Who would have thought that life will be so drastically changed this year due to a global pandemic of COVID-19? Everything that we knew how to run, collapsed within days, stock markets crashed and people have to look for a new way to go through daily life. As every sector of life has been affected, so it did the real estate marketplace too. Thanks to modern technology, online business has boomed as the alternative of a physical one, we cannot equalize it to physical connection but it helped the world, keeping it functional. Although, showing your house around, amidst the pandemic is not an option, showing it virtually always is one. We have shared some of the best tips for showing your home virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping yourself and your family safe.
COVID-19 is a community-based pandemic. It is highly infectious and symptoms may not appear for a while. Prevention is the only precautionary weapon we have in our hands until the new vaccine is prepared. Gone are the days of open houses with cookies and cool interiors to browse through were the norms, however, a walk through virtual showing can be oriented in several ways. It can be a zoom meeting or an online one-on-one session with your real estate agent, or a pre-recorded video of all the best things a house has to offer to qualify as a home.
You can use the tips for showing your home virtually during COVID-19, to access the potential buyers and sell your house right away. Do you know that even during the pandemic, the house prices have remained fairly sustained with the expected sale of 4.8 million homes? You can attract business by using updated marketing tips and tricks.
Clean your house for a virtual showing
Corona or no corona, cleaning the house thoroughly is the major essence of putting a house up for sale. De-clutter and discard all the unnecessary stuff that you have been holding on to for years. Save anything of sentimental value but you needn’t show it to your prospective buyers.
Clear all the extra furniture so that you can show more floor space, giving an idea about the spatial and functional area of the house. Repair any small fixtures that were asking to be fixed for a while now. Humanizing your space will increase the impact and connection of your buyers to the overall ambiance of the house. Add some house plants or a few wall frames to promote aesthetics.
Anyone with a basic knowledge of photography knows that lighting plays a key role in deciding the tone of a picture. Turn all the lights on and keep the windows open. Shoot at the time of the day when there is ample light, preferably noon. Avoid the down-cast shadows. You can picture the façade at any time of the day, presented that every feature is prominent. For the interior, follow the brighter, the better rule of thumb.
Providing a Nominal Scale
Although, many 3D scanned home tours already provide you with a detailed scale pictures can be presented otherwise. You can add various props to give the idea of the size of various elevations. You can choose to add the exact measurements in the margins, but that will affect the view. Instead, try adding inanimate props such as plants or bean bags, just to give a nominal approach to it. If you feel that it does not add up to or negatively affect your listing pictures, you can skip this step.
Choose to take the pictures of your house with the maximum, glare-free picture with minimal shadows. You can collaborate with your realtor to provide you with a professional photographer, who can capture your house with minimum physical contact, following all the precautions. Or you can fold up your sleeves, and do some basic learning for capturing your house yourself. You may want to invest in a few pieces of equipment to create good production quality. Check here for 360° Virtual Panoramic Photography
360 Degree Pictures
You might already be familiar with the 360-degree pictures. Google introduced virtual tours to the great monuments and museums all across the world in 2020, considering the COVID-19 situation. A main element of the presentations were 360-degree pictures. You can apply the same to your house. The two most important points to focus on while marketing your house online are the top-notch visual presentation and ease of access to that presentation.
360 Degree pictures can be easily captured from your cell phone, but there are a variety of 360 cameras. Keeping in view your budget, you can get a 360 camera that is best suited for real estate photography. You should keep in mind the picture resolution and what dimensions, you want to show to your prospective buyer(s).
Virtual tours are a great step ahead in exploring the real estate world online. These provide a great opportunity for the realtor, seller, and buyer to interact at the same platform in real-time. Showing your house virtually is a skill that you will learn over time. For starters, there are two types of virtual tours i.e. public and one-on-one.
A digital open-house can be the live stream of your house, using Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Many people can join in via these live streams and give a go, without ever being in physical proximity. This is a public showing and may attract non-related or non-interested viewers.
A more restrictive type of virtual tour can be arranged by scheduling one-on-one sessions with your buyer(s). This can be done through Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime, Google Duo, Hangouts, or a conference meeting on Zoom.
Prepare a FAQ
Think about all the potential questions your buyer(s) can ask and answer them in a pre-drafted Frequently Asked Questions. You can provide this document to your buyer(s) beforehand and answer any new question that arises during live sessions. Build a sense of trust with your customer and try to provide them with ease of any necessary information.
Videos are a great way to interact with your audience. You can add all the essential points that you need for your buyer(s) to remember while purchasing the house. Tutorials on making and editing the videos can help you a lot. You do not need to buy a new camera, a simple iPhone can work just as fine. To avoid any camera shake or blurry footage, purchase a tripod stand and start recording.
You can use free software like Apple Cut Pro to get through the primary video. Hiring a professional video editor for real estate to give it a finishing touch to showing your home virtually during COVID-19. You can also add the pictures you have taken earlier in it.
When recording the video, make sure to take the audio into account too. The audio is 50 percent of a video. Invest in a small clip-on mic, which can help you efficiently record your speech and will keep the echoes out. You can record the audio as you are filming, or you can do a voice-over later, in a silent, echo-free space.
Technology has advanced so much that 3D scanning of the whole house is now possible. Difficult times demand interactive and creative solutions. 3D walkthroughs utilize Infrared Radiations to scan your house, these radiations are higher than the visual spectrum, hence invisible. Digital walkthroughs are fun, engaging, and interesting, giving a realistic image of the spatial-temporal and visual area for showing your home virtually during COVID-19. Once the property scan is complete, you can upload the data to a cloud network, that can cook the magic (virtual tour) for you on its own. Matterport solves this problem for you by offering a virtual walkthrough that you can request your realtor to make for your estate, or you can sign up for free, yourself.
Are you wondering what’s next? You can get started with a simple iPhone. You can think about investing in a Matterport Pro2 Camera if you are a realtor and have many showings to do. Other laser scanners like Leica BLK360 can work fine too, only the scan quality will vary from 2k to 4k.
A virtual tour also eliminates the need to add props for measurement and other renderings, as the Matterport cloud algorithm analyzes and forms that on its own. However, 360 cameras and iPhones do not provide a floor plan. Google Trusted Photographers
Rendering is a very vast topic. Some of the renderings that are used in real estate are photorealistic rendering, real-time and panoramic renderings, but the most commonly used is floor plan rendering. Floor plans give a realistic aerial approach to your buyer(s). Construction designs just like the blueprints and the area can be easily accessed by the buyer.
Virtual staging is a well-used word in the world of architecture and is increasingly becoming relevant to the real estate world, in the wake of COVID-19. If you are sick of sending your home photos in again and again for retouching, maybe this is your salvation.
As compared to physical staging, you can add or subtract, stylize, and improve according to the trend. A major advantage that virtual staging has over traditional home staging is that you can prepare various virtual staging for your home. It is a graphic design in 3D fashion. It is very difficult for a novice to create a visual staging on their own. You will need to hire a professional for this. There is much software that offers visual staging at a given price. Box brownie is one of the best real estate virtual staging platforms.
COVID-19 has presented the realtors and home sellers with a big challenge of showing the house virtually and online. However, very few buyers feel comfortable to make blind offers solely based on virtual tours. Showing your home virtually during COVID-19, will weed out the non-interested buyers and communicate with your realtor, pre-vetted buyers are more likely to buy the house.
Contactless Home Tour
Prepare your house for a contactless home tour. Follow the real estate COVID-19 guidelines provided by the National Association of Realtors. Use the basic disinfectant, clear away any extra furniture. Open all the doors, windows, cupboards beforehand so the walkthrough can be a smooth one.
Communicate with your buyer(s) earlier, ask them to keep the number of people minimal for showing. It can be done with one person walking through the house and the other communicating through video calling. Sanitize your house thoroughly before and after the showing. Older people and children are at higher risk to catch the pandemic disease, so it is better not to expose them to it. Following CDC’s guidelines will help you set your house accordingly and maintaining social distancing.
Drawing Online Documents
Closing of the house usually needs both parties to be present at the time of signing the deal. In the current pandemic situation, many states allow to draw online documents and e-sign them. This allows people to sign documents from a remote location.
Keep up with updated rules
With the rapidly changing conditions, there are certain rules and regulations which have to be followed accordingly. During a lockdown, physical showing is out of the question. Keep yourself updated with the COVID situation and decide accordingly.
Selling a house takes some time. A lot of factors play their role in the marketing of a house as the location, proximity of schools and offices, transport, parks, utility services, road, and means of commute. The size, spacing, and the area also take part. Some houses sell faster than others. Expect some delay after listing your property for a virtual show.
In a nutshell, the current pandemic has offered challenges and opportunities alike. Showing your home virtually has its perks. You can access a larger number of people than ever before, the proper use of technology has made it easier. We offer you the best real estate agents to deal with selling your house virtually and without any hassle from the comfort of your home.