7 Benefits of Virtual Tours for Real Estate9 min read22/05/2020
If you want to know more about the benefits of virtual tours for real estate then you’re taking your marketing seriously and looking for more effective methods of closing more deals. Great news: you’re on the right way because 3D tours can greatly impact your business and bring you significant bonuses including higher revenue. In case where you’re still wondering whether creating a 3D tour of a building worth it, check this list and you will learn how useful it can be for your company.
Virtual tours are interactive digital panorama photos of a house, apartment, or even a hotel. Unlike 3D walkthrough experiences based on computer-generated content referring rather to VR, virtual 3D tours clearly reflect an interior with the high precision. They are popular especially in the real estate industry so you also can benefit from this technology and get 7 major advantages of virtual reality tours when you offer your property for rent.
1. Generating more sales
Virtual tours increase interest in business listings for 100% because they provide customers with more detailed information on what they’re going to buy or book. According to the study conducted by Google in 2015, those website visitors who view an item with a 360-degree virtual tour are twice as likely to make a purchase or book a reservation since motivated with this tour. Interactive panoramas have an important advantage over traditional photos: virtual tours ensure more freedom for those who’re considering your property for buying. Compared to a 3D walkthrough, the cost of creating a virtual tour is much lower which makes this technology affordable even for individual property owners.
2. Helping customers make a decision faster
Virtual tours are becoming an inherent part of promoting real estate businesses. Most users prefer listings with interactive panoramas. According to the 2017 Real Estate in a Digital Age Report published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 54% of buyers won’t even consider a property unless it has a virtual panorama. Interactive images obviously increase customer trust and encourage them to make a purchase. Users appreciate interactive panoramas because they get a more precise image of what they’re going to buy. In their 2019 report, NAR concluded that virtual tours help users make a decision since about 47% of respondents had found 3D tours useful.
With a virtual tour, website visitors can explore your apartment or house from different points of view as if they travel through it in reality. They can move from one room to another by clicking panorama hotspots that correspond to physical doorways instead of swiping separate images unlinked to real-world accommodations. These features help potential customers make a decision faster since they operate more visual representations to leverage all the pros and cons. The Trend Study by Home Planet showed that 75% of listing website visitors consider virtual tours to be the main decision-making driver before making a purchase.
3. Increasing interest and loyalty
Besides the advantages of virtual tours for real estate, they also bring benefits to buyers who, at the same time, understand that this technology helps them better visualize what they’re going to purchase. That’s why they may abandon property listings with traditional images in favor of those with virtual ones.
“With the current shutdown, more and more home sellers are requesting that we offer buyers a virtual tour to help expedite the sale”.Peggy Zabakolas, a real estate broker at Nest Seekers International
The above-mentioned survey by Google also found that 67% of respondents want more businesses to offer their property online using virtual tours. This is not only about keeping up with the times, this is about caring about your customers and providing them with more information to help them make a decision, thus increasing their interest and loyalty.
4. Engaging your audience
The main difference between a virtual tour and panorama is that the former is interactive. It means. Your users can smoothly rotate an image in 360 degrees in different axes and many users won’t miss an opportunity to interact with it. Furthermore, they are likely to share this experience with their friends via such social networks as Instagram and Facebook which, by the way, allows posting 360-degree videos right in the news feed.
Because of their interactiveness, panoramic tours and 3D photos are much more engaging on Facebook than ordinary images. In their report, Social Bakers showed that 360-degree content gains more reactions and shares than conventional images by 45%. As a result, you will expand your core of potential customers and generate more sales, thus increasing your revenue.
5. Keeping your business in trends
Virtual viewings become one of the important marketing tools across various industries. If you work in the real estate sector, then you should understand that your competitors are already doing it. They post panoramic tours on their property listings and gain your sales. Social Bakers also told in their study that 63% of companies related to traveling and accommodation rent had published at least one 360-degree image or video. Furthermore, the automotive industry also benefits from virtual tours with 54% of social media business accounts posting this kind of content. On the other hand, the fashion and beauty sector has the lowest adoption rate with only 10% published at least one 360-degree video or photo.
6. Increasing the number of reached people
Today’s users would rather consider a property with a virtual tour than without it. Many factors impact whether a visitor will become a client, panoramic tours, though, ensure more people will view your offer. A study conducted by Realtor.com shows that listings with a virtual tour generate 87% more views than those with conventional images only. In addition, Property Week found that this technology reduces the number of wasted viewings by 40%. In other words, virtual viewings can greatly increase your conversion rate and revenue as a result.
7. Improving your SEO
One of the important Google ranking factors is how long users remain on your website. The longer they stay, the more useful your content is from Google’s point of view. Virtual tours can significantly improve your search engine optimization by increasing time users spend on your listings through deep engagement also called by Moz one of the major ranking factors. On of the ways how virtual viewings increase engagement is additional meaningful content like helpful videos, descriptions, and hotspots.
“Sites built around user interaction and sharing have made it easier to match interested groups of people up with relevant content”.Google’s Help Center
Viewing a conventional image despite it’s panoramic takes a couple of seconds while a virtual tour is interactive and displays a limited part of space. To explore a whole room or apartment, users have to move an image in different directions with a cursor or using a touchscreen. Furthermore, interactiveness encourages them to do it more than one time to view more precisely certain objects while when it comes to traditional image, they can only move their eyes which takes a couple of milliseconds. As a result, virtual tours keep users on your website longer by 5 to 10 times.
One of the amazing benefits of virtual tours for real estate is that users spend more time on your website wisely rather than just entertaining. Instead of trying to combine a floor plan with photos in their imagination, your potential clients will be able to explore a property in 360 degrees while viewing an interactive floor plan with a user viewing angle and location indicator. This feature significantly simplifies the property estimation process for a buyer.
With a virtual viewing combined with a floor plan, users get a better perception of the property interior. A 3D panorama provides context to the building layout: where a certain room is on the given floor plan and how rooms relate to each other.
The other important advantage of virtual tours becomes extremely useful in the current lockdown times. The COVID-12 pandemic сhallenges almost all types of businesses, especially real estate where agents are used to physically show properties to their clients at real meetings. Because of social distancing, face-to-face viewings are now impossible and agents lose their money. According to statistics published by Realtor.com, April of 2020 has become the worst period for deals in the last decade dropped by 17.8% from March.
This is where cyber tours come in helpful and revive the dramatically decreasing market of buying and selling properties. Apart from virtual reality tours and video conferences, panoramic tours are ones of a few safe ways to conduct house viewings. This technology completely eliminates the need for physical showings an agent has to accommodate in order to sell a property. As a result, parties hypothetically can make a deal remotely. On the other hand, a national head of office agency at Savills Jon Gardiner doubts that buyers are ready to lease a property without visiting it.
“I don’t think anyone will sign off on a building lease without physically inspecting the building”.Jon Gardiner
One way or another, your competitors don’t waste time and strive to get the most of virtual tours during the lockdown and add them to their listings to remain on top while other market players sinking. According to James Morris-Manuel, vice president of Matterport, the company receives 630% more inquiries for virtual tour development during the lockdown. If you’re still not using panoramic tours for promoting your listings and help buyers make a proper choice, then you put your business at risk of finding it behind the scene. Even though the lockdown will be over some time, people will continue being cautious and avoid physical contact. This is what you can benefit from with virtual tours. Make money while your competitors losing it!