Interested buyer is touring one of the housing properties. Source: AFP

Interested buyer is touring one of the housing properties. Source: AFP

Realtors can tap into ‘experiences’ to retain buyer interest

It’s not the most zestful time for the real estate industry given the current climate.

As most parts of the world are forced to go into a ‘lockdown’ mode, realtors and brokerages are having a much harder time securing clients.

The fast spread of the virus has also halted any possibilities of property auctions, settlements, open exhibitions, and other usual real estate marketing services.

It will take a while before people are interested in real estate again and a recent housing market index by Wells Fargo can attest to this.

The index reveals that, fueled by a crashing stock market and a general lack of interest from builders and buyers due to the fear of the virus, traffic and sales will indefinitely slow down.

However, the momentum for sales and traffic must still be maintained – if not boosted – as market demands remain though passive. So, marketing activities are more instrumental than ever.

Turning the tide

While potential customer may not be buying, they will certainly be scouting the market, and they are captive.

Albeit winning over buyers for property dealings is not easy. These prospective clients need to be provided with as much information as possible and offered an experience that stand ahead of the many sellers and platforms competing for the same attention.

Since inquiries and viewings can’t be done physically, the marketing presentation of properties needs to be appealing and interactive enough to capture the interests of buyers.

Plenty of tools and solutions can help realtors achieve that. With new technologies such as VR and AR, realtors are increasingly exploring exciting new ways of packaging their offerings.

New Zealand-based realtor agency Barfoot & Thompson believes that it can continue to market listings using their interactive floorplan platforms.

Chris Dobbie, its CEO, told Stuff that its technology allows clients to have a 360° view of each room in the property on top of virtual controls that enable them to make renovations where applicable.

“Having interactive tools is amazing, and while they are not going to replace actual viewings, they allow people to get a clearer idea of the property,” said Dobbie.

Karen Jackson, managing director of Lifestyle Financial, also thinks that interactive floorplans will not only impress clients but it will also lead them to purchase decisions.

She explained: “Once again, it’s about helping buyers appreciate your properties even more, from the convenience of their smartphone or computer.”

And it’s a strategy that sells: according to the UK’s biggest property portal, Rightmove, using floorplans can increase buyer interest by a staggering 30 percent.

With clients unable to visit properties for themselves right now, realtors can also explore new technologies that allow them to capture a real view of the properties on the market.

Drones will play an important role here. Capturing the image of the property landscape, the general area and the commodities available will factor into the buy-in decisions.

Across many industries, now is the time to experiment with new mediums to engage shoppers who are at home, and open to new ways of interacting with familiar markets.

While real estate may be slow in the real-world, online, realtors can continue to wow customers with their offerings and brands, ensuring they’re on the right foot with a backlog of viewing requests when things return to normal again.