How to Host a Virtual Real Estate Showing
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing much about how the world operates right not — including real estate.
Real estate has been deemed an essential business in many parts of the country.
However, even in areas where it is deemed essential, many agencies are limiting or stopping face-to-face transactions to maintain safety and physical distancing. For example, effective April 4, the Ontario government mandated that “every person who is responsible for a business that provides real estate agent services shall ensure that the business does not host, provide or support any open house events.”
With the distancing in effect, many real estate professionals are turning to technology for their business needs.
While open houses and in-person showings may be off the table during this time, there are ways to facilitate the process online. Here’s how.
Hosting Online Real Estate Showings
Online real estate showings rely heavily on the right mix of technology.
To make the most of them, you’ll need:
- A platform
- Property images
- Accessible property information
Let’s look further at each requirement.
- Your real estate showing platform
Video call technology is one way to host online open houses and showings. REM Online recently reported on the technology that real estate professionals are using.
Some popular choices include:
- Facebook Messenger
- Google Hangouts
- And more
While these work well for one-on-one or small group showings, you may want to host a larger group (the digital version of an open house).
In this case, you might look at hosting a live video on social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have features where you can live stream directly to your followers.
Some real estate boards have also introduced tools that allow you to add links for Live Stream Open Houses to your listings.
You could also share photos and videos of your listings in your social media Stories and more. Which leads us to requirement #2…
- Images and videos of the property
To host a great virtual showing, you need high-quality images. These might have already been available before the state of emergency was announced. If not — or if you need more — you can also work with the seller to provide you with new images. While you may have to give directions remotely, a little can go a long way.
Some agents have even live-streamed video of their client walking through their house or live-streamed themselves walking through a vacant property — so that is an option as well.
While this can cover interior images, you also might want to access exterior images, which can be more difficult to do with social distancing. Your clients may also want to know about neighbourhood conditions — are there train tracks nearby? A busy highway? Where is the closest transit station? And so on.
However, this is where your online real estate tools can really come in handy. For instance, in your GeoWarehouse subscription, you can access:
- Aerial property images
- Property surveys
- Streetview images
- Neighbourhood reports that show school catchment areas, parks, and more
- And beyond…
These can all help you give a comprehensive overview to your client of what the home and surrounding area are like, even if they can’t view it in person.
Your property tools can also help once the open house or showing is done…
- Your accessible property information
If you have an interested buyer, or a new listing client (especially one that is essential), you will need to quickly verify property information, including:
- Property ownership information
- Land Registry data
- Sales history
- Comparable sales
- And more…
Even when business is functioning differently than normal, this information still needs to be verified. But with technology, such as the tools available in your GeoWarehouse subscription, you can have it ready when and where you need it.
This can also help you remain agile and have leads in your pipeline for when social distancing guidelines subside.
While it may not be business as usual right now, online tools can help weather the interim and perhaps provide more possibilities for your business when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
This is an unprecedented, difficult situation, but your ability to remain flexible using technology will go a long way to getting through it.
At GeoWarehouse, we are committed to providing you with the tools you need to host online real estate showings, verify property information remotely, and much more.
We’ve added more webinars to our training schedule so you can make the most of your GeoWarehouse subscription. See upcoming sessions here: https://www2.geowarehouse.ca/resources/contact-our-trainers/
We’ve also launched a COVID-19 Information Centre so you can stay up-to-date with the latest news from GeoWarehouse and Teranet during this time. Access it here: https://www.teranet.ca/teranet-news-categories/covid-19-information/
If you have any questions about your subscription or would like to become a subscriber, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit https://www2.geowarehouse.ca/contactus/