Questions to Consider Before Showing a Home Virtually
Even though novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has people across North America staying home to comply with social distancing guidelines, technology is providing real estate agents with methods to help the show go on — without getting face-to-face.
For years, online video conferencing platforms have been a convenient way to offer virtual tours and home showings to out-of-town buyers, and now, they’re a healthy way to keep business moving along during these challenging times. As the world adapts to the effects of coronavirus a few months down the line, virtual home showings could still be a practical option for buyers and sellers looking to play it safe.
If these types of showings make sense in your market, and they’re something you feel comfortable taking on, here are some things to consider.
Which Tech Works Best for Your Clients?
Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to using video call technology. Before deciding on a game plan, ask your clients which technology they prefer. Are they more comfortable with FaceTime or Zoom or something else completely? Make sure whatever you end up choosing is secure, user friendly and easy for all parties involved.
Who Will Lead the Tour?
While it would be ideal for the agent to lead these tours, with the state of coronavirus changing so rapidly, it is important to handle virtual showings on a case-by-case basis. If the property is vacant, and the stakeholders are on board, it may be possible to lead the tour yourself via a video conferencing platform, as long as you adhere to the latest health and safety guidelines.
An occupied property presents a different set of challenges. Consider limiting these types of showings to serious buyers only. These types of showings may require you to work with the seller and their agent directly — you will need to ensure that they are comfortable and interested in virtually taking a prospective buyer around their home. One way to go about this: set up a Zoom call, Google Hangout, or group Skype meeting. Get all parties involved to call into the meeting. The seller can walk around the home and talk through it, with agents interjecting to add context as needed.
Are You Being as Descriptive as Possible?
When leading a virtual showing, it’s important to be as descriptive as possible. To demonstrate the height of ceilings, you can show the size of a door for a comparison. If you’re trying to show the true width of a space, demonstrate how long it takes you to walk across the room. Get creative and break down every element of the property to make the buyer feel like they were actually there.
These are unprecedented times that have many real estate professionals brainstorming creative ways to address the needs of buyers and sellers without putting anyone’s health at risk. When it comes to digital showings, addressing these questions will allow you to create a safe, healthy and productive virtual experience.
For more tips, inspiration and advice on how to navigate the real estate industry during these unprecedented times, visit the Buffini Bonus Resources for ideas.