4 tips for using video tours to show off your listings

Save time, show less, and sell more

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Real estate agents spend 28 percent of work time showing houses, according to Placester’s Life as a Real Estate Agent Survey, which makes transportation our biggest work expense.

In my experience, buyers immediately eliminate one out of seven homes that you show due to reasons you can’t anticipate. For example, a buyer once noticed a window in the shower and immediately passed on an otherwise perfect home.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 51 percent of buyers find the homes they purchase on the internet. Because the majority shop around online before even meeting an agent, potential buyers can cut many of these “problem” homes by watching video tours on listing websites.

Why video tours save time and money

Video tours give overzealous buyers the opportunity to see countless properties before narrowing down a list, thus decreasing the time you spend with them. It’s not about being lazy. It’s about having more time for finding and meeting other clients to make more sales.

Video tours showcase a property to multiple buyers at once as opposed to one at a time. Prospective homebuyers will know the intricacies of the homes on their tour lists and how they feel about them based on what they see on their screen.

Thus, when it comes time to tour, you can skip the ones they definitely aren’t interested in and decrease your time driving around.

Another great plus is that prospective buyers who toured the property in person can show the video tour to influencers, like family and friends, and you can avoid those awkward showings where outsiders can’t help but insert their opinions.

And it’s not only beneficial for buyer’s agents. As a listing agent, if you use virtual tours, you’re cutting out those on-the-fence buyers and making sure only serious candidates actually tour your listing. You’re also increasing the chance that out-of-town and foreign buyers are able to seriously consider the home.

Tips for effectively implementing the video tour

If you are thinking of utilizing video tours in your marketing, here are a few pointers.

1. In a buyer’s market, a video tour is a good option

Ideally, you’d get a video filmed for every property you list. This would save you time and ensure that buyers can look back at the property whenever they’d like to confidently make the purchase decision.

Frankly, unless you have your own drone or an incredibly stable hand for taking videos, you’re going to need a professional to film your video tour. These professionals are expensive. In reality, you’re not using a video tour in every situation.

In seller’s markets, you may not even have the property on the market long enough to schedule an appointment with one of these video professionals. You’ll end up canceling appointments and building ill will with the professionals who are best at this work.

2. Save virtual tours for trendier markets

Virtual reality is a flashy, relatively newer technology that some agencies are beginning to test. It transports users into the home to walk around freely.

It gives would-be buyers the ability to look at angles not covered by videos and allows them to spend extra time in rooms without the pressure of an agent waiting around for them.

However, virtual reality technology is still confusing for a lot of people. This kind of tool is better for younger audiences. In a lot of cases, you’re better off not making the extra expense. Stick to a video tour.

But if you still want the benefits of a virtual tour for your listing, consider asking your videographer for a 360-degree video walkthrough. It will have a similar effect in that your clients can control what they can take a closer look at.

3. Sell your sellers on the idea

Tell your seller that the expense of a video tour can cause a property to sell quicker, thus saving money.

As mentioned previously, video tours are expensive. But when it’s a buyer’s market, a video tour can be just the thing to spark buyers’ interest in a home they may have otherwise passed over without seeing in person. Video tours capture the charm of a home in ways that photos cannot.

Making a video tour can be less expensive than losing months worth of interest (whether it be paid by the seller for a new mortgage or lost because of investment potential), which can be quite costly.

4. Post it everywhere

Once the tour has been paid for, make the expense worth it by literally posting it anywhere that’s relevant.

Showcase it on all of the traditional outlets (Zillow, realtor.com and MLS). Then focus on social media.

Post it on your agency’s Facebook page. Once you’ve posted it, create a targeted boost for people who might be interested.

If it’s a four-bedroom home near quality schools, target the ad toward parents who are interested in homebuying (make sure to mention those great schools in your post).

After one of them spends a considerable amount of time looking at houses on Zillow, he or she may move to Facebook for a break and see your sponsored video.

Your Facebook boost can apply to Instagram too. Instagram is a picture and video platform, so what better place is there for visuals? When you post it on Twitter, use relevant hashtags that you feel homebuyers might be searching for. For example, #househunting or #dreamhome.

So, if you still think your best strategy is to put a property on the MLS and let it sell itself, think again. And if you think taking it a step further and putting your listings on websites such as Zillow or realtor.com is enough, you should also think again.

Take advantage of video tours. They will attract more buyers and save you and other agents a lot of time. After all, time is money.

Martin Orefice is the founder of Rent to Own Labs in Orlando, Florida. Follow him on Facebook or connect with him on LinkedIn.