New Normal: The Virtual Side of Real Estate Business

As the global impact of COVID-19 intensifies, real estate companies, developers, and agents are finding alternative options on how to continue connecting landlords and tenants through virtual reality. While some virtual reality tools are being used before the outbreak of the pandemic, this technological innovation aids brokerage businesses in faring in the current global situation.  

Real Estate has always been a dynamic sector that adapts to changes and new trends very quickly. Apparently, the real estate market was one of the first few industries to adopt the technology and use its marketing and advertising. Forbes Magazine reports that the real estate industry is one of the sectors that can take advantage of this technology. From yet-to-be-completed buildings to imagining your furniture in place, virtual reality bridges the gap between possibilities and the present.  

In many areas now, the integration of virtual reality and augmented reality is being utilized in 360-degree tour videos and photos, and is already being practiced. This promising innovation allows real estate developers to present their properties as immersive as possible.

Technology is considered as the great equalizer that will enable all realtors by democratizing immersive virtual tours through user-friendly technology.   

The Coronavirus continues to impact daily life for everyone. There are the obvious businesses affected such as bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters. However, these unpredictable times are affecting nearly all businesses in some way, including the real estate industry.

Site inspections and oculars are essential in real estate transactions. Having potential clients experience the space personally greatly helps in their decision-making and closing a sale, as they can evaluate and decide whether the space​ fits ​their requirements.

However, with the current pandemic and the ongoing quarantines disrupting business-as-usual, viewing spaces through physical site inspections and oculars has been severely limited, prompting brokers and clients to turn to digital or virtual solutions. 

If a picture is worth a thousand words”, imagine what a virtual tour can do instead. At this day and age, investing in cutting edge marketing innovation is a must and for real estate, that now includes virtual and digital marketing.  Virtual tours provide the closest immersive experience as an onsite inspection within the property to clients.  

With the use of a virtual reality, clients have full control over where they want to go and what part of the property they want to look at. More sophisticated systems can even add a layer of augmented reality where clients can see the space transformed with furniture and fixtures at a click. The limitations depend on which areas are captured and made available as part of the tour.

Not everyone appreciates the immersive experience of virtual tours and would prefer video content instead. For those who would like a more high-end approach, a video walkthrough is a tool predominantly used for residential real estate. Nonetheless, a scripted video walkthrough of offices and buildings with a predefined presentation of the property and no unexpected variables in the output is still a highly-effective strategy.

Landlords will have full direction over the messaging and branding; and vital information comes across more precisely, which will better target your desired reaction and what clients will take away from the video.

 This digital marketing strategy has made a great impact across industries including real estate investing. Livestream tours are a practical and engaging option for showing leasable spaces. This real-time, one-to-many connection has diminished the barrier to reach clients and provides real estate agents and property owners with a new way to easily connect with their target audience and make them feel like part of the experience even if they’re miles away – the same level of engagement you get from a regular ocular visit. It is highly interactive, unlike a regular video, and viewers can ask the host direct questions and get replies immediately. This is scheduled in advance between both parties so that each can block off their schedule. The effectiveness of this tool depends on the platform used to livestream, marketing to potential viewers, and the quality of audio and video output and how engaging and knowledgeable the hosts are.

With the pandemic changing the business landscape, success for property owners boils down to one thing: innovations. With these cost-effective, round-the-clock virtual and digital solutions to onsite inspections, property owners and brokers will be able to adopt and transform a critical part of a real estate transaction to the challenging situation of quarantines and continue their business with clients. Investing in these innovations will ultimately assist prospective clients by giving them precise information and the best views of the property.

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