More than a year into the pandemic, real estate agents have been forced to adapt to a “new normal” when it comes to showing properties and engaging with potential buyers and sellers. But are you doing everything you can to land the deal during these unprecedented times? Here are seven ways to use technology to win over buyers.
1. Virtual Tours
Virtual showings were certainly around before COVID-19, but real estate agents generally used them as a supplement to in-person tours. In the old days, a buyer might have taken a virtual tour from their own home before deciding to contact an agent to take the next step (which was turning up at the house and seeing it with their own eyes). That can now be referred to as the “old-fashioned way” of viewing a home!
Now, more and more agents are using virtual tours as their primary method of showing a home. These tours allow potential buyers to explore each room of a property with 360° movement. From the floor to the ceiling, they can get an idea of the home and its layout without leaving their couch. They can walk upstairs, view the route from the bedroom to the kitchen, and determine if the garage is big enough to store their vast collection of tools and gadgets.
If you haven’t jumped on the virtual tour bandwagon, it’s time to do so! In fact, real estate experts anticipate that virtual showings are here to stay – even after the pandemic is over.
2. Matterport Tours
Traditional virtual tours are an excellent way to engage buyers, but Matterport tours take them to a whole new level. These 3D tours are the best possible way for people to truly get a feel for the layout of a home. Matterport says that viewers are up to 300% more engaged with their tours than with 2D imagery.
The best part is that the technology pretty much takes care of everything, so agents have to do very little to make these amazing tours a reality. Matterport works by scanning the interior of the home and stitching together still images to create an interactive experience. Potential buyers can “take the driver’s seat” and go anywhere they want inside the home.
3. Aerial drones
Providing a virtual tour of a home is obviously important, but showing what a neighborhood looks like is just as crucial. Drone footage can give a bird’s eye view of what it’s like to live in a certain community. Are the neighbors’ houses kept up? Does the nearby school create a street parking issue? How do the local amenities look? These are important questions that every buyer wants to know.
Drone footage can also be shared online to entice potential buyers to purchase a property in a certain area! The agent who posts the footage will be the one most likely to receive a call from those who enjoyed the drone tour and want to further investigate a community – and that’s reason enough to do it!
4. Old-fashioned FaceTime
Not every virtual solution needs to be super fancy. Walking through a home and FaceTiming with prospective buyers is perfectly acceptable! Whether it’s Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or any other video chat app, the benefit of this method is that you’re right there to give the prospective buyer a more personalized tour.
Buyers will appreciate having you there, as they can make individual requests. Maybe they’ll want you to point the camera out the window so they can see the view from the master bedroom, or maybe they’ll ask you to count the number of steps it takes to walk from one side of the backyard to the other. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple tool!
5. Virtual Open House
The days of tying a few balloons to the mailbox and welcoming potential buyers to an Open House are over. But is the Open House completely dead? No!
Live streaming an Open House is a great idea, as it allows buyers to tune in from the comfort and safety of their own homes. You can speak about the house beforehand, and then give a live tour of the home. You can take questions from viewers and target a wider audience.
If you decide to host a virtual Open House, just be sure to market it well in the days leading up to it – you want to make sure people know about it and have the link to the live stream far in advance!
6. Social Media
This one is so simple, but so many agents struggle with it! How many times have you ignored a message that came through on Facebook or Instagram? So many agents have a Facebook business page, but never check their inboxes to see if potential buyers are trying to contact them.
Agents who are responsive and available will always win. Make sure you’re active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and be sure to write back immediately to anyone who is interested in using you as an agent. Otherwise, you’ll lose out to someone who did answer the message.
And while we’re on the topic, be sure to respond to old-fashioned phone calls and emails, too! Remember – potential clients who would have simply popped into your office in the days before COVID-19 are now going to be contacting you in other ways.
If you’re unfamiliar with HighNote, it’s time to get familiar with it, because it can make your life so much easier and help win over buyers and sellers.
HighNote is a platform which allows you to make a pre-listing presentation which highlights important information – including who you are as a seller, how you market properties, testimonials, staging information, you name it! This allows buyers to connect with you as a human being, and to learn just how organized you really are, because HighNote presentations are both easy to navigate and beautiful to look at. And it’s a win-win, because when you include pertinent information in a HighNote presentation, that means less phone calls between you and the buyer, and more time to focus on other important things!
If you’re a real estate agent looking to take your business to the next level, click here to get started with HighNote.