Professional-quality still photos are one of the most important marketing tools used in listing homes for sale. According to an article published on April 14, 2021, on Statista.com, "In the 2018 survey, 93 percent of home buyers used online websites when searching for a home in the United States." That number is even higher today. Taking it a step further, videos and virtual tours are now trending more than ever in the world of real estate listings.
How are Agents Using Videos and Virtual Tours?
Real estate agents are using videos and virtual tours to serve as online open houses. It is so much more convenient to be able to look at homes for sale in the comfort of your own home. Agents are also making videos about neighborhoods, communities and towns. They will take video of parks and playgrounds, schools, clubhouses and pools, park districts, golf courses, places of worship, shopping areas, downtown areas, and the like. Quite often the photos/footage of the neighborhood are taken with drones hovering over the property to show proximity to schools, parks, etc. This helps out-of-area buyers immensely.
What Technologies are Being Used?
Real estate agents are adding videos and virtual tours to their listings in the multiple listing service (MLS.) You'll see them within the listings on websites include Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Homes.com, Redfin.com and the like. Agents are also uploading videos and virtual tours to their social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and more.
New technologies such as Matterport create 3D graphics/video that allow the users to move virtually from room to room in the house. The 3D technology allows the potential home purchaser the change to understand the layout and gain a sense for the size of the rooms as they often have furniture.
Advantages of Videos and Virtual Tours for Home Buyers
In short, people are busy. Videos and virtual tours save home buyers a lot of precious time. People are able to search online for homes and see the photos, videos and virtual tours without having to leave their homes. They can weed out the homes they aren't interested in and focus on getting appointments to see the homes they are attracted to. Home buyers are also looking for content about the neighborhoods, communities and towns in their search areas. According to an article from the National Association of Realtors citing the Google and Complete Home Shopper Survey, "In fact, 86 percent of home shoppers say they use video to learn more about a specific community." In the past, home buyers would have to make visits in person to learn about areas they might be moving to. Now they can wait until they are ready to look at homes in person.
Advantages for Home Sellers
Home sellers who hire real estate agents who invest their time and energy in videos and virtual tours may benefit monetarily. Home values may be higher for homes that include these in their listings. Buyers will put more value to homes they can see more of, in the forms of videos and virtual tours as there is less unknown. This is especially true if there is added video content of the neighborhoods, communities and towns.
Tips for Making Videos and Virtual Tours?
If you're an agent, creating the content for videos and virtual tours can be labor-intensive. According to the article on the National Association of Realtors website, you will want to tailor your video length to match the platform. "You want to keep your audience engaged, and it can be difficult to hold people's attention, so be sure to keep your videos short and sweet. Also, each platform has its respective length requirements you must take into account." YouTube has no maximum length, so real estate agents often use this platform for touring homes where they have to move from room to room and explain the amenities of the home.
Videos and virtual tours of listings are key parts to listing marketing programs today. Home sellers who have these tools in their listings will hopefully benefit from higher home values and sales prices. Be sure to ask your agent how these options fit into their overall marketing plan for your property.