Over the past ten years, society has experienced a rapid shift in technology as old institutions are disrupted, evolving to previously unrecognisable, online integrated businesses.
Significant examples would be Uber revolutionsing the taxi and transportation industry, despite owning no vehicles and AirBnB advancing the peer to peer hospitality space.
Real estate, despite being a trillion-dollar industry in Australia, is fast reaching a technological overhaul that will see the entire property field transformed.
Virtual reality is seen by many as the catalyst and first wave of real estate tech to add spark to the long overdue vapours of outdated technology used by the property industry.
The role of the real estate agent has now reached a crossroads.
The way sales and transactions were performed over last 100 years is now being thrown into question.
If a homeowner now has the power to list their property online, sourcing buyers from across the nation, what value can an agent truly add?
This is where technology and specifically virtual tours can provide an agent with an advanced value proposition that many competitors are uncomfortable and, in many cases, unwilling to adopt.
Before we get to far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a closer look at why virtual tours are more relevant today and why early adoption in 2018 is the key to breaking into a rapidly advancing industry.
Globalization and Interconnectedness
Whether we like or not, our world is growing to become a global community.
We have the internet to thank for this and while there are many disadvantages to globalization, there are also countless opportunities.
We are now able to look at real estate listings from anywhere in Australia and the world and with the way the property industry currently established, we still need to be in a certain place at a certain time to inspect real estate.
Virtual tours is the missing piece of the puzzle towards bringing real estate to the online space.
Imagine that you are not only able to see photos of a potential investment or new home from across the country but also able to walk through, taking in those finer details.
Time and Cost Savings
As an agent, there is a great deal of time invested in holding real estate inspections, rushing from one location to another. Using the latest technology and investing in virtual tours, changes the day to day role of the real estate agent.
Hosting a virtual tour online allows leads to be funneled through online, providing the agent with targeted buyers and additional data on deals than they would have with face to face inspections.
Timewasters and dead-end leads are vetted through the sales funnel and those that do qualify as potential leads can be given extra attention.
Shareable and Easily Distributed
No matter how you look at it, there is a limit to how many potential buyers you can squeeze through the door to hold an inspection.
Despite widespread marketing, your inspections will be composed of a majority of locals.
While this makes sense, since your buyer is more likely to be a local than someone from out of town or state, going back to our first point highlights that this is how real estate was deal with prior to the internet being an essential tool in our lives.
We now have the opportunity to share and distribute virtual tours to the greater community.
Real estate, whether for investment or for occupation, has the potential to reach buyers from locations outside their own backyard and virtual tours provide that additional bridge towards connecting those who would otherwise be unreachable.
Regardless of how you look at it, we are in the midst of an industry wide adoption of new technology, long overdue considering the immense size of the real estate sector.
Virtual tours are just the tip of the iceberg with how property will show up on the online scene and for agents who wanted to remain relevant and valuable as we advance towards the second quarter of the 21st century, early adoption is crucial.