is so important. The more potential buyers view a property during a certain time period, the greater the number of offers, and the better the chances of a home selling over the listing price. This is a win-win because now a potential buyer can reside in their dream home and the seller gets to transition into the next chapter of their life knowing that they just experienced a successful transaction. Also, for our sellers, decreasing the number of times that an open house is held in your home means that you no longer have to stage it for certain periods of time, leave for hours for tours to be held, and can easily begin the process of packing for a new residence.

Now, we didn’t forget about our real estate agents!

The Agent Advantage

Realtors, having 3D and virtual tours in your marketing arsenal only gives sellers or buyers more of a reason to partner with you. It means that you can showcase your latest listing online while also rocking an open house for those in-person buyers as well. There’s no downside to taking advantage of the digital tools we have at our fingertips. Also, for agents utilizing virtual tours, you can add your very own branding, contact information, and more to make it more of a personalized experience. This will not only validate your credibility and help your listing shine, but will also maximize the potential for a transaction, and allow you to take on more clients since you don’t need to go from open house to open house.

Moving forward, open houses will absolutely still be a part of the homebuying journey, but 3D and virtual tours will also be a very big part of it as well. Buyers simply adore the convenience aspect of this digital tool, sellers enjoy creating demand, and realtors love elevating their marketing efforts to generate higher sale prices for their clients. Even though technological innovations can end up hurting certain careers, 3D and virtual tours definitely aren’t one of them. For our team at Twist Tours, nothing is better than seeing all parties involved in a real estate transaction feel pleased with the outcome and this is exactly what we work tirelessly for every day.

To learn more about 3D and virtual tours, check out our website and contact our team today! We’d love to help you give your latest listing an edge.