By SARAH KNAUER | Special to the Palisadian-Post
In an already increasingly virtual world, the recent events that are requiring us to “Stay at Home” have put the real estate industry into virtual overdrive. Motivations to buy and sell homes remain the same, with some families realizing they need more space.
Still, buyers and sellers feel paralyzed and hesitant with the fear of touring or showing their own home in person. I am going to outline a few ways that homes can be toured virtually online before ever setting foot in the home.
First, a video tour. A video tour is when a videographer flies a drone through the home, allowing the viewer to get a really good overview of the property. It is more lifelike than simply looking through photos, but not as immersive as a 3D tour.
Oftentimes the videographer will include scenes from the surrounding areas to really set the stage and feel of the property. You can view an example of a video tour at 16150Alcima.com.
A 3D tour allows the viewer to feel as if they are standing inside the home, rotating around to get a sense of the scale and space.
A more sophisticated 3D tour uses a form of technology called Matterport 3D. This tour allows the viewer to manipulate the screen from room to room, zooming in and out, and even seeing a bird’s-eye view like you’re looking into a dollhouse. You can see an example at 234MonteGrigio.com.
The most immersive would be a virtual reality tour in which the viewer would need to wear a 3D headset. This type of tour allows the viewer to move around as if they were actually inside the home.
While currently this type of tour is fairly rare, as the headsets are not yet a household item, I would imagine that we will see a rise in the virtual reality tours offered, especially on the higher end real estate.
Finally, agents are now starting to host virtual open houses. There are several ways to do this.
For vacant homes, they can be in the home themselves and stream a video via social media or a video conferencing program like Zoom. In an owner-occupied home, the agent can host the video conference from their home office, and the seller can be the one that actually tours the online guests through the house.
It is an effective way to allow buyers to get a tour of the house plus a perfect platform to ask questions, all from the comfort of everyone’s own residence.
While I believe that in the end, buyers will still want to physically visit a home in person before purchasing it, I believe that this will help them narrow down their search so that they visit fewer homes in person before purchasing. It also may help them fall in love with a home before they have even seen it and be the impetus for their move.
So if you are selling your home now, make sure that your agent has a virtual option available, and know that buyers are still shopping online and making notes of what homes they want to see in person when they can.
Sarah Knauer is a member of The Marguleas Team of Amalfi Estates. Knauer truly believes in giving back to her community and gives back 10% of her commission from each sale among five charities, Make-a-Wish, SPCA-LA, American Cancer Society, PATH, which helps homelessness, and Homeboy Industries. The team has been fortunate to have donated $1 million since 2014. She was honored to be named one the National Association of Realtors 30 under 30 for 2020. Knauer can be reached on her cell at 310-663-4606 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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