The pandemic forced the entire housing industry to change fast, replacing virtual showings and sales with in-person appointments, resulting in more site-unseen offers. This may be the new normal, suggests Forbes. For years, realtors have been embracing technology to enhance a buyer’s experience. Many have gotten comfortable with virtual tours, 3D listing photos, and more, making the switch a bit easier. Technology has also helped agents break down borders and connect with buyers across the globe. Serving buyers across the country and the globe results from leveraging technology and will likely not be going anywhere.
Even when a client can view a home in person, virtual tours can be extremely helpful. By showing them a listing over FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Meet, I can save them a trip (and time, and money). Virtual showings also provide a competitive advantage in a limited-inventory market by allowing clients to quickly “see” a home and make an offer, sometimes before anyone else has a chance to. Example: I can set up a FaceTime viewing for a foreign client on an off-market listing and have their offer in by the end of that day, allowing us to beat out offers from local buyers. During the inspection period, which is when I’d typically return with the buyer for a second showing, I can bring in the buyer for their first showing. Others may opt to not see the property at all, and fly in only for the closing or moving day. This was surprisingly common during Covid, but it could easily become the norm for investment properties, job relocations, and more common situations.