Virtual open houses allow you to widen your reach and can help improve your sales.
With the use of video technology, you’ll be able to drive more bids and sell houses faster. In 2020, 63% of homebuyers made offers on properties without seeing them in person. The popularity and impact of virtual open houses are so widespread that they may eventually replace traditional tours.
Want to create one for your real estate company? Here’s all you need to know about virtual open houses to harness their potential.
What Is a Virtual Open House?
A virtual open house is similar to an in-person open house, with a tiny difference: your prospects are not in the house, rather they’re behind the screen. The purpose, however, stays the same — attracting interested buyers and closing the sale.
A video conferencing tool is typically used to do a walkthrough of the property on screen, and there are two ways you can host it:
Pre-recorded open houses.
It’s an on-demand option that allows real estate agents to film content beforehand, then host it from wherever they please. It allows you to gain control over the features you want to share, and you can also use lighting and camera angles to further elevate their appeal.
Live open houses.
It allows you to stream the content at the property in real time. It offers a more personalized approach to property viewing as clients get to watch at their own pace and can also pose questions as they go.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
When it comes to virtual open houses, your target audience isn’t confined to a specific location. You can create interest from out-of-state and even attract global buyers while showing the house to several interested parties in one go.
Why Should You Host a Virtual Open House?
The real estate market is super competitive. A virtual open house lets you make your properties more visible and accessible to a larger audience.
Here are some reasons why you should make an investment in this video technology:
- Sellers have to deal with fewer disruptions. If the seller is still staying on the property and would prefer less foot traffic, this option is a great solution since it lets you avoid dozens of in-person attendees. You also don’t have to worry about theft and securing any valuables left in the house.
- It’s cost-effective. You only have to know the key points, map routes, and take care of editing and uploading videos. No prepping snacks, getting the house professionally cleaned after, or customizing pamphlets and flyers! Plus, you can use the same material over and over again for different clients.
How To Host a Virtual Open House
Here’s how you can host a high-engagement virtual open house:
Pick the Right Platform and Check the Features List
Ideally, you want to look for a platform that will give your clients an easy-to-browse walkthrough experience. The conferencing platform you choose should:
- Have zoom-in and zoom-out features. These will allow prospects to focus on the details and view the property from different angles.
- Have a recording feature. You can record your content and revisit it with your buyers and other important stakeholders.
- Have mobile and web browser accessibility. It allows your prospects to view a property from whichever device they choose. With mobile phone accessibility, they’ll be able to watch it on the go without downloading any apps!
- Have an in-app messaging feature. It allows your prospects to ask questions and concerns in the chat box. This will help them interact with the agent and with community members without interrupting the speaker!
Spread the Word
Just as you would advertise your in-person open house, you must also market your virtual open house to ensure good attendance.
Spread the word through social media at least 2 weeks in advance. You can also have a custom landing page where you can post all the necessary information.
However you choose to market your event, make sure to include a CTA for RSVP purposes. Upon the confirmation of attendees, you can use the information they provided to send push notifications and reminders to ensure the event stays top of mind.
Make Sure the House Is Well-presented
Whether in-person or virtual, an open house is an open house. Hence, you should still prepare when it comes to staging and presenting the house. Make sure that everything is presentable, including the curb, backyards, and the area around the block to make the best impression.
While you’re at it, make sure you have a reliable and fast internet connection. As internet connectivity is not always reliable, you must also have backup options to ensure that nothing will impede your tour.
Do a Trial Run
Once you’re all set up, do a trial run with colleagues who will be managing your virtual open house with you.
A trial run will help you identify and troubleshoot potential issues that could arise during your live or recorded event. It’s also a good time to check whether the software you’ve chosen is functioning well across platforms be it a computer, browser, or mobile device.
Ask your team for feedback to understand what worked and what didn’t. If there were any technical issues, now would be the time to fix them. You should also check whether the links and sign-up forms are working.
Tips for Hosting a Successful Virtual Open House
Follow these tips to give potential buyers the best perspective of the house.
- Schedule multiple events at different times of the day to accommodate more interested buyers.
- Share details and outlines of what to expect beforehand to avoid a poor customer experience.
- Create the dream team. Delegate responsibilities so everyone can give their 100% to the event without getting in each other’s way.
- Use the right camera angles, proper lighting, and include 360-degree views to bring out the best features of the house. Make sure the audio is clear for easy communication.
- Give prospects time to view the property and don’t rush them. Give them time to make an emotional connection and visualize themselves in the space.
- Anticipate questions and concerns and be prepared to answer them. It will eliminate distractions and reduce backtracking.
You should also have a strong CTA — one that encourages prospects to take the final step in making the house their home.
What Should You Do Post Open-House?
Once your virtual open house is over and done, you need to focus on your next steps.
Your post-virtual-open-house checklist should include:
- Following up with the prospects. Thank them for attending the event.
- Providing key information to your prospects. This should include your contact information, a link to the video so prospects can watch it again later, as well as high-quality images.
- Giving prospects an option to subscribe to future virtual open house viewings.
- Requesting feedback and reviews. It will help you improve your future virtual events while showing prospects that you care about their experience and opinions.
- Promoting the property using snippets on social media channels to create and sustain interest among prospects.
Open Virtual Doors to Your Property With Plus Render
A virtual open house allows prospects to view living spaces from the convenience of their home on their own time. It allows them to make connections with the space, which can help real estate agents sell houses to a wider audience and for higher values.
The only drawback? It can be a touch tricky to master.
This is why you need Plus Render in your corner. As a high-end architectural visualization studio, we have all the experience, knowledge, and equipment required to transform your vision into images and videos that resonate with audiences.
Contact us today to create a top-notch virtual open house experience!