Time and again, real estate professionals show their resilience and ability to adapt in the face of COVID-19’s devastating impact on the American economy. With strict stay-at-home orders and health concerns top of mind for millions of Americans stretching from coast to coast, more buyers are uncomfortable touring open houses, and fewer sellers are comfortable with strangers exploring their homes.
Zaid Hanna, founder and broker at Hanna Group at Real Estate 38, isn’t letting a pandemic stand in the way of his buyer’s and seller’s dreams, thanks to an huge assist from his trusty Ricoh Theta Z1 camera and enticing 3D tours from Matterport.
Hanna, a self-proclaimed “data guy,” leverages Matterport’s technology to not only allow high-risk clients and social distance practitioners the opportunity to tour residences safely, but also to quantify the enthusiasm for a home by tracking virtual visitors.
Q: Why did you start using Matterport? What challenges or needs were you facing?
Because of COVID-19, we had to stop hosting open houses. Property showings were also difficult because few clients were comfortable touring homes in-person. To combat this new challenge, we decided to start creating video walk-throughs. However, these took a while to edit, making them difficult to deliver for each property.
Q: How did Matterport solve these challenges and needs?
Around July, we decided to start looking into Matterport for creating a more interactive virtual tour experience for our clients. We purchased the Ricoh Theta Z1 camera and tested the camera with Matterport. The program allowed us to provide clients with a safe and thorough touring experience during COVID-19.
Q: Has your business experienced growth as a result of using Matterport?
We are experiencing higher than normal sales volume because of the pent-up demand, and Matterport has allowed us to cater to more clients virtually, which we believe has shortened our properties’ days on the market.
Q: How has Matterport helped your clients?
Since we are in a pandemic, Matterport has allowed higher risk clients, and those wanting to remain distanced, the opportunity to tour more homes safely. Our sellers have also benefited as we can easily promote their property, and they can even choose to share the model links with their network.
Q: How has Matterport helped your internal teams?
Matterport has allowed us to easily track the number of visitors to each virtual tour, which helps us gauge property interest and exposure. We can use this data to pinpoint the best marketing strategies for each specific property.
Q: Do you have any anecdotes and/or impressive stats around your results/successes you’d like to share?
A few weeks ago, I met with a couple who wanted to leave town to move closer to their family. In light of current circumstances, this is becoming a more common motive for moving. Within one week, the client decluttered their entire home, and we promptly had it professionally staged, photographed, and ready for listing.
We had the home listed at $975,000 but expected negotiations to bump us up closer to $1M based on our analysis of similar homes recently sold in the area. Because of COVID-19, 2020 has accelerated the demand for a digital real estate presence. To get our sellers a strong outcome, we created a virtual walkthrough for the home, had a property website designed, shared the home all over our social media, and implemented an easy scheduling platform for buyers to arrange home showings.
Our marketing approach helped us sell this home for $1,210,000 with two months of free rent back. My team and I worked quickly to assist our seller, and we are always committed to providing the best service with the best results.
With buyers concerned about exposure to coronavirus and hesitant to tour homes in person, we were able to use Matterport to showcase key elements of one of our listings. We showcased features like the downstairs bedroom and walk-in closet that were important to most of our buyers.
As a result, we saw increased foot traffic with this property and even received offers from buyers who never physically visited the property. Matterport even gave some out-of-country buyers the confidence to put an offer on the home. The increase in offers gave us greater negotiation power, and we sold the home above the asking price.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
Matterport has proven to be a much-needed asset for our marketing portfolio. Sellers like knowing that their home is being presented accurately and is easily accessible to interested buyers. Buyers appreciate having the opportunity to tour a home online before committing to visiting the property in person.
Overall, we are glad that we invested in Matterport and believe it to be an essential element of modern real estate marketing, especially with the limitations COVID-19 has presented.