For many homebuyers in red-hot markets, it feels like a race to tour a home as soon as it goes on the market and to put in a competitive offer before someone else swoops in. Real estate agencies, on the other hand, have to come up with increasingly innovative ways to serve their many clients as competition rises across the country.
Fortunately, they've come up with a smart solution for their needs: using the best small business video conferencing to host virtual tours. These tours are for potential homebuyers who are unable to come to the properties themselves. Here's how virtual home tours work and why they're becoming a popular way for agents to show and sell homes.
Showing Homes in Competitive Housing Markets
Until recently, it was a given that prospective buyers would want to see houses in person. Who would feel comfortable signing on the dotted line without making sure their future castle isn't really a dodgy fixer-upper that could cost them serious money in hidden repairs? In order to move forward, buyers first need to picture themselves in the property. That's why one of the primary responsibilities of a real estate agent has always been to show homes to prospective clients in person.
So what about shopping for a new home has changed in recent years? With real estate booming in many areas, properties are selling quickly. In fact, according to The New York Times, houses and condos can go into contract within 24 hours of listing in the hottest markets. Someone who is thinking of relocating to a new city may not be able to hop on a plane fast enough to view a home in person before someone else snaps it up. For this reason, families all over the country miss out on chances to buy the right house that is in a safe location, close to good schools, and conveniently situated near the office.
Military families in particular face unique challenges when trying to buy a home due to fixed schedules for relocation or tours of duty. In all cases, a little technology-enabled flexibility goes a long way toward helping house hunters get a first look at their potential new home while still keeping up with their other obligations. Virtual home tours may also help them land the property of their dreams before its price climbs out of reach — another key benefit in a hot market.
Today's innovative virtual home tours offer agents a powerful way to bring clients face-to-face — no matter where they are — with what could be their dream home.
The Best Small Business Video Conferencing
Real estate agencies can bridge the gap by taking prospective homebuyers directly inside a house or condo with video conferencing. Homebuyers can join in from wherever they are — at work, at their current homes, or on the go — carefully examining properties and asking detailed questions before making their decision on whether to buy. This provides convenience and flexibility for the clients, but it also benefits realtors, as they are able to show multiple buyers a home at once via a video conference.
Real estate agents can take advantage of other cloud application benefits that streamline their day-to-day tasks, such as shared contact information that makes it easier to quickly call current residents of a home they need to show on short notice. Realtors can also record their virtual home tours in advance, sending them out to prospective buyers who show interest in a particular property so they can view it on demand at the moment that works best for them. According to The New York Times, some agents even use software to help buyers write up an offer in a matter of minutes, allowing them to strike while the iron is hot.
Given that virtual home tours can be a win-win for both real estate professionals and homebuyers, it's no surprise they're becoming more common. According to a recent survey by Redfin, one in three homebuyers made an offer on a house without seeing it in person within the past year. An even greater number of millennials (41 percent) opted to buy their homes without physically viewing them in person. So when real estate agents take advantage of the best small business video conferencing, they're also meeting the expectations of a growing population of millennial clients who are willing to conduct important transactions like these in a sophisticated, technology-enabled way.
Making Virtual Homebuying More Personal
Of course, some people will always feel hesitant about springing for a major, life-changing purchase without being able to see it in person. One way real estate agents can make the homebuying experience more comfortable is by conducting all meetings with clients via video conferencing so they can get to know and trust one another on a personal level. Some realtors also use group video chats in which buyers get their complicated legal and tax questions answered by a professional in the field. Closing on a house can be a nerve-wracking moment, so some real estate agents set up a video conference for the buyer and the seller to sign together.
Thanks to virtual home tours, real estate agents are selling homes to buyers more quickly and easily. Since this trend is already on the upswing, you can expect to see more agents relying on video conferencing as part of their daily routine. A few are even beginning to offer virtual reality tours, particularly for luxury properties. Today's innovative virtual home tours offer agents a powerful way to bring clients face-to-face — no matter where they are — with what could be their dream home.