The future of real estate is among us, particularly for property hunters and realtors, as obstacles set up by the novel coronavirus pandemic accelerate the need for innovative technological developments in the real estate sector.
As a result of quarantine lockdown measures and health constraints, improvements to the way consumers can digitally interact and make transactions have become inescapable and has quickly brought about an increased demand for 3D virtual tours, and digital auctions. Generally speaking, the Covid-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on real estate digital technologies as a way of bridging the gap between buyer and seller.
The Covid-19 outbreak has dowsed the world with uncertainty and concerns for the health of the global economy. This coronavirus uncertainty has led to a necessity for new ways to buy and sell real estate properties for real estate agencies and for individual sellers who are listing their properties on the real estate markets.
A biproduct of this heightened demand for online technologies, such as virtual and interactive tours, has been trying to filter out the quality leads from the uninterested searchers.
Prospective home buyers and consumers are now expecting 3D virtual tours, live video tours, video conferences, and depending on the lockdown restrictions private open house tours, and more relevant and engaging content.
Australia’s leading property buyer’s agency, Cohen Handler’s, buyer’s agent Simon Cohen said: “As a whole the industry has transitioned very well to the new way of doing things,” buyer’s agent
“And what I’m seeing as a result of the changes is that homeowners are getting more qualified buyers. Those organizing the private inspections are committed buyers, they aren’t just people having a bit of a look on a Saturday morning after picking up the paper and a coffee. “There were a lot of buyers in the market before the coronavirus hit and a lot buyers are still there looking to take advantage of what has happened.”
Some real estate agencies were ahead of the game and have been offering digital virtual tours and 3D interactive guides, along with digital auctions even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Various real estate realtors have reported an 80 percent drop in engagement as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but with the innovative online technology that exists within the real estate industry potential clients can still engage, interact and view listings online as if they were there in person.
What is the best way to reach out to existing and potential customers in this new era of real estate online marketing?
Don’t judge a book by its cover…
It goes without saying that many real estate marketers and realtors use image editing software to their advantage, which means that home buyers need to be on the look out for any real estate images that look too good to be true, by asking lots of questions.
Real estate content, such as videos and images, are typically modified, edited and carefully calculated to avoid the disadvantages of a property and only market the best features. Some digital real estate marketing photos and videos can be a stark contrast to reality. Sometimes asking the real estate agent to send you some more images of the listed property from their phone can be a good way of differentiating between reality and modified marketing content.
Don’t forget to question the content and context of the video
It is always a good idea to ask questions about the content of the video, and always keep in mind that the real estate marketing videos can give you an idea of what the listed property.
According to the president of the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association, Cate Bakos, there is a new type of buyer that has been born from the coronavirus crisis known as contrarians.
REBAA President Bakos suggested that regardless of the difficulties brought about by the faltering markets and constraints on real estate auctions and open homes, there will always be home buyers interested in purchasing real estate despite the current condition of the markets.
REBAA President Bakos said: “We call this behaviour contrarian. Many contrarian buyers have been waiting in the wings and for those who missed the boat last June, these buyers don’t want to miss out a second time when the next boom hits.”
“The hardest part is picking the bottom of the market, but smart buyers should be thinking about market segments, and identifying those which present strong opportunity. Days on market, firm prices, auction clearance rates and numbers of buyers per property are all valuable indicators of market vulnerability, and it’s vital to note that our regions are exhibiting firm demand, short days on market, and strong competitive numbers despite our difficult economic times.”
Ms Bakos suggested that the regional property markets are likely to perform better than major capital areas.
Only visit listings that you are 100% interested in…
Keep in mind that time is money, so you don’t want to waste either your time and the real estate agent’s time by visiting properties that you aren’t 100 percent sure about, especially during these challenging and uncertain times that have been brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
After doing your homework online exploring the listing of your liking, through features such as 3D virtual tours and live videos, take a brief drive or walk and inspect the property from the road or pavement. If you still feel like this could be the property for you then arrange for a private home inspection with a realtor.
Take the time to inspect the property
Before the coronavirus pandemic put the brakes on the global economy and turned our everyday lives upside down, real estate companies were under immense tension to try and fit all prospective clients onto a tight schedule as they attempted to conveniently arrange for all inspections to occur on the weekends or late after-office hours, and the viewing window was usually very brief.
However, with social distancing measures in force now, prospective buyers have the ability to inspect a property at their own leisure without the hectic fuss and commotion of busy open days.
Familiarize yourself with online auction platforms is key to being able to participate in an online real estate auction. Read reviews from other buyers who have some experience with the platform to avoid any unnecessary last-minute confusions and mistakes that could cost you the listing of your dreams.
“People will sell a holiday house before they will sell a home,” said Ms Bakos. “From an investor perspective, lower price point properties that exhibit higher rental returns are considered a ‘safer’ investment option for those who are mindful of employment changes or a reduction in income. A cashflow-positive property can be considered a ‘set and forget’ investment option. Higher price-point properties are experiencing more days on market, and we have witnessed some sharp discounting for resultant prices.”