Benefits of Using Virtual Tours to Attract Real Estate Buyers

Imaging and streaming technology have advanced to the point where video tours, floor plans, and other interactive exploratory tools are standard on most real estate websites. These technologies allow real estate agents to explore digital media to expand their client base without sacrificing firsthand experience and personal connection. Virtual tours are the latest interactive feature to appear on real estate websites, and in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the unique benefits of this new technology.

1. They’re the Next Big Thing

As a real estate agent, part of the value of your services is your ability to create and implement a successful marketing plan. These days, standard real estate marketing strategies incorporate digital marketing materials. Featuring virtual tours on your site is an elegant way to signal to clients that you’re aware of cutting-edge technological solutions and that your services include a versatile marketing toolkit. They’ll be impressed by your property listings and your marketing savvy.

2. They’re Interactive by Design

Interactive technology is fascinating by definition – audiences enjoy digital media forms that provide space for independent exploration. Virtual tours give your clients the chance to investigate a realistic digital environment – they’ll be able to visit each room, zeroing on details like light fixtures and artisan tiles, all from their own laptops. Virtual tours share another marketing advantage with video – they hold attention for minutes at a time, which means that audiences are more likely to feel invested in the interaction and more likely to take the next step in their purchase journey.

Using a tool like Viar360, you can transform a 360 viewing into an interactive open house experience complete with narration, walkthrough, and additional help text.

3. They Create an Instant Sense of Ownership

Establishing a sense of ownership is crucial to nudging clients towards finalizing the real thing. Virtual tours allow clients to tour the property independently, on their own time and at their own pace, giving them a sense of autonomy and personal connection. You can enhance and deepen this sense of connection by adding virtual tours to a suite of other interactive features – mortgage calculator, information about local amenities, IDX search functions – so that clients can use your listings to conduct extensive solo research. The more time and energy they invest, the more likely they’ll feel committed to reaching out to you with an inquiry.

4. They’re a Permanent Open House

Open house events are a big part of any real estate agent’s business, but they involve a great deal of work – scheduling, staging, long hours on-site, keeping track of notes, and contact information. Virtual tours allow you to digitize part of this process, keeping listed properties “open” and on display around the clock. You can also gather feedback on virtual tours by including them in social media and blog updates where viewers can leave questions and comments.

5. They’re Extremely Versatile

Virtual tours can feel like a time-consuming and expensive real estate marketing option, but you can incorporate them into a range of materials, including marketing emails and open-house notifications. It’s also worth remembering that virtual tours are not limited to strict realism. They also provide an innovative solution to agents representing properties that are not yet ready for move-in, including new and renovated buildings. A virtual tour allows you to show prospective buyers a finished, furnished interior – making it that much easier for them to picture themselves inside. Virtual tours have been shown to attract more views and generate more leads than text and still images alone. Consider incorporating virtual tours into your digital marketing plan, so this innovative technology can give you a solid advantage in a competitive market.

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The power of virtual reality tours in real estate

Nowadays, new tech is being introduced all the time and changing the face of industries. In real estate, the most recent technological developments are virtual tours and virtual reality (or VR). At the moment, virtual reality is created from plans created in 3D and then using a helmet and remote to create this virtual world. Today, you can’t afford to run your real estate business without virtual tours on your site as they help clients to see exactly what they want, which helps them to be more decisive when buying. In addition, VR allows you to view a house without having to physically move.

The figures

95% of home buyers use the Internet to look for homes

51% of people buy homes that they found online, so adding VR to this seems like the obvious next step

71% of Millennials are positive towards the use of VR, this is unsurprising as most Millennials are quick to adapt to new technologies. On the other hand, older generations might take a bit more convincing

Most people looking for a house visit on average between 5 and 7 homes before settling on one. Virtual Reality could really cut down the time wasted viewing properties that people then don’t want to buy

Already 77% of clients want to do a virtual tour before doing a ‘real’ visit

68% of clients want to see what their furniture would look like in their new home

62% of Americans now choose their real estate agency on which one provides 3D virtual reality tours

Benefits of using VR for real estate agents

Saves Time

Using VR could really help real estate agents save time; especially for properties that are remote. This technology can be used to view properties abroad or in remote, rural locations. Buyers can click on bedrooms, the kitchen, bathrooms, etc. to give them a clear, 3D view of each room. VR saves real estate agents time and resources that could be spent scheduling an open house, acquiring new clients or retaining loyal customers!

Better online communication

VR allows for better interaction online as clients can comment on any aspect of the property. For example, a client could ask about the type of flooring or insulation. This helps the agent because you can provide feedback in real-time and from the comfort of your office!

Turns imagination into reality

You can guide potential-buyers through a property with a virtual tour to see what the project will look like once it’s finished. Buyers can then leave comments before construction starts or is completed. Aiding your clients to visualize each property also builds emotional connections and engages them more efficiently than 2D photos.

Increases site traffic

In addition, VR holds people’s attention for longer than plain text or still images. This will increase traffic on your site. VR will also help potential buyers visualize themselves living there more easily. Interactive tools within the VR, such as mortgage calculators, can urge a potential buyer to make a deal.

Offers Global Reach

Arranging property visits, showing the clients round the property and negotiating terms and prices, is not only extremely time-consuming but with VR it now doesn’t matter where your client lives. VR helps you to showcase properties even to long-distance buyers. This allows you as the real estate agent to work with more clients and process more inquiries and all from the comfort of your office desk!

Saves money

Investing in 3D virtual tour equipment may seem an expensive output of money. However, it is a valuable investment. Not only are you staging properties, but you are also providing high-quality images. The power of 360-degree videos and computer graphics is invaluable and all it requires is a panoramic camera and basic editing.

- Benefits of using VR for sellers and buyers

Time saved for buyers

Property tours aren’t always easy to coordinate. If you’re viewing several properties they might not all be in the same neighborhood. VR might not completely replace physical property viewings, however, it could become the first round of property viewings for buyers. Furthermore, you can view properties on the other side of the state, country or world!

No rush

You can take as much time as you like to view a property, without feeling rushed by the agent or seller. You can also review the property more easily.

Tours available 24/7

Moreover, using VR in real estate means that all listed properties are available to view around the clock. With the help of VR headsets, homebuyers can visit properties at any time of night or day without a real estate agent present.

No need to keep your home pristine

To increase your chances of selling your property, agents usually recommend deep cleaning your home to make it as appealing as possible. However, it’s difficult to keep your home pristine for several days or weeks. Sellers are even sometimes forced to move out of their home during visits. With VR you can tidy up your home once, shoot the property and then carry on life as usual!

The future of VR

Soon VR will even be able to simulate tastes and smells. During a virtual reality visit of a property, the potential buyer might smell freshly baked cookies in the kitchen, this will subconsciously affect their opinion of this room. In addition, haptic technology (VR touch) will simulate the feeling of touch in virtual reality. The potential buyer will be able to feel the texture of the walls and furniture! VR experts are committed to creating as real an experience as possible in order to make virtual tours almost identical to physical visits.

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The rise of virtual tours for real estate

The virtual tour – a technology once reserved for high-end luxury homes – is now a primary selling tool for most real estate transactions.

According to the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the pandemic has accelerated changes in homebuyers’ habits. And most industry experts believe those changes are here to stay in a post-COVID world.
The biggest change is that buyers are trusting more in technology to make the process of home buying faster, easier, and more convenient. Here are three trends that show why virtual tours are the future of home sales.

Homes with virtual tours get more online engagement

Look at these first page results on the most popular real estate search websites. What do they have in common? They all have virtual tours.

A record-high 97 percent of buyers searched for a new home online last year, an increase from 93 percent the year before. And the average time spent looking for a home decreased to only eight weeks from 10 weeks in 2019. During those eight weeks, home buyers looked at an average of nine houses, with five of them viewed exclusively online.

As more and more buyers search online for their homes, photos and virtual tours have increasingly become the best way to attract their interest and hold it there.
One study found that web visitors remain on a site with virtual tours five to 10 times longer than sites without them. And it’s no stretch of the imagination to say that the longer a buyer stays on a page, the more likely they are to contact the agent or the seller for more information.

Virtual tours also boost the visibility of listings on the major search engines, such as Zillow,, and Redfin. According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2020, virtual tours soared up 750% in the month after COVID stay-home orders went into effect across the U.S. and continued to remain twice as high as the previous year through late November.

Here’s more proof of the new power of virtual tours in the real estate industry. statistics report that listings with virtual tours receive 87% more views than home listings without tours and that 54% of buyers skip over listings of properties that don’t include virtual tours.

More buyers are making offers without ever visiting a home in person

Redfin agents report that about one in 10 of their home tour requests is for remote video tours. And here’s a stunning statistic. According to a Redfin survey of more than 1,900 home buyers across 32 major real estate markets, 63% made an offer on a property that they hadn’t seen in person. That number is twice the number from the previous year.

And data from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also shows that people are becoming more comfortable with buying a home all online - without visiting the property at all. The percentage of buyers who bought a home without seeing it in person has almost doubled, up to 5 percent in 2020 from 3 percent before the pandemic. This trend will only continue to rise as people get more used to relying on virtual tours and as younger generations of homebuyers enter the market who prefer to use new technology.

Today’s industry experts agree that virtual tours help reduce both agent and home buyer time spent in wasted viewings by about 40%. And a Planet Home study found that 75% of home buyers consider a virtual tour to be a significant factor in their decision-making process.

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Virtual Reality in Real Estate

Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies are gaining interest in the real estate industry through virtual tours and virtual staging.

Virtual reality tools are just now emerging as an effective communication and marketing tool for the real estate industry. More and more capital is placed into virtual reality and augmented reality technology, as the technology has potential for a significant impact in the real estate business. Virtual tours and virtual staging technologies have the capability to benefit both potential buyers and developers. For this reason, real estate players looking to stay ahead of the curve should look into rolling out a virtual reality experience.

How virtual reality is being used in the real estate industry

Virtual reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the rest of the physical world. An example of virtual reality technology are VR headsets. By using a headset, users block out the outside world from their experience.

VR allows potential buyers or renters to go through a virtual tour of the property, thereby saving buyers both time and travel expenses. VR technology also allows for virtual staging. In other words, through virtual reality technology, real estate agents can show prospective buyers a fully furnished space, despite the space being empty in real life.

Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a device, such as a smartphone or iPad. AR technology is changing real estate because it allows prospective buyers to experience a space, even if that space is not yet built.

For real estate companies, virtual tours allow real estate agents to market the properties with very little investment. Virtual reality allows real estate companies to market the finished project before construction completion as well. The technology allows agents to show both the interior and exterior of properties that aren’t yet built and also allows buyers to experience a space from the comfort of their home.

The major advantage of virtual reality technology in the real estate sector is it saves time for both buyer and seller. Additionally, VR technology is very convenient for the end user. Though the technology could prove cumbersome for older buyers to get used to, most young buyers on the real estate market are already familiar with doing business online, meaning properties equipped with virtual tours will be better positioned among this demographic.

Further, virtual reality technology provides a much greater outreach for marketers. These advantages put together should eventually culminate in financial savings. Any investor in the real estate business can benefit from incorporating virtual reality because the technology helps both find and keep tenants. The technology also supports real estate developers during the development stage.

Pros and cons of virtual reality in real estate

The first pro of using virtual reality is it allows real estate professionals to accurately visualize or understand a project, even before construction takes place. The technology allows brokers to show spaces with planned or contemplated movements.

Second, virtual reality technology saves time. Using virtual tours and virtual stagings, the search and review of a property can be done on a much quicker basis. Buyers and renters will no longer need to travel to a property’s physical site in order to get a feel for the property.

Third, VR technology cuts down on costly project marketing work. Combining these things together, VR has a strong potential to result in significant savings for landlords and other real estate investors.

During the development stage, virtual reality technology can also bolster operational efficiency, simulate training for onsite jobs, and increase construction workers’ precision and accuracy as they can constantly see a visual image of the final project plan.

Despite these positives, widespread adoption still lags behind because of complications in grasping the complexity of the technology. Although a VR headset offers the most realistic experience, the technology has failed to garner widespread interest. Adding to that, people may not want to share headwear gear because of contamination fears.

For these reasons, augmented reality, such as virtually showing a property through an iPad, could attract more interest. Further, commercial real estate organizations would also have to consider potential information and privacy risks as it relates to theft of intellectual property, such as development plans. In other words, the number one pain point for VR and AR technologies is that real estate companies would have to be prepared to share with their VR creator all the data and information needed to virtually build the project. That comes with data privacy concerns.

Driving factors of the growth of virtual reality in real estate

Expect continued growth of virtual reality in the real estate industry as investors keep pouring cash into proptech investments. Proptech funding is already off to a fast start this year, and though some of these investments cater to different segments of real estate, like rental search platforms, the rise in proptech funding highlights the real estate industry beginning to incorporate technology. The virtual reality market will be worth an estimated $80 billion by 2025, with $2.6 billion of that stemming from real estate, according to a Goldman Sachs report.

For example, the VR and AR technology will hope to tap some of the benefits of home staging. Forty percent of buyers agents said home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of a home, and 83% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property, according to a home-staging report from the National Association of Realtors.

An increase in adoption of smart glasses in the healthcare sector is the major factor driving the growth of the augmented reality market. But expect augmented reality technology to gain even more interest, especially as people minimize gathering together.

Future use of virtual reality in the real estate industry

Along with its cost-saving benefits, virtual reality is revolutionizing real estate for its convenience. By using VR and AR technology, potential buyers are able to experience an area without having to travel to the property and tour the space with real estate agents. Real estate professionals can also market properties on a much wider scale, while still allowing potential buyers an immersive experience with the property.

This is especially useful for residential real estate, as the convenience of offering virtual tours will greatly shorten the time for prospective tenants to make a decision on a lease. Along with supporting the pre-lease stage, virtual reality technology also benefits workers during the development stage. As mentioned above, VR technology can bolster operational efficiency, simulate training for on-site jobs, and increase construction workers’ precision by way of a constant visual image of the final project plan.

The major pain point of VR technology is awareness. Interest has not spread on a mass level due to difficulties of access to VR headsets. For this reason, augmented reality, which uses a device such as an iPad to show renderings of a space, is a favorite to change the real estate industry.

As VR technology continues to become more cost-effective and the programs become easier to use, expect further adoption throughout the real estate community. Until then, AR technology is a particular favorite to gain interest among real estate players.

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