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Covid-19 Real Estate Series – BUY Safe, SELL Safe, STAY Safe.

Episode #6 – The Importance Of A Virtual Open House

This is really one of our fave’s because we LOVE a good open house! Although we totally get that they can’t happen right now. So what is a virtual open house and how does it work!? The virtual open house means you can literally tour a home from wherever you are, online with the help of the listing agent.

So how does it work?

There are essentially two ways listing agents can conduct a virtual open house. The first way is through a zoom meeting. You advertise the link on MLS and other online avenues, inviting home buyers to get an up-close version of the property. The listing agent is alone and present at the vacant house (that’s currently for sale) and starts a zoom meeting. Everyone else joins the virtual open house via zoom, just like a regular zoom meeting. We start walking around with the camera showing buyers the home in real-time. Buyers can join at any point during the open house time-frame and ask questions or just watch along.  This is a great way for a listing agent to tackle any buyer objections, answer questions and showcase the best features of the house (just like a regular public open house) For example, we can open cabinets, show different angles, look inside closets etc. Things you would not see in a 3d tour.

The second way incorporates the 3D tour. One host is walking through the 3D virtual tour and the other is standing in the house showing you those areas in person and is there to answer any questions buyers may have.

What’s the true value of an open house?

Why bother doing these virtual open houses when all info is already available online?  In our opinion, the true value of an open house, whether virtual or in person, is the opportunity connect with potential buyers, answer their questions and solve their challenges. As a listing agent, we know the details of the home, the best features and can problem solve better than a marketing piece.  Buyers always have specific questions like, is the yard really big enough for my dog? Will my kid’s stroller fit on the front porch? Does the kitchen have soft-close cabinets, etc…

This is new uncharted territory and not all agents are hosting virtual open houses, but since social distancing will likely be incorporated into our lives for the foreseeable future, adapting early is key. The virtual open house can reach more buyers and is one Covid-19 change that is likely to stay in some way shape or form.