Matterport poses one of real estate’s most provocative questions: are virtual tours the best qualification tool available to agents? The evidence is mounting, as we discuss.
If you put 10 real estate agents in a room and asked them to swap their most interesting viewing stories, you could come back hours later to find them still trading tales and acting out anecdotes.
For all the diverse colour and detail, however, there will be two common themes – the majority of the stories will be about negative, odd or downright rude viewings and the agents will have spent large amounts of time away from their office in the process, accompanying people who have no intention to proceed.
A survey, commissioned by Matterport and conducted by OnePoll amoung 2,000 homebuyers, found movers look at an average of 16 homes online in their quest for the perfect property before embarking on a series of visits. Even after they have found a property they think may be ‘the one’, they will make an average of three visits to that property before they make an offer.
You don’t need to be Einstein to work out that agents can spend hours of their working week showing people around properties that are rejected in a matter of minutes or are merely ‘vanity’ visits. From a faux pas with the flooring to bad feng shui, properties can be dismissed for trivial reasons, which infuriate agents and their clients.
We understand that viewings can be more frustrating than fulfilling but with Matterport, the frustrating element can be eliminated. Our virtual tours are a vital qualification tool when it comes to the start of a sales or lettings journey. The accuracy of our tours, the quality of our visuals and the ability for home movers to fully interact with a property, without an agent leaving their desk, is priceless.
Virtual tours are a great way of ascertaining true interest and deterring time wasters, especially among serial property viewers, picky home movers and those who are ‘testing the waters’. By taking a virtual tour, the prospective home mover gets an almost true-to-life representation of the property – an experience they can take in their own time and from anywhere, with or without the assistance of an agent.
Just like a physical viewing, agents should follow up virtual tours as part of the qualification process. It will quickly become apparent if there is genuine interest. An ‘it wasn’t for us’ reply after a virtual tour will save an agent hours of wasted time – and will also save the seller or landlord the inconvenience of facilitating a viewing for no reason. Those who go on to request a physical viewing will be well-prepared, genuinely-interested parties who are much closer to making an offer – hot leads, so to speak.
It may be a bold suggestion but are any agents brave enough to ask every mover requesting an in-person viewing to take a virtual tour first as a mandatory requirement? It’s definitely food for thought.