Apps and other real estate technology are reshaping the real estate landscape, and a lot of agents are wondering: Is real estate foot traffic disappearing?
The rise in online shopping has definitely caused problems for commercial real estate – but when it comes to residential real estate, we’re not seeing a huge dip in foot traffic. People still want to see their potential future homes in person, but how agents are driving foot traffic has changed.
Here are the big takeaways:
1. Real estate foot traffic still exists, but you can’t passively rely on it.
Online ads and websites are making it much easier for people to weed out houses based on photos and videos, without ever setting foot on that lovely welcome mat you set out.
This means you can’t wait for people to fall in love with a house in person.
You’ve got to put a lot more work into making a house shine online to drive that foot traffic, since most buyers are starting their home search online – not by walking through neighborhoods. More on that below!
2. The market makes a difference. Higher real estate inventory means higher real estate foot traffic.
As NAR points out, in markets with higher inventory, prospective buyers might visit properties again and again before putting in an offer. Buyers might even visit houses at various times throughout the day just to see what the lighting looks like!
Buyers in competitive markets don’t have that kind of luxury. In hot housing markets, buyers might get to see a home just once before bidding. And, they’re quick to rule out anything online that doesn’t look worth a visit, since they have to make faster decisions about putting in offers.
3. It’s time to think of foot traffic as something you drive through technology
Technology and foot traffic are no longer separate channels. There are several ways to wield technology as a tool to drive visits:
- Post beautiful photos, engaging videos and virtual tours:
As we mentioned earlier, to get people in the door, you need to pique their interest from the moment they find the online listing. One bad photo, and they won’t set foot inside. Check out our previous blogs on apps to help you take better listing photos, why you should try professional listing photos, how to use video, and virtual tours.
Clients crave online, multimedia content so they can get a full sense of a property before they visit in person, which is also why our Facebook Video Ads are another great way to drive that foot traffic.
- Run ads on Waze
Waze is one of the most popular navigation apps, and you can run real estate ads there. Waze ads reimagine foot traffic by showing consumers your properties on the map as they drive nearby. Virtual for-sale signs will pop up on their maps as pins, so they can see when there’s an open house. (Check out our Homesnap Pro Ads on Waze!)
- Try Facebook Live and Instagram stories:
Consider going where the people are: social media. You might consider live streaming an open house on Facebook Live or posting a video to Instagram stories. Show the house full of people (fun!) or capture its best angles during the golden hour (pretty!) to get people excited and eager to visit your listing.