Like many industries, the real estate sector has benefited from the conveniences technology delivers. With the advent of drone and 3-D photography, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) and virtual staging, we are discovering new and even more exciting ways for buyers to visualize their dream home online — where 9 out of 10 buyers get information when searching for their home, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Technology has made it possible to inform, entertain and wow buyers. Consumers can search for and see a property anytime and anywhere, which means it’s essential for real estate professionals to possess the skills of a Madison Avenue marketer. I co-founded my real estate photography company with partner Brannon Lambert two decades ago on the belief that professional, high-quality interior and exterior photographs and visual marketing would help homebuyers make one of the most important purchasing decisions of their lives. As technology trends have continued to favor enhanced aesthetics, my suspicions have proved correct.
A home is the most expensive asset your clients will ever purchase. Homebuyers expect the agents and brokers they work with to be marketing mavens who can wow them with the right mix of tech strategy and tools. It’s easier than ever to deliver on that expectation.
Today, with smart, high-definition TVs in most living rooms and an internet connection everywhere you turn, agents can offer to use buyers’ own devices to showcase a transformative property listings presentation. Take the time to learn how to use devices to stream your presentation from a tablet or smartphone to the big screen, and you’ll be able to offer an exceptional experience to every potential buyer you work with.
Explore The Neighborhood
By capturing and displaying tree-top aerial views of a home and its surrounding neighborhood, you can take a prospective buyer on a “short stroll” to the beach, train station or quaint downtown. Buyers aren’t just purchasing a home, you’re purchasing the lifestyle that accompanies it, so using photo, video and area maps helps present the complete picture of a property.
Demonstrate The Options
Are you showing a property with a “bonus room” or a space that could be used as a guest room, craft room, home office or serve another helpful function? Using a blend of technologies including AR, you can present multiple functions of a room to fit multiple lifestyles. The same room can be virtually staged as a nursery for a new family, a man cave for a single 30-something or a library for empty-nesters.
Feel The Flow Of The Home
Impress clients with your attention to detail by offering interactive floor plans that guide them through a home — without them having to step foot in it. That floor plan can segue into photos and videos that give prospective buyers a sense of the flow and potential furnishing styles of each room in a house.
Be The Community Expert
Launch a community page on Facebook and become the go-to resource for information about schools, shops, events and restaurants in the community where your customers live (or want to live). Doing so strengthens your brand and reputation as more than just a home seller.
Catch Their Eyes
Appeal to visitors of popular sites for home improvement content such as Instagram, Pinterest or Houzz. Broaden your pool of new clients not with a hard sell but by showcasing your stunning listings and house-to-home tips on sites that inform and entertain them. Reveal your personality and have fun — buyers remember that.
While having knowledge about past sales and days on market establishes your expertise, using the available technology to assemble a great experience takes your ability to sell homes to the next level. Highlight the aesthetics of your listings and show buyers the multidimensional lifestyle that awaits them to close the deal, boost referrals and maintain a steady stream of prospects.
Two decades ago, shopping for a home was a drudgery. Now, prospective buyers can enjoy a true-to-life real estate exploration in the comfort of their own home.