New Year, New Tech, New You – How to Boost your 2018 Business with Video & Virtual Reality
2018 should be the year to add VR to your toolbox since 77 percent of American home buyers want to view a home for sale through VR
The following is a guest contribution from Mary Greb, Coldwell Banker Professional, Realtors in Virginia Beach, VA
Real estate agents are constantly trying to find ways to set themselves apart in their market. In a sea of agents, it can be difficult to find ways to stand out.
According to a National Association of Realtors study in 2012, 85 percent of buyers and sellers prefer to work with an agent that uses video marketing, but only 15 percent of agents are actually using video. This means that there is a huge need out there that is not being met by industry professionals.
It is now 2018, and producing community and listing videos is only cracking the surface of video marketing potential. After spending a week at CES I learned a lot about new and emerging technology in the video and virtual reality space. So how can using 360 videos and virtual reality impact your real estate business? Simple – by winning listings and helping out-of-town buyers.
Often times when you are dealing with out-of-town clients, agents are forced to work within a lot of constraints. Many buyers cannot afford to take long amounts of time off work to travel across country to visit homes frequently. They need to make a decision quick, with no regrets. So what if an agent could send them a link to a home tour where they pop their phone into a pair of VR goggles (for affordability, pick up a pair of Google Cardboard for only $15), and can do a walk through from thousands of miles away? According to a recent Coldwell Banker survey, 77 percent of buyers want just that. During listing appointments, telling sellers that this is an additional benefit they receive when using your services is sure to win them over as well.
Creating a true virtual walk through video is easier than you think. All you need is a 360 camera, a YouTube channel, and basic video editing skills. My favorite 360 camera from CES is from a brand we’ve all heard of – the GoPro Fusion. This 18mp camera creates clear shots and outperforms the competition when it comes to lighting balance.
Aside from the hardware specs, the best feature of this camera is its Overcapture software feature, which allows users to shape the 360 video into more traditional views. In other words, you can take 360 photos and videos and transform them into traditional 2D visuals as well – all for a price of only $699. Once you’ve edited your video and uploaded it to YouTube, viewers can scroll around the video frame and view the whole home space from floor to ceiling on certain web browsers and through the YouTube mobile app, or place their phone in a pair of VR goggles to be fully immersed in the home viewing.
As new technology and data are shaping the way people spend their money, real estate is no different. Sellers and buyers are begging for new technology and agents have ample opportunities to offer it in their value proposition. Consider adding 360 video and VR tours to your toolbox as a way to ease the minds of your long-distance buyers and open new doors for your listing inventory.
If you’re already affiliated with Coldwell Banker and want to learn more about our Smart Home initiative, visit CB Exchange and search “Smart Home.”
If you would like to know what Coldwell Banker agents have access to, head to coldwellbanker.com/join and explore the possibilities of moving your business to Coldwell Banker.