The novel coronavirus pandemic plunged the world into chaos, bringing unprecedented changes to virtually all industries.
The real estate industry, in particular, was on the receiving end of COVID-19, with changes being felt in virtually all sectors of the property market.
From property prices to the legal landscape to the way showings were conducted–the pandemic forever changed the real estate market.
But were these changes positive or negative? And how did all these changes affect real estate marketing? We’ll look into all these transformations and explain how they have shaped the property market post-pandemic.
Today, thanks to COVID-19, we’re witnessing massive changes in real estate marketing fueled by technology. These include:
Trends come and go, but in the property market, some trends, such as virtual open houses, show no signs of going away anytime soon. Before COVID-19, virtual tours and open houses were still in existence but were limited to a few real estate agencies that had a strong foothold in the industry.
Then COVID-19 happened!
The nationwide lockdowns and stay-at-home policies meant one thing for real estate agents; no physical viewings of the property. To keep sales high amid a ranging pandemic without compromising safety, realtors had to devise ways to get buyers to view the property remotely.
And that’s how virtual open houses became mainstream.
A virtual open house is a live-streamed tour that aims to create the same experience as an in-person open house. The realtor leads the tour and engages with the potential buyer in live steam via a chat function offered by the live stream software (check out this post for more info on how to do a virtual open house)
Virtual tours, on the other hand, are recorded events that allow potential buyers to check out every room and corner of the property they want to buy with just a few clicks.
Today, more and more real estate agents are using virtual tours and virtual open houses to improve buyers’ experience. According to a recent Realtor.com survey, listings with virtual tours receive 87% more views than home listings without tours.
Along with virtual tours came virtual staging.
One of the essential aspects of selling real estate faster is giving potential buyers a vision. They need to be able to imagine themselves in the home they intend to buy.
And that’s what virtual staging is all about!
Virtual staging involves taking digital photos of empty rooms and inserting furniture, rugs, and furnishing into the images. This helps potential buyers visualize how the space might look when they move in, helping them connect with the property emotionally.
With virtual staging, the buyer can change the color of the walls, alter flooring, upgrade kitchen cabinets, and even take room measurements in the comfort of their couch.
It involves the use of 3D and specialized software to help buyers visualize what the home will look like once they move in. Virtual staging is a different experience from a virtual house tour, designed for a different purpose—to connect the buyer with the home emotionally.
Before COVID-19, it was easier to call a realtor and schedule a home visit, after which the buyer could envision everything in person. But COVID-19 made it hard for buyers and realtors to interact in person, which made virtual home staging so popular.
Today, virtual home staging has taken center stage, with virtually all real estate agents staging homes to improve buyer experience and sell faster. Research shows that 95% of staged homes sell faster and for 17% more than non-staged homes.
In the past, the real estate industry has been slow in adopting technology.
But all this changed at the onset of COVID-19. From virtual tours and 3D walkthroughs to drone shoots and Zoom meetings, the real estate industry witnessed a quantum leap in technology adoption, and most of these technologies are still being used post-pandemic.
During the pandemic, most meetings took place over Zoom and other teleconferencing tools. While the adoption of these virtual platforms has decreased, their use is still more than it was before the days of the pandemic.
Buyers have come to appreciate the power of video meetings and virtual tours and are using these tools to improve their buying experience.
The novel coronavirus pandemic spelled doom for many industries but ushered in a new era for real estate agents, transforming how they conduct open houses, meet, and market their business.
Today virtual tours and virtual staging have become the norm as sellers embrace these technologies to improve buyer experience and boost sales.