Although the COVID-19 pandemic brought immense hardships in terms of mental health and the tragic loss of lives, it also paved the way for some positive developments.
Home buyers, in particular, have recognized the value of virtual tours as they provide an opportunity to explore properties remotely and quickly narrow down options to a shortlist that meets specific criteria. As a result, when buyers do decide to schedule in-person visits, they are more likely to be genuinely interested in the property, leading to more efficient and productive tours.
This shift also brought about a positive change for real estate agents. Agents no longer need to spend excessive time showing properties that may not be a good fit for their buyers. Instead, they can focus their efforts on providing personalized guidance to clients who have already narrowed down their choices through virtual tours.
Anecdotally, all this sounds great, but the data definitely backs it up. If you're still doubting whether 3D tours are worth the investment, examining the numbers can provide clarity and validation.
A Look at the Facts
With nearly all buyers relying on online tools for their home search, virtual walkthroughs have become an essential marketing tool for sellers and agents. Virtual house tours capture the attention of prospective buyers and provide a comprehensive understanding of a property's features and layout. By incorporating virtual house tours into online listings, sellers and agents can effectively meet market needs.
The high percentage of buyers finding virtual tours helpful suggests a growing rise in demand for this technology. As buyers become more accustomed to this convenience, the demand for virtual tours will only increase. By integrating this essential feature into real estate websites, professionals in the real estate business can effectively cater to buyers' preferences.
Only 37% of commercial and residential real estate firms offer virtual tour technology on their websites.
The limited adoption of virtual tour technology presents a significant opportunity for real estate firms to gain a competitive advantage in the market. By offering virtual tours, firms can differentiate themselves from competitors and meet the expectations of buyers who value this technology. Firms that embrace virtual tour technology are more likely to attract a larger pool of potential buyers, increase engagement with listings, and potentially achieve faster sales and higher customer satisfaction.
The implications here are huge. The fact that a substantial portion of buyers now feel comfortable buying a home without an in-person visit speaks volumes about the effectiveness and credibility of virtual house tours. Obviously, in order for real estate professionals to capitalize on this shift, they have to offer them.
The majority of buyers recognize the importance of having a real estate agent to assist them in navigating virtual homebuying options.
Some real estate agents may be concerned that virtual house tours could diminish the importance of their services, but this apprehension is not reflective of reality. While virtual tours have undoubtedly transformed the homebuying experience, they do not diminish the crucial role of real estate agents. In fact, agents remain as essential as ever in guiding buyers through the complex and dynamic real estate market.
About half of all real estate firms believe that keeping up with technology is one of their biggest challenges.
This apprehension is totally understandable. If you're like most people, you just want a simple solution that's easy to use. One such solution is TeliportMe, which was rated the #1 virtual tour software in 2023. Their software is designed with user-friendliness in mind, making it accessible to individuals without advanced technical training. By utilizing user-friendly technology like TeliportMe, real estate firms can bridge the gap between their apprehension about technology and the need to embrace it.
Managing Expectations: A Closer Look at the Limitations of Virtual Tours
While virtual tours provide many advantages, some of the biggest virtual tour software providers may be overhyping the results.
For instance, Matterport claims that "the average listing with a 3D virtual tour sells up to 9% higher and closes up to 31% faster."
However, according to a recent Harvard study, virtual tours have a more modest effect on sale price and time on the market.
Here are three key takeaways from the Harvard study:
- Marginal Benefits: The best listings typically include virtual tours, so this may explain why listings with virtual tours seem to have better sale outcomes. After controlling for other factors, virtual tours do not significantly increase sale prices or significantly decrease time on the market.
- Best Use Case: Smaller real estate firms, neighborhoods with higher proportions of racial minorities, and neighborhoods with lower-income households experience the greatest advantages from adopting virtual tours, yet they are the least likely to utilize them.
- Additional Benefits Beyond Sale Outcomes: Although virtual tours may not significantly improve final sale outcomes, they offer other meaningful advantages.
Benefits of Virtual Tours for the Real Estate Industry
- Enhanced Accessibility: Virtual walkthroughs enable potential tenants and buyers to conveniently access and explore properties from anywhere, overcoming limitations such as mobility constraints, distance, or time restrictions. With a 360-degree view of the property, individuals can get a comprehensive understanding of the space without the need for physical visits.
- Expanded Audience: By increasing accessibility, virtual home tours widen the audience reach and potential customer base. This advanced technology becomes a powerful tool for businesses and organizations to showcase their offerings to a broader audience, transcending geographical boundaries.
- Cost and Time Efficiency: Virtual tours help buyers avoid touring homes that don't suit their needs. This brings significant cost and time savings to real estate professionals while providing a better experience for the customer.
- Increased Conversion Rates: Since virtual house tours act as a filtering mechanism, they attract qualified leads who are more likely to take the next steps in the buying process. As a result, real estate professionals can focus their efforts on engaging with potential buyers who have a higher likelihood of making a purchase.
After weighing the advantages and limitations, we recommend not delaying any further in incorporating virtual experiences into your real estate marketing plan.
Virtual tours aren't a magical solution guaranteed to dramatically increase sale prices and decrease time on the market, but they are a cost-effective marketing tool that provides meaningful advantages.
If you already offer them, now is the opportune time to assess and enhance the quality of what you are providing, ensuring a more engaging and effective showcase of your properties.
How To Get Started
TeliportMe is confident that you'll fall in love with their software, which is why they provide an unlimited free trial. During this trial period, you'll have the opportunity to create your own virtual tour and explore all the features without the need for any credit card information. The only limitation is that you won't be able to publish your virtual tour until you're ready to take the next step and fully commit to using the platform.
If you have any questions about 3D tours, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are the industry experts, and our goal is to make the process as simple as possible for you. We understand that your time is valuable, and we want to ensure that you can focus on what you do best.