Virtual tour, virtual showing, virtual open house…if they’re all virtual, what’s the difference? The distinction lies in the purpose, preparation, and execution of these events. Our ability to offer all three provides sellers with more marketing options and gives buyers more ways to engage with potential properties. Hosting virtual events is another way of enhancing what Amanda Howard Sotheby’s International Realty does for its clients.
What’s a virtual tour?
A virtual tour is a pre-recorded virtual showing of the property. Unlike streaming, there will be no real-time responses or answers to questions. Prospective buyers or agents must contact the listing agent for more information.
With a virtual tour, the property becomes accessible at any time. Virtual tours can be shared publicly, but not necessarily. Privacy settings can restrict access to qualified buyers with whom you share the link or log-in information.
For our agents, virtual tours act as a lead-generating tool because buyers will have to contact us for more information about the home.
What are some virtual tour best practices?
Sometimes it’s challenging for the potential buyers to envision a home’s layout in a virtual environment. We use services like Matterport and Realvision to capture floor plans and 360-degree views, which is essential for buyers to get a sense of scale, space, and flow.
High image quality is crucial for the best virtual tour experience. Be aware these cameras will capture everything. Work with sellers so the home is show-ready on the day scheduled for the virtual tour session.
What’s a virtual showing?
A virtual showing is a live, one-on-one showing for one prospective buyer usually led by the buyer’s agent. The virtual showing takes place through a private, direct connection like Facetime. It will not be recorded for online distribution.
What are some virtual showing best practices?
The showing agent arrives ahead of time to walk through the home and plan the route for the showing. They note particular features to point out during the virtual showing. Think about how the occupants would move through the home. For spacious homes, consider coming back to a logical starting point like the front door to give the buyers a frame of reference on the layout.
During the virtual showing, move steadily and with purpose. Slowly scan across a room and remember to occasionally pause so the buyers can clearly see the space.
Dress as professionally as you would for any in-home tour.
What is a virtual open house?
A virtual open house is a live event for multiple prospective buyers hosted by the listing agent. It is broadcast on a conference platform like Zoom or Facebook Live. Virtual open houses are scheduled for a specific time, such as 5-5:30 pm. Unlike an in-person open house, there is not a large time window.
What are some virtual open house best practices?
Prepare for the event by deciding what to highlight in the home. Create a script and practice it. This will help keep the virtual open house on schedule. Invest in an external camera and microphone for a high-quality event.
Advertise the virtual open house across your real estate networks. Do wait a few short minutes for guests to join the open house. Remember to welcome guests before beginning and set a few ground rules, such as how and when to ask questions.
Be ready with a digital brochure that you can send immediately after the virtual open house’s completion. Follow up with participants and interested buyers.
Best practices for all virtual events
When you’re going virtual, your viewers will be more engaged with the presentation’s content when the sound and visuals are as clean as possible. An external microphone provides the best sound quality. Use an independent camera operator when and where it makes sense. Move slowly and with precision through the home.
Keep the focus on the home and not on you. The camera is most flattering on neutral, solid colors. Suits and dresses with fine lines and prints create an optical illusion of movement on camera. Wear minimal jewelry. Speak clearly and with distinction.
Creating success in virtual marketing
Offering virtual event options is another way to assist our buyers and sellers with meeting their real estate goals. Successful virtual events depend on solid marketing and smooth execution. We use the best tools possible to capture the experience. Planning and preparing for the virtual event takes as much time as any other live event. Whether it’s a live or virtual event, we strive to highlight every property’s unique attributes.
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