In the age of a global pandemic, many aspects of life as we know it have entered the virtual world. The real estate industry is no exception. While virtual open houses have been around for many years, the pandemic has boosted their adoption across the country. Despite stay-at-home and social distancing orders, people are still buying and selling homes. As lockdown measures ease, you may be wondering whether hosting a virtual open house is still worthwhile. While nothing beats a traditional open house, hosting one in the virtual arena may prove to be quite beneficial for both buyers and sellers.
Here’s what you need to know.
A virtual open house is a real-time online showing of your home that potential buyers can attend to get a better look and feel for your home. While photos are great visual cues, live video is more interactive and lets potential buyers get a good idea of the home’s layout and all of its features. Most open houses are streamed on a video conferencing platform like Zoom or Skype. You can also choose to stream on Facebook or Instagram, which may garner more interest and attention. After the virtual open house has concluded, a recording is usually made available so that those who couldn’t join live can still watch the video.
Even as life begins to return to how it was pre-pandemic, there are still plenty of good reasons to host a virtual open house. Here are some of the perks for both buyers and sellers.
The fact is that many people are still uncomfortable gathering in groups. For this reason alone, offering a virtual home tour could mean reaching a broader audience. However, you will still want to offer private showings, which significantly reduce health risks. Pandemic or not, safety is crucial when hosting an open house. Virtual open houses limit the number of people in your home, which erases the risk of theft or damage to your home.
As we near the (hopeful) end of the pandemic, 21% of buyers are still open to buying a home without seeing it in person. Another benefit of hosting a virtual open house is that they are super convenient. Prospective homeowners can get a tour of your home from the convenience of their connected device, whether it’s a computer or a smartphone. By enabling buyers to see your property from wherever they are, they’re more likely to attend. Virtual open houses allow potential buyers to get a better sense of the layout and flow of homes. This makes it easier to narrow down options while weeding out ones that don’t meet the buyer’s wants/needs. Online open houses are also convenient for out-of-state buyers who are unable to view homes in person. Answering their questions and showing them around the house via Zoom or Skype could be all that’s needed to make them fall in love with your home!
Exposure is key to a quicker sale. Hosting a virtual open house is an effective way to get more eyes and interest on your property. More buyers are likely to attend a virtual open house because they’re convenient and can fit into the busiest of schedules. The recording of the open house makes for the perfect marketing tool. It lets buyers who couldn’t attend get a good glimpse of the property. Attendees can also re-watch the video to remember all of the things they loved about the home. This could lead to more offers and a quicker sale.
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