Marketing Your Listing During a Pandemic
When I started this blog at the beginning of the year, I thought it would be a fun way to go more in-depth about specific products, introduce our photographers on a more personal level, and to highlight some really cool properties that we have had the pleasure of photographing.
Never in my dreams did I think my second blog post would be titled "Marketing Your Listing During a Pandemic".
To start off, I would like to introduce you to my dad. He is a successful business man and generous person. The way I treat both my clients and the photographers that work for me, I learned from him. Basically, he taught me to live by the golden rule, to treat others how you would like to be treated. It worked well for him, and so far, has worked well for me.
Why I am I telling you about my dad? Well, in addition to being a great person and my inspiration, he has a compromised immune system due to radiation treatment, a heart condition, and has had a bad case of pneumonia leaving his lungs not quite what they are supposed to be. In other words, he is at a high risk during this pandemic. He also has a house to sell.
My mom and I began planning their marketing materials to sell their house about a month ago. I told her I would do photos, aerials, video and a 3D tour of the house for their agent. I mean... they are my parents, they deserve the best, so I was planning to give them the works. My mom didn't think the 3D tour was necessary, even though I explained the 3D tours were a great way for out-of-town buyers to view the property (this particular home is in a rural area). Anyway, I still planned on producing the 3D tour for them because I knew it would be a good marketing/sales tool.
Fast forward to my phone call with my mom yesterday. She is now worried about the number of buyers coming in and out of their home during this pandemic. Remember, my dad is high risk, so he is one of the many millions of vulnerable Americans we are all trying to keep safe from this virus.
Taking Healthy Precautions During Showings
My mom asked me what agents in Hampton Roads are doing to protect their sellers. I mentioned the obvious solutions; have hand sanitizer out on the front porch, provide buyers with disposable booties, and disinfect surfaces after the showing.
I told her I was still planning on doing the 3D tour for her and how it's the closest thing to touring the house without actually being in the house. I informed her that the 3D tour will help to eliminate unnecessary showings by narrowing down the in-person viewings to only the very serious buyers. This idea helped put her much more at ease and now she agrees with me that the 3D tour is a good option for them.
New Reality in Real Estate
I hope all of this is only a short lived blip in our lives; working remotely, avoiding crowds and "social distancing" ourselves. No one knows how long it will last. I've heard estimates of anywhere between two weeks and the end of the summer or maybe even going into 2021. In the meantime, there will be people who still need to sell there real estate properties. Some of these sellers may be like my parents and will be very concerned about the the number of buyers that are coming through their door.
If you have a seller with these same concerns, I would highly suggest that you consider a 3D tour. As I told my mom, it's the absolute closest thing to actually viewing the house in person.
What is a 3D Tour?
Many agents may not be familiar with our 3D tour options because they are assumed to be more of a marketing luxury than a sales necessity. When compared to the number of homes we photograph, we do far fewer 3D tours.
3D tours are basically like a Google street view for interior spaces, where a buyer can virtually walk through the house to get a much better idea of the home's actual layout compared to the limited perspective provided by still photos alone.
We currently have two different types of 3D tours available; Matterport and iGuide. They are both very similar to each other, so in most cases it comes down to the agent's personal opinion as to which is preferred. Samples of both types of 3D tours can be found on our website at https://www.virtualtidewater.com/3d.
While we are all still getting used to the idea of social distancing ourselves from one another (at least for the time being), if you have sellers that need to market their real estate property and are concerned about the number of buyers coming into their home, I would highly recommend offering them the option of a 3D tour as a way to limit the number of in-person showings.
What is Virtual Tidewater Doing to Keep Everyone Safe?
You may also want to know what we as real estate photographers are doing to help prevent spreading the virus. We are actively using hand sanitizer and wiping down our gear in between appointments. We are doing the best we can to touch as little as possible while in the home.
Your sellers can help us with this endeavor by making sure they have the home ready and staged; including having the lights already on, the toilet seats down, and the blinds open. This will help reduce the amount of contact we make with objects in the home during our photography visit.
We also kindly ask that if anyone in the home is not feeling well that the agent postpone the photography appointment for a few weeks. "Same Day Appointment Cancellation" fees will be waived for those agents with seller who aren't feeling well on the day of the appointment.
Lastly, please do not be offended if we do not shake hands and just give you a friendly wave instead.
You can assure your sellers that we at Virtual Tidewater are doing our part to reduce the spread of germs by thoroughly cleaning our gear and hands, but ultimately it is the seller's decision to let us in to their home or not.
Still Have Questions?
If you have any questions at all regarding our policies for protecting everyone's health, I can be reached at 757-880-6422. Please leave me a message. If I'm in appointment, I typically don't answer the phone so I can concentrate on the job at hand. You can also reach Kimberly at 757-880-0963 during normal business hours or use our on-line scheduling tool at virtualtidewater.com to set-up a 3D tour appointment for your listing today.
Please remember to stay safe and to help look out for each other. We are all in this together.
Owner/Photographer at Virtual Tidewater