All You Need to Know About Hosting a Live Virtual Open House
How and Why Should I Organize a Virtual Open House
How is the Real Estate Market Changing?
The COVID-19 pandemic has given the property market a significant jolt and will continue to do so for quite some time. However, this is in no way just doom and gloom as it also opens new possibilities to use technology to help sellers in presenting their properties in the best possible light and buyers to filter out the houses they like more before making an in-person visit.
The housing market is also changing and most big economies are predicting that price will maybe shrink in 2020. This requires even greater marketing skills and tools to be used to attract the right kind of buyers whilst navigating the ubiquitous uncertainty that’s surrounding us with governments updating instructions on safety and social distancing all the time.
Why a Virtual Open House is a Great Idea?
Even before the lockdown situation came about, hosting virtual open houses and lifestreaming to a big potential audience was gaining momentum for quite some time. It has a number of benefits for all involved - saves time and money and in the current situation it is the safest option. Additionally there are also other pros to go virtual :
- Real estate agents - cover a much bigger area geographically and appeal to a much greater audience by using contacts, social media and wider connection networks. In addition the recording of the virtual open house then becomes a valuable piece of digital content which the agent can publish on social media for it to be shared and for the potential audiences to engage with. Lead generation also increases during and after a virtual open house and if you are familiar with how to maximize its potential it can drive a lot of secondary interest in other properties in your portfolio.
- Buyers - more than 95% of buyers start first to search online for their next house. Virtual tours and open houses offer an additional opportunity to find out more about the property you’re interested in than just a few ordinary photos do. You can have most of the benefits of a face-to-face open house and even if you miss the life-event, you can always watch the 360 tours afterwards.
What is a ‘Virtual Open House’?
By now you’re probably wondering, what is a virtual open house? Well, it can take many shapes and forms, depending on the technology used and on the experience of the estate agent who is running it. Simply put, a virtual open house is a combination between a screenshare of a 360 tour + Cam with voice called " Video Conferencing ". You can use a variety of "virtual meeting" tools depending on what you’re comfortable with or have access to.
Tips and Tricks to Create the Perfect Virtual Open House
#1 Shoot your property in 360 degrees and create a virtual tour for Free in Klapty.com
It’s possible to do a 360 virtual tour with just your smartphone, however if you can afford an upgrade and invest in a good 360 camera or hire a 360 professional photographer, you will raise the quality of the production and set yourself apart from your competitors. This will give you a much better opportunity to capture the right angle and show the best features of the property in their best light, literally and figuratively speaking.
Now that you have the property in 360° you just need to upload on klapty.com your 360 panoramas in order to create your virtual tour.
#2 What Software to Use?
There are many options available to share live 360 VR tours on the market so you need to choose depending on your preference, previous experience and equipment.
There’s plenty of information you can find out about each one of these so here we want to focus briefly on how you can leverage the options that Zoom gives you!
This is the solution that we think works best for virtual open houses as other you can share your screen with a good quality for your final user or your audience.
It’s a very popular and user-friendly tool that gives you all the functionalities you need to organize and schedule meetings. You can share the link via email, instant messaging or publish it to any of your social media pages. Screen sharing is a piece of cake with Zoom and you also have a great chat function for participants to post their comments and questions. As a meeting organizer you can mute participants and unmute them when they ‘raise their hands’ so you avoid background noise or people speaking all at the same time.
Zoom offers a free option, which sets a limit of 40 minutes and up to 100 attendees, which should cover most cases. It’s best if you login via a desktop device or laptop as you’ll be able to see the chat and all other functions in the best possible way. However, participants can join via the mobile app too.
Whatever software solution you decide to go for, our advice is to test it thoroughly before your first virtual open house so you can run it like a pro.
#3 Prepare ahead of time : try with your family, friends and your team first
Before the live, make sure you do at least one test run so if there are any technical issues (e.g. internet connection, using the video conferencing and screen sharing software, camera angles and light, microphone, loudspeakers, webcam etc.) you can deal with them beforehand.
Trying first with friends and family will also help you to gain more confident for the big moment ! No matter if you make the live with only one person or hundred, you need to prepare yourself first in order to be ready. Preparation is important so best to make a script to follow and practice before live streaming.
#4 During the live : The big day
It’s best to start by showing the front of the property and entering via the front door as you would if you’re showing a potential buyer in-person. Don’t forget the attention to detail, upgrades, finishes etc. In addition give some brief information about the neighbourhood, local amenities, schools, facilities and so on. Make sure you also stop to answer questions from the audience during the livestream.
#5 Have Fun
Whatever you do, be yourself, relax on the day and have fun with the tour. We are all learning in this era of new technologies and even if your tour is not perfect with adequate preparation and using your natural flair you can make sure that mistakes will not be costly.
#6 Reuse and repurpose your content
You can record your livestream video and reuse it for YouTube or to publish on your website, Facebook page or other Social Media platforms. This can generate many additional leads and prolong the life of your tour. You can even reach out to those who didn’t have time to attend so they can view the recording.
Klapty - 360° tours worldwide. Simple, fast and free. Always.
Posted 11 months ago