In today’s world, in-person home showings aren’t always possible. In many cases you’ll have to offer some kind of virtual tour for home shoppers. Even those who prefer to come in-person can be enticed with an engaging online showing. Here are a few ways you can make your virtual home tour more interactive and exciting.
Stage your home for different seasons or occasions
Falling in love with a house happens when you walk through the front door and feel at home. This can be more challenging with a virtual tour. Be prepared to engage house hunters by sharing photos of your home in different seasons, like with colorful flowers in spring and crisp evergreen shrubs in winter. Give homebuyers a sense of what fall will be like in your backyard or how many people can fit around the dining room table for holiday gatherings. This helps them tell a story about how your house immediately felt like a home.
Schedule virtual video tours
With so many high quality (and free!) video conferencing tools in the palm of our hands, it’s easier than ever to schedule virtual home tours with FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger. You will have the chance to show off some of the best features of your house in real time. There are a few challenges you can prepare to tackle ahead of time. For example, if a shopper has questions about size, you can bring a measuring tape or have small pieces of furniture on hand (like a chair or an end table) to provide some sense of scale.
Post 3D virtual photo tours
Be sure your website has a fully virtual 3D tour of your home available. This will help people feel as if they are standing in the middle of a room and seeing it from every possible angle. It gives people a stronger sense of the layout of each room and the flow of the house as a whole. They can see what the fireplace looks like from the backdoor or the view from the kitchen island to the dining room. 3D virtual tours are ideal for every room in the house. For example, many people feel they get a clearer sense of bedroom sizes.
Share virtual tours of the neighborhood
For many people, it’s not just what they are buying but also where. While many people will do a physical drive by even for a virtual tour, some home shoppers are from out of town or state. For a home that appeals to families, post a few photos of nearby parks, schools and playgrounds. You can even post a video tour of the sidewalks and streets. If you are looking for house hunters more interested in an urban life, share pictures of nearby shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
Answer questions in real time
Use a chat pop up feature on your website to engage with people visiting your homes online. If that isn’t a possibility, be sure to offer to chat via text, Facebook Messenger, Google Chat and other apps. This allows people to ask a few questions without having to leave their virtual tour of your showing. They can also engage with you when just browsing the photos. Be sure not to be too proactive or pushy. They just need to know where the channels for communication are and they’ll engage when ready.
Creating an inviting and interactive home tour may not sound easy, but it really isn’t that hard. The tools you will need are ones most of us already use every day. All you need is to paint a picture of your home that is as warm and inviting online as it is in person.