Like many other aspects of life, virtual experiences have become the new normal during the coronavirus pandemic — and some of them might stick around.
While people looking to buy a home have long been able to explore online through images and videos, virtual open houses now offer a real-time tour — virtually.
Rolston Audain, marketing director for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty, said the company activated a function in March on its website, bhhstownerealty.com, to give virtual tours of each listed property.
Within a couple of weeks, agents were trained to do live virtual showings on Facebook, Zoom and other forums that enabled them to walk through a house either on the spot or recorded for a live, virtual tour.
The virtual open houses, which typically can be recorded in less than half an hour, are timesavers for agents, too, Audain said.
“An agent typically holds an open house for a few hours on a weekend, but with the virtual open house it may take you 20 minutes,” Audain said. “So, instead of doing one house you may end up doing a few in a day.”
Raquel Ricci, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway for six years, said that is a huge benefit.
“I have two listings and am getting ready to get a third, so I can do all of them in one day,” she said.
While Ricci was already doing a shorter variation of a Facebook Live video for her open house listings before the crisis unfolded, she said she kicked it up a notch.
Ricci said a lot of interest has been generated by the virtual open houses, which led to additional activity including questions and showings.
When you sell real estate, a fully packed toolbox is imperative and Audain said it’s what buyers and sellers have come to expect.
Above excerpt from “Virtual open houses are now part of many local Realtors’ toolboxes” by SANDRA J. PENNECKE – INSIDE BUSINESS | JUN 08, 2020