- SMS and social media sharing are now the largest source of virtual tour views
- The popularity of virtual tours for property inspections continues to grow
- More time is spent by buyers viewing virtual tours directly
The popularity of online property auctions has exploded in recent times, however, there has also been a corresponding surge in the use of quality online property inspections.
The popularity of 3D virtual tours skyrocketed after the COVID-19 pandemic first began last year. Now, online tours have become firmly established as part of the marketing package for leading agencies for maintaining buyer interest, especially from those unable to attend a property viewing.
Virtual tours cater for busy schedules
The pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to show a property when no one can attend a home open in person. However, many agencies recognised that every weekend there were multiple reasons people could not make a scheduled viewing, including kids’ sporting commitments, shift work and family engagements.
Agents are accommodating these prospects with a link to the virtual tour via SMS (text message) or email, demonstrating their service delivery efforts to their clients by generating more offers.
SMS and socials act as sharing mediums
Asset Reports, a national supplier of virtual tours to various industries, has been tracking user analytics from real estate portal traffic.
One of our key findings is that more people are sharing virtual tours with each other via text than expected.
For example, in the June 2020 quarter, 22% of all views generated were by people SMS-sharing and social media channels. This more than doubled to 49% in the recent June 2021 quarter.
This increase can be attributed to a reduced average number of days on the market. With increased urgency and less decision-making time, buyers are sharing the virtual tour with their family and friends to increase confidence in their purchase choice.
Data-sharing dominance through SMS
And what day of the week are buyers most commonly viewing the Virtual Tour Mondays.
The virtual tour audience is most active after the weekend home opens because they might have been late to viewing the property or there may have been large crowds at the property so they couldn’t explore the property comfortably, so viewing the Virtual Tour offers the prospective buyer an alternative way to see the property and progress an offer being made.
Consumer-driven advertising campaigns
We have seen a shift in agent behaviour when it comes to incorporating technology into advertising campaigns.
Agents are using virtual tours more effectively than ever by including them in exclusive preview emails to their database, following up with buyers after a weekend home open and most importantly when someone can’t attend a physical inspection.
This helps keep buyers engaged with a property they have viewed and gives them the confidence to make an offer faster by sharing the virtual tour with their own circle of trust.