Over the last two months, we’ve seen an incredible effort by businesses across every sector to pivot to accommodate customers in a way that’s respectful of the coronavirus pandemic. From restaurants offering delivery and curbside pickup, to professionals offering online courses and classes to keep students engaged; the real estate industry is no different.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Realtors have looked to find new ways to connect with buyers and sellers while not being able to physically connect with them. In an industry that relies heavily on the personal relationships Realtors develop with their clients, everyone’s having to adjust on the fly. A recent National Association of Realtors flash survey found that 45% of member agents who work in residential real estate reported that COVID-19 has not changed buyer interest in the market, and 69% said that it has not affected the number of homes on the market. One of the ways Realtors are keeping the market active is through the use of virtual open houses and tours.
How to Host a Virtual Open House
Thanks to platforms like Zoom, Facetime, and Facebook Live, Realtors have plenty of options to host open houses digitally. Zoom, the popular conference call service, offers a mobile app that can allow an agent to walk through a home while broadcasting video and speaking to attendees. Unlike Facetime, which works best for individual tours, or Facebook Live, which works best for larger public tours, Zoom can host almost any group size, by invitation only if desired, and allows for two-way communication, or simply a one-way broadcast mechanism.
All three platforms can be used on a mobile device, making it easy to broadcast on the go and interact with those on the other end.
Promoting a Virtual Open House
Virtual open houses provide an opportunity that traditional open houses don’t; for anyone to attend. Using Facebook Live, anyone can view the video and comment or share the video, expanding your visibility and reaching those that may not be able to attend a traditional open house. While not everyone who attends will be in the market, the ability to reach more viewers should not be missed.
Accessing Additional Marketing Opportunities After the Open House
Another added bonus to hosting a virtual open house on a platform like Zoom is that Realtors can collect lead contact information that can be used to send follow-up emails and correspondence after the open house is over. This email list can be used for your eNewsletter or for advertising targeting on Facebook.
Matterport not only gives agents a way to differentiate as being tech-forward, but also build a brand as a real estate professional. From building a brokerage based around a 3D tour proposition to recruiting and retaining the best agents, the Matterport platform is a powerful tool for Real Estate business.
As with any change in the market, Realtors that are willing to adapt and embrace new ideas and tactics will ultimately find greater success and opportunity. Hosting virtual open houses is a great way to continue to connect with buyers and sellers, while keeping everyone safe during the pandemic.