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Virtual Viewings – top tips on preparing your property

Virtual Viewings

Although the property market has weathered most of the COVID-19 storm fairly well, in terms of maintaining property values and active market conditions, there are a number of developments within the property selling process that have become more popular due to the restrictions, such as virtual viewings, otherwise known as virtual house tours.

The use of virtual viewings can enable the process of selling a property to continue even during the strictest of coronavirus restrictions. Also, by providing a virtual viewing option, in-person viewings can be kept to a minimum, aiming to ensure that only potential bidders who are serious in proceeding with an offer will view.

Some buyers are even willing to submit offers to purchase the property from undertaking a virtual viewing alone!

What are Virtual Viewings?

Virtual viewings involve the use of technology to enable potential buyers or tenants to virtually tour properties at a convenient time to suit them, from anywhere with access to the internet.

This can also bring an advantage of widening the market of potential buyers to include international buyers or those who are unable to travel to visit the property in person, which may encourage an increase of offers and therefore could result in a higher selling price.

The type of virtual tour produced will vary between estate agents.

Here is a recent example of one of the virtual house tours we did in St.Helens:

Some will use the most modern technology to provide a fully immersive 3D tour of a property which is completely interactive for the viewer to enable them to change angles, measure distances between points, or tour the property within any sequence and pace that they choose.

The process of creating such a detailed virtual tour often utilises cameras to scan a property, creating an accurate digital image of every space. Once the images are brought together to create a 3D representation, the virtual guest can control the tour as if they were actually inside the property.

Usually, there are interactive floorplans provided so that the viewer can navigate to any space easily and explore throughout the property levels. The overall effect is similar to Google Street View, but for inside properties.

Whilst other types of virtual tours can involve an agent guiding a virtual guest around a property as if they would do with an in-person viewing, describing each space or feature as they go. This type of tour would require less technical equipment and could even be undertaken by the seller themselves during times when it wouldn’t be suitable for an estate agent to visit.

Another option could be a live tour via zoom or skype. This option would be less staged due to the nature of the live communication however it does allow an opportunity for the viewer to ask questions during the call.

When looking to market a property, it’s worth considering estate agents that have plenty of experience with executing and marketing virtual tours, like Ashton’s.

If you would like to check examples of our work, check out our YouTube channel and contact one of our branches to discuss your options today. 

Property Staging Top Tips

In order to create the most accurate and inviting digital representation of a property, we have pulled together a few top tips to help with the preparation before filming takes place, as follows:

  • Clean and tidy – It is highly recommended that before planning to sell a property, that it is prepared for marketing, including; undertaking any maintenance tasks that are required, ensuring that the property is clean and tidy, as well as decluttered. All of the above will portray that the property has been well looked after and will also promote the space available to potential buyers.
  • Plan the day and time – If at all possible, arrange for the virtual filming to take place when there is plenty of natural light by checking the weather forecast to choose a bright sunny day for the filming to take place.
  • Plan the route for viewing the property – The virtual tour is a chance to sell the best features of the property and emphasise the light, space and any quirks. Therefore, take some time to plan the filming route through the property and trying to avoid doubling back on yourself. It is also worth ensuring that doors are left open and curtains are drawn to avoid dark corridors or the perception of tight, enclosed spaces. Make a note of any eye-catching or unusual features that you would like captured, to ensure that the estate agent or filming technician is aware of them.
  • De-personalise the property – It is recommended that personal items are temporarily removed from the property for both virtual viewings and in-person viewings to take place. This is thought to have two purposes; firstly, to ensure that the main selling features can be clearly seen without any distractions such as family photos, bold ornaments or unusual furnishing and also to paint a blank canvas so that potential buyers can envisage their own personalised items in situ.
  • Check the marketing – Once the marketing documentation and virtual filming have been prepared, it is highly recommended that the draft documents are checked through to ensure that you are satisfied with how things have been described and captured and also that the property details and dimensions are accurate.

Ensure also that the marketing is tailored towards the main audience such as families or working professionals and also highlights the main selling features of the property.

Also, check that all details are correct such as the property address and the details of the local area. This will enable potential buyers to scope out the area online, including investigating transport links, local amenities and schools.

Why not visit or contact your local Ashtons branch?

In-person viewings to follow

The use of virtual house tours can add to the digital marketing package of a property to create an appealing, interactive introduction and can lead to more enquires from online advertising.

As briefly mentioned, providing the option of a virtual viewing can also result in only the most serious of buyers requesting in-person property viewings which can reduce the level of disruption to the seller during the marketing process whilst also minimising the risks from COVID by reducing the number of visitors to the property.

If you’d like to find out more about how Ashtons can help you in marketing your property, contact one of our branches for further information.

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