The visit to a flat that is for sale is one of the key moments in any agency. Depending on the impression made, the information used and, in short, the expectations created, those 15 – 30 minutes can become the culmination of all those hours worked around the property: hours that are not completely visible but that between creating the files, promoting, enabling the property, agreeing with the owner the terms of rental / sale, offering it among the rest of the properties in the portfolio to the right tenants, and showing it to all of them, add up to a great amount of time that, in order to be profitable, must be done in the best possible way. Ever heard of 360º virtual tours?
That is why any tool or methodology that not only reduces all this workload, all this management, but also makes it more effective, will help not only to make the working hours profitable, but also to reduce. It will not only increase sales opportunities, but also improve everything from production to the use of the agency’s resources. How and why should we optimise the number of visits to a flat for sale? Let’s talk some more about 360º virtual tours.
1. Why optimise visits to a flat for sale
In the age of information, it does not make sense to use the technique of showing a flat to as many interested people as possible, with the hope that from those dozens of visits the right tenant will fall. Nowadays there are methodologies that allow us to break down each characteristic of a flat without having to move the interested party and the agent to the property on site. This process should only be carried out when verifying that the property is really suitable for the tenant, who will see the property as being definitive, at least for a long period of time, if not permanently.
In this way, if we offer systems that provide the information, the frequent questions that every possible client asks himself about a property and that some images and a technical sheet cannot solve (distribution of the spaces, amount of light that enters each room, even views from the balconies, etc.), he will not face these doubts for the first time once he steps into the property, and therefore, he will not find more obstacles than those that he wants to solve right there, knowing them in advance.
2. Reducing the hours spent visiting a flat for sale: first priority
There is no exact data on how many hours we must invest to sell a property, as the operation of each agency is so different that an exact scale could not be made, but taking into account the average time needed to sell a property, we can make the following assumptions:
The average time it takes to sell a property in Spain is 6 months. This average includes big cities to rural population centres and small villages. Taking a “fairer” approach that may be more “familiar” to an agency working in an environment with large real estate movements, we will use the average of population centres that are close to one million inhabitants (Valencia, Seville, Bilbao, Zaragoza, etc.) located at 4.5 months (excluding on the other hand the 3 months of Madrid and only 38 days of Barcelona).
Thus, if we look at these 4.5 months on average from the time a property enters the portfolio, until it finds its new owner, we could indicate the following average number of hours invested:
Sharing owner-agency information: one to two hours
Creating a property file: one to two hours
Promoting the property: one to two hours
Managing interested clients: average of calls and contacts through different channels that can be received in a week, multiplied by approximately 8 to 12 weeks marks the average.
Showing the property to interested clients: average of the visits that are arranged every day during those 8 – 12 weeks in which the management is focused on finding a buyer.
Closing the sale of the property: the last weeks from when the property is visited and the decision is made to purchase it, a time which includes visits to the agency for signatures, information on financing, conditions, etc., which, although somewhat lengthy, should not take up more than 4 – 6 hours of activity in total at the agency.
Despite the ambiguity of the data (each property and each working methodology is different so as to be able to offer the average investment in hours with a certain degree of precision), we can see how the bulk of the hours spent on selling a property are concentrated on the management steps of interested clients and showing the property. The rest of the time invested is counted in hours, not days.
3. How to optimise visits to a flat for sale with virtual 360º tours
We already know the problem and the need to reduce its impact, now, how to do it, what techniques and tools help us as an agency to optimize and make the visits to a flat for sale as successful as possible?
To do this we must improve two pillars: the workflows – how we approach each client and the procedures we follow until they can convert into a sale – and the tools used to do this.
In both cases, we must assess whether optimising visits to a flat for sale is a matter of improving what already works, or whether we really have a problem as an agency and the vast majority of visits made are unsuccessful. In the latter case, we should reformulate our way of working and propose changes, as it may be that vital information is not provided, candidates who should be discarded are not filtered and the files do not show basic characteristics, etc.
If, out of X hours worked to close a sale, more than half are spent showing the property, we should consider tools and methods that “alleviate” this burden and that serve to ensure that the client receives at least the same information as he would receive by going to the property and going through it with the agent. In this sense, 360º virtual tours of real estate properties can serve to receive that “first impression” in advance and, in the case of interest, the appointment will be made in person, but with the guarantee that the visitor is likely to become the future owner (and drastically reduce the time invested for this purpose).
Complementing 360º virtual tours, the use of an appropriate CRM, automated customer service systems, addiction of sections of frequently asked questions or self-answers to the most common doubts in the files themselves are all crucial. But what it is ultimately all about is intervening in those cases in which we notice that the hours invested in selling a property are disproportionate and that in these processes, a lot of time is left without any practical use either for the agent or for customer satisfaction. Do you want to make the sale of a property profitable in terms of time and profits?