As the world becomes increasingly connected and digitalised, the property market is no exception. Especially after the global pandemic forced property professionals, agents, and home buyers to stay at home. In response, virtual tours were widely adopted as an alternative to physical viewings so that business continues as usual.
What is a Virtual Tour?
…virtual tours allow you to "view" properties from the comfort of your own home.
According to Immersion VR, a virtual tour is a digital walkthrough used in the real estate industry that allows prospective buyers to carry out a full property viewing online. While CORE describes it as a digital simulation of a physical space, which allows users to "walk through" and explore the space from their computer or mobile device.
To put it simply, it depends on the method but it can be as simple as holding a camera while walking around the property to give viewers a video tour. While a 360-tour of the property can be multiple still images of the properties that were captured while rotating the camera in different spots or rooms of the house. Either way, virtual tours allow you to "view" properties from the comfort of your own home.
What are the Benefits of Virtual Tours?
…virtual tours can increase the perceived value of a property by up to 8.5%.
Vendors and Landlords
Virtual tours have become an increasingly popular tool for vendors and landlords alike, especially in the wake of the global pandemic which has forced many property professionals to work remotely from home. In fact, according to Giraffe360, virtual tours have been shown to increase listing views by a staggering 87%, enquiries by 130%, and engagement by 45%.
One of the biggest advantages of virtual tours is that they allow properties to be viewed by anyone, regardless of their location. This not only widens your potential buyer or tenant pool but also opens up opportunities for foreign investors looking to diversify their portfolios. As a result, properties with virtual tours tend to receive more attention and can command higher prices. A study by Carrillo (2008) even suggests that "properties with 10 extra pictures may sell for an additional 1.5% and listings with a virtual tour sell on average for 0.8% more". That is an extra 2.3% for very little effort pre-pandemic. For a more recent study, Assessment Hive (2022) found that virtual tours can increase the perceived value of a property by up to 8.5%.
For landlords, virtual tours can also lead to reduced void periods and higher rental income. By reaching a wider audience, landlords can choose from a larger pool of prospective tenants and be more selective in who they rent to. This means landlords can choose tenants who are likely to take better care of their property, resulting in fewer maintenance issues and a higher rental income.
With the ability to view a property virtually, you no longer need to waste time scheduling appointments, blocking off your busy schedule, and driving long distances. This not only saves you valuable time and money but also allows you to view multiple properties in a shorter amount of time. By utilising virtual tours, you can take your time to carefully examine every nook and cranny of the property, making sure you don't miss any important details.
In addition, virtual tours can be especially beneficial for those who are looking for investment opportunities. As a deal sourcer, property investor or developer, you are constantly on the lookout for new deals and opportunities. Virtual tours can be an effective tool for deal sourcing, as they allow you to quickly and easily view a large number of properties without leaving your office. This can save you both time and money, and give you a competitive edge in the market by allowing you to identify and act on opportunities faster than your competitors.
Virtual tours are an essential tool for estate agents looking to increase their property sales. By showcasing your properties through virtual tours, you can provide a fun and interactive experience for potential buyers, which can increase their time spent on your website and ultimately lead to more inquiries.
According to a survey by Griffin Property Co., a whopping 75% of respondents preferred listings with virtual tours over those without. Additionally, listings with virtual tours receive 40% more views than those without, indicating that virtual tours are a valuable tool for driving traffic to your listings.
Virtual tours can also help you reduce the number of last-minute cancellations for physical viewings, saving you time and resources. By providing a comprehensive view of the property through virtual tours, potential buyers can get a better understanding of the property's features and condition, which can increase their confidence in their decision to view the property in person.
Furthermore, virtual tours can help increase the perceived value of the property, which can lead to higher selling prices and, consequently, higher commissions for estate agents. By utilising virtual tours, you can attract a wider audience of potential buyers, driving up competition and ultimately increasing the selling price of the property.
Virtual tours have become an essential tool for the property market, allowing buyers, sellers, landlords, and estate agents to view and showcase properties remotely. The benefits of virtual tours include wider reach, increased engagement, higher perceived value, reduced void periods, and time-saving benefits for deal sourcers and property investors. As the world continues to become more connected and digitalised, it is likely that virtual tours will become an even more crucial aspect of the property market.
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