Immersive technology enables foreign buyers to buy sight-unseen without fear
- According to the National Association of Realtors, foreign buyers spent on average $500,000 per property in 2015, nearly double the average US property price
- Chinese buyers spent $26.8 billion on U.S. homes last year
- 69% of homes purchases made by Chinese buyers were cash
Technology has made the real estate world a much smaller place. Remote buyers, once limited by lacking online property information, now have access to a huge variety of online tools offering immersive, interactive experiences of a potential new home from anywhere in the world. Real estate agents hoping to capture more remote buyers, and potentially generate higher bids for their sellers, should leverage the most immersive technologies available in order to build confidence and trust from a distance.
Listed below are three tools agents are using to engage remote buyers and move properties in this growing market segment.
When your buyer is out of town or out of country, your most important task is to establish an emotional connection. Many agents versed in remote selling turn to video chat services like Skype and Facetime to walk buyers through a prospective new home from a distance.
This gives remote buyers a chance to experience a property beyond what 2D photography and floor plans can offer, and ask questions in real time.
Poor resolution and bandwidth constraints can still make for an awkward experience, and scheduling live tours can be difficult, considering the seller must vacate the premises during strange hours to accommodate varied time zones. Nonetheless, live video streaming has changed the world of remote buying for buyers and agents alike.
Many remote buyers take matters into their own hands by leveraging Google Earth. Though it doesn’t show the insides of private residences, Google Earth can provide a precise understanding of the neighborhood and proximity to amenities like parks, grocery stores, and schools.
With a few clicks, prospects can fully understand property value in context by self-navigating around the geographic location from thousands of miles away.
The best part? Getting this true sense of an environment comes at no additional cost to the agent.
Immersive 3D Tours
Offering similarly realistic navigation, immersive 3D tours, such as the ones generated by Matterport, now let remote buyers fully immerse themselves in property interiors. Unlike static 2D pictures, or restrictive videos, 3D walkthroughs let remote visitors self-navigate through a virtual property, getting a true and total sense of how it feels to really be there.
Matterport also offers additional features like Mattertag™ Content, interior measurements and schematic floor plans. Mattertag™ Content provides important information in context, answering questions remote buyers might have about a property immediately and highlighting the property’s key features from directly within the experience itself. Measurements and schematic floor plans also give remote buyers a completely holistic sense of the size and the flow of a property and how rooms and floors fit together.
Not only do these immersive experiences comfort remote buyers, but they also help sellers rediscover awesome features they may have overlooked. Agents who specialize in remote buyers, or who work in markets with many foreign and relocating buyers, frequently leverage immersive next-generation experiences like Matterport to raise buyer confidence and close more deals.
Most homes with broad appeal are vigorously marketed across a multitude of digital channels, requiring all players to bid aggressively with extreme expedience and limited information. The heated pace of most markets can make it nearly impossible for out-of-state or out-of-country buyers to visit even one property of interest before it gets scooped up by local buyers - let alone a variety.
Immersive, self-directed experiences - like virtual reality and 3D tours - are the best way to enable remote buyers to bid quickly and with confidence.