Are Virtual Tours and Open Houses Working?

Are Virtual Tours and Open Houses Working?

Over the past few weeks, in the wake of COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, many agents have pivoted to hosting virtual tours, showings and open houses. In fact, according to our internal data, there was a 92% increase in the creation of Homesnap Stories, our virtual walkthrough solution, when compared to this time last year.

Still, we’ve heard a healthy dose of skepticism from agents.  We can’t say we blame them. Many have questioned whether virtual tours, walkthroughs and open houses are an effective stand-in for the real thing—and, more importantly, whether or not a buyer would ever transact on a property they viewed virtually, without ever having the ability to see it live and in person. 

Well, after a few weeks of market trials, we seem to have an answer.  According to new data published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 25% of agents have reported sales from virtual listings—no in-person visit required.   From the report:

Source: 2020 NAR Flash Survey:Economic Pulse April 12-13, 2020

Perhaps more telling, the percentage of agents who reported non-in-person transactions increased from just 3.5% this time last year. The data seems to indicate that clients, understanding of the gravity of the situation, are willing to make concessions and work alongside agents to transact on properties rather than postponing their plans indefinitely.

It’s a promising sign for the weeks to come.

How Homesnap can help

Homesnap now supports virtual open houses.  If your MLS supports virtual open houses, agents can go to their data feed where they would normally mark a regular open house and designate it as virtual.  Homesnap will then tag the listing as having a virtual open house.

Additionally, using Homesnap Stories, agents can add a video tour of themselves walking throughout a property directly to their listing page on Homesnap, highlighting key amenities and allowing prospective buyers to see a property in a way that makes them feel at ease.

Homesnap Stories are ideal for getting across selling points about a property that are difficult to convey from photos alone. And because Homesnap Stories sit on your listing page until the property is off the market, accessible to anyone, there’s no need to coordinate and record live stories from scratch anytime you have an interested client.

Click here to learn how to set up Homesnap Stories on your listing page.