Everyone is experiencing immense changes in their normal activities due to the measures put in place as a result of COVID-19. Social distancing, face masks, and prohibition of mass gatherings are just a few of these new standards affecting our world.
So what does that mean for the real estate market?
3D Tours and Virtual Open Houses
Every Sunday realtors would put up their "Open House" signs ﻿directing anyone and everyone to their newest listing in the neighborhood, inviting them to come on in and take a look around. As our environment has changed, so has this. There hasn't been an open house in San Diego for months (hopefully), so agents have been forced to find other ways to show off their listings to potential buyers.
Prior to coronavirus, some agents were already including 3D tours of their listings, but now the use of this technology has significantly increased. Many realtors are hiring companies such as Matterport to take 3D photos of their listings and create an easy-to-use virtual tour for potential buyers to view from the comfort of their home..Buyers love it because they get to see numerous homes without leaving their couch or having to interact with those pesky listing agents. Sellers love it because now they don't have to evacuate their homes every Sunday afternoon or have strangers enter their safe space. And realtors? We can have our weekends off!
So what's the problem? Well have you ever seen a perfect home without one single problem? Me neither.
These 3D tours are making it too easy for buyers to quickly give up on a listing the second they see something slightly off putting or abnormal. They don't get the full experience of walking into the home and envisioning their lives there. Rather than getting a walk through with a knowledgable agent to explain every nuance, people's home buying decisions are based on images on a computer screen.
But won't the interested parties pursue a safe, in-house visit? Yes, and those will be the real buyers. But the internet viewers who click out too quickly will miss out. This means fewer buyers and less information from a human, which isn't a good combination for home sales.
Like 3D tours, live virtual open houses on various social media platforms have grown increasingly popular amongst listing agents. On Instagram, agents can go live for up to an hour straight, showcasing the home, talking about its features, and answering any questions viewers may ask in the comments. This live interaction allows agents to explain the home as they can during in person open houses, a feature missing in the 3D homes. Another perk: agents can save the video on their IGTV, allowing viewers to watch at any time in case they missed the livestream or want to rewatch it.
It's not the same as the person to person interaction, but it's not a terrible supplement for the time being.
Just like the next person, I'm not a huge fan of face masks, but not for reasons you may think. Yes, they're uncomfortable and the heat from my exhalations is awful, but as a real estate agent they really affect my job.
According to , 55% of communication is generated by the face and body, also known as non-verbal. 38% is verbal, and the remaining 7% is tone of voice. When the non-verbal and verbal communication contradicts, I find the non-verbal is almost always right, so I often rely on non-verbal cues when working with clients and potentials.
Face masks enable home buyers to hide their non-verbal cues, and therefore disguise their interest when touring a home. Real salespeople like myself have really noticed the difference.
For example, agents will attend the showings of their listings by outside agents to size up the buyers. We're trying to assess whether we can trust these people to make it to the finish line, and their non-verbal communication has been a big determining factor . . . until now!
With the real estate market functioning under these new conditions, you need an agent who knows what they're doing and can succeed in this new normal.
Get good help!
Call Jim the Realtor today if you're interested in buying or selling your home.
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