If you pay attention to the novelties in the real estate business, you will know that one of the trends that is being imposed in the market is the use of technology that favours management not only within the agency, but also towards the client, causing a revolution in the sector with technologies and tools such as the virtual tour, using the latest virtual reality technology, for real estate agencies.
The virtual reality software stands out: a revolution within the sector as it saves both time and management and, during the last year, it took off completely within the property portfolio of the most professional and innovative agencies. We could definitely say that virtual reality in the real estate sector is here to stay, but what is the current state of this innovative technology?
1. Virtual reality in real estate: technology on the rise?
Every new technology has its adaptation cycles in the market: from the moment it is born and tested until it is finally imposed and becomes another routine process within the sale transactions in the sector. In the case of the latest virtual reality trends applied to real estate, we are outside the phase of “adaptation to the market”, so it is already a common element applied to properties in which there is interest in communicating their intricacies.
However, it is not in a state of “saturation” or full implementation throughout the sector either, which far from being a detriment, becomes a competitive advantage. As it is a technology that is sufficiently well known by the user but not present in every property file, those in which it is implemented are appreciated as a differentiating element, making the latest virtual reality technology a powerful attraction both for those who want to put their house on sale (and are looking for the real estate agency that will best help them in this task) and for those who are looking for a property to buy or rent and are “curious” about this technology, either because of its peculiarities or as a decisive filter to indicate whether a house is suitable for this type of customer.
2. A technology in line with the market situation
The application of new techniques that make the sector more dynamic and facilitate the flow of the real estate market, such as the 360º virtual tours, coincides with a time when the needs are the same: there is both supply and demand, so any tool that allows properties to continue to have an outlet and find the ideal client, will find a favourable ecosystem to do so.
By 2019-2020, the real estate sector is expected to reach a state of “maturity” again, for the first time after the crisis of 2008. In particular, the demand for properties is expected to rise by around 10% compared to the year just ended, which means that around 590,000 transactions (property sales) are expected to be completed by 2019. Therefore, it will be the agencies with the best competitive advantages that will be able to take the most from this juicy “cake” before the market slows down.
3. A “sustainable” technology
The real estate sector (in all its magnitude, not only at the level of agencies but also of construction companies, promoters, etc.), due to the voices that pointed it out as one of the drivers of the previous crisis, is constantly in the spotlight as a sector “to be regulated”. This is why practices that encourage ignorance or speculation not only cause rejection but also total repulsion among clients and specialists in the sector, who do not consider it to be of any benefit to them.
Thus, it is a practice to avoid “at all costs” taking out a portfolio of properties by trying to get the client to “accept” any product simply because there is a high demand. The tendency is that, for the survival of the sector in less prone cycles, the service is more and more specialized and the client obtains more information about all the conditions of the property he is choosing (qualities, mortgages, environment, etc.).
In this way, the latest virtual reality software for real estate agencies not only details the properties, so that it serves as a sales argument and a filter for the client’s needs, but also “frees up” much appreciated time that is no longer dedicated to making visits with no rhyme or reason. Time that can be used to improve customer service and inform them more accurately.
4. Main actor in a change of sales model
Because one of the main virtues of using virtual software to sell properties is precisely to free up time dedicated to visits (not to eliminate them, but to replace those made by simple methodology, without knowing 100% that it is the right property for the client), it is expected that this substantial improvement will mean a progressive change in the sales model towards a faster and more efficient management.
4.1. Current sales model
Currently the standardized model is that a property arrives, is included in the portfolio and is promoted through the usual channels handled by each agency. The possible interested party finds the property in one or several of these channels, shuffles through the photographs (which are taken care of in order to capture a greater number of interested parties, but they do not always reflect the whole reality) and asks for it in the agency, which will include in it an appointment book. In several hours the flat is shown in a loop to all those who ask for it.
After this first round of visits, those who are convinced of the suitability of the property will arrange a second visit and if it is productive, will try to close the sale. If there is no sufficient interest among those who make the first visit, the cycle will be repeated without apparent end.
4.2. Exchange trend: the virtual tour for real estate agents
This change of model suggests including a virtual tour of the property for real estate agents. This consists of replacing all the time dedicated to the first phase of the commercial process (the convincing phase in which the first visit is made), with viewings from any place and from any device on the virtual tour, so that the interested party can have a more realistic appreciation of what it is like and its peculiarities, going straight on to the second visit in the event that their interest grows.
As not all those first rounds of property visits are necessary, sales agents can focus on closing sales more productively, efficiently and in less time, increasing the satisfaction of all those involved in the sales process.
In short, the virtual tour is a tool with growth potential and with prospects of not only integrating into the real estate market, but also of changing the current operating model of the sector. Read more about the latest virtual reality software here.