An open house is like a product demonstration; no one can blame buyers for wanting a look at what you’re selling before they commit. When so much shopping is done digitally nowadays, there’s no reason that real estate sales have to be different.
Virtual open houses are a tool REALTORS® can use to make that happen. There are some trade-offs; pictures can only offer an approximation of reality and you lose the chance at making a face-to-face connection with clients. However, there are enough upsides to make virtual open houses worth the investment.
You’ll reach a wider swath of the market
Digital advertising obviously has a wider reach than its physical counterpart does. If a buyer is from outside your neighborhood, they might pass over the listing because coming to see it is too out of the way. If there’s a virtual open house though, where they don’t have to leave their current home to see a new prospective one, then their decision might swing the other way.
You’ll weed out the most interested parties
As much as you want to raise as much awareness for your listings, in the end there can only be one buyer. Virtual open houses can be a useful tool to whittle out the window shoppers from the serious customers early on.
Say someone attends a virtual open house and likes what they see. The next logical step? Coming to see the property in person. By hosting a virtual tour first, you’ll only have to directly deal with parties who have a motivated interest in buying.
It’s more convenient for buyers and sellers
In the past couple of years, have you ever felt thankful that you can just zoom into a business meeting with no need to travel? Same principle applies to virtual open houses.
Scheduling can be a pain and you might lose potential clients because they just can’t make the time for an open house appointment. A virtual appointment, on the other hand, is easier to block out time for.
You can host a day’s worth of tours in an hour
At physical open houses, you have to see prospective clients one at a time. During the day, you’ll stack tours on top of each other, running through the same prepared speech over and over to a set of new faces.
At a virtual open house, on the other hand, you can host multiple prospective clients on the same video call and address them simultaneously. If you have 100 attendees, for instance, you’ll achieve the same result as 100 separate in person tours for 1/100th of the work.
Safety, safety, safety
Even in business, safety should come before sales. For one, the Department of Justice lists REALTOR® as a high-risk occupation—not surprising when you come into contact with so many different people. It’s not pleasant to assume the worst, but it’s better to stay safe than sorry.
More generally, COVID-19 is not behind us, and that makes in-person gatherings, with people you’ve never met before, inherently risky. Safety and screening protocols are helpful, but a virtual open house will let you bypass that stress altogether.