7 minute read
Using tech to sell your home is vital right now. With more and more news of the coronavirus spreading throughout the United States and people encouraged to stay home, industries everywhere are taking a hit — and that includes the real estate industry. Real estate agents from all over are reporting a significant decrease in activity, especially when it comes to showing homes.
But now, these agents are beginning to use technology to their benefit, allowing them to work safely, but also efficiently and effectively. Savvy agents are utilizing technology to conduct virtual tours with their clients and are sending photos and videos to help in the decision-making process.
Industry experts predict that this could be the industry’s “new normal” — at least for the foreseeable future — also predicting that things will likely get worse before they get better. So if this is our new normal, what does that mean for you, as you are trying to sell your home?
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use technology to help sell your home in these uncertain times.
First and foremost, if you want to sell your home in today’s market, you need to understand and embrace the fact that smart sales strategies are going to be more high tech and less hands-on, according to industry experts. These days, you won’t find open houses with house hunters lined up outside the front door, as most places have put a temporary ban on them. But savvy agents have begun hosting open houses, where potential buyers queue up online instead. Today’s home buyers are also requesting more virtual tours, in which the agent walks a potential buyer through the home virtually, acting as a narrator with a smartphone video camera, showcasing a home’s key selling features while buyers watch from the safety of their own home.
Other ways that agents are utilizing technology to help sell homes are digital 3D home tours, hands-off “drive-by” appraisals, and no-contact closings. The key to selling a home over the next few months will be to use a mix of technology and thinking outside of the box when it comes to marketing strategies and techniques.
3D home tours
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words… so then a panoramic 3D picture should tell an even more compelling story, right? That’s the way it would appear, anyway. The number of 3D home tours nearly tripled between February and March of this year, as more and more gatherings were beginning to be shut down due to the pandemic. Even more impressive, when comparing virtual tours during the last week of March to a typical week in February, that number goes up more than 400 percent.
An added bonus: home buyers searching for homes are clicking more frequently on listings that offer 3D home tours and photos than those that don’t — nearly 50 percent more, in fact.
Virtual open houses
When you can’t bring a crowd to your home to try to sell it because of social distancing regulations, what is there to do? Simple: host a virtual open house. Hosting a virtual open house allows you to open up your home to as many home buyers as possible. Try creating a Facebook page for the house and then creating an event for your virtual open house. The key to making your open house a success is to add as many people as possible to the event, to grow your audience and increase the chances of a successful sale.
On the day of the virtual open house, make sure to upload the virtual tour and a virtual walkthrough video of the house for everyone tuning in online. In the past, strategies such as these may have been easily overlooked by busy home buyers, but today’s buyers are a more captive audience, looking for virtual ways to see parts of a property and learn what the home has to offer. Virtual staging, if the home is not already staged, is another great way to help set your listing apart and make it more appealing to potential buyers.
Agent-led video tours
Online home tours are nothing new, of course, but what makes this different is doing the tour digitally with the sales agent highlighting what makes the house special or just right for a family. Think about it: it’s one thing to see a video showing a nice kitchen. But it completely elevates the experience to watch a real-time video, with the agent showcasing the kitchen, explaining the history of the house, and when the top of the line stove was installed.
Keep in mind, also, that first impressions still matter in home sales. Always use quality images and videos of the home, to showcase your listing and help put its best foot forward.
Life is changing fast right now — in fact, seemingly every day — and many industries are taking notice, including real estate. While some sellers have decided to pull their homes off the market and wait to sell at a later time, we also understand that this simply isn’t a viable option for everyone.
With this in mind, there are some things that you can do if you are trying to sell your home in today’s climate, to keep everyone healthy and safe.
Cancel any scheduled in-person open houses
Unfortunately, even though traditional open houses are one of the most efficient tools to show your home to as many people at once as possible, it’s simply not advised right now, given the current environment and social distancing regulations. Think about it, there’s no way to easily regulate the number of people coming in and out of your home during an open house, and it’s nearly impossible to sanitize every surface at every single touch. Rather than taking the risk of creating an unsafe environment for everyone, it is best to simply cancel any open houses that you may have already had scheduled (if you haven’t already, of course).
Ask your agent about creating a virtual tour
As we mentioned, an agent led virtual tour can be an excellent tool for selling your home in these trying times. Watching a video tour will allow potential buyers to feel as if they are touring your home themselves, getting a sense for the layout before they even step foot into your physical home. These tours can be a great way to give potential buyers an idea of whether or not your home could be a good fit for their family. And, as an added bonus, it will also help to limit the amount of foot traffic coming through your home, limiting in-person visits to buyers who are serious about your home.
Thoroughly clean your home before and after each showing
While it’s important to always clean your home before each showing, the climate today has forced everyone to take cleaning to a whole new level. Always clean your home as thoroughly as possible before and after any showings, to create an environment that is as safe as possible for everyone. It’s also a nice touch to have a selection of personal hygiene products, such as hand sanitizer, on hand for everyone to use while in your home.
Use teleconferencing and e-signing programs to help in negotiations
Once you have received an offer and it comes time to negotiate the contract, your best bet is to handle everything digitally. Thanks to technology, there are a number of different platforms you can use to handle everything from final negotiations to signing the contract, without ever having to step foot into an office or meet with the agent or buyer.
If you want to know how to sell your home using the latest in technology, we’re here to help. At Reali, we offer superior service and local agents, combined with stay-at-home technology. Find an agent or contact us when you’re ready to get started!