To stop the spread of COVID-19, the real estate industry is pivoting away from in-person events and embracing virtualization. But, renting is a big decision–how is a tenant supposed to choose the right apartment without stepping foot inside? Enter: virtual showings. Real estate agents are leading stand out virtual showings–either by FaceTiming their client or recording a comprehensive walk through–to keep real estate running as usual. Scroll down to see 5 secrets of virtual showings for real estate agents.
5 Secrets for Stand Out Virtual Showings
1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Good Lighting
As any good photographer knows–it’s all about light. So, make sure that you’re doing your apartment justice by filming your virtual showing with great lighting. Go during the day, and experiment with what looks best on camera. Got shadowy corners in the apartment? Could the living room use a couple of extra pieces of floor lighting? Bring your own gear. Purchase a small, handheld light and shine it in the dark areas of the apartment to get your client the best possible view.
2. Mind Your Windows
Be mindful of windows in your apartment. All the light that comes streaming through large windows can distort the visuals in your virtual tours. Windows can totally white out an image, or can make a room go very dark, so be careful. When you move your camera to show an area with lots of windows, go quickly and don’t linger on the light-source.
3. Practice Beforehand
Whether you’ve chose to send your client a pre-recorded video of an apartment or you’ve decided to live-stream a showing while your client is on FaceTime, do a dry-run. There, rehearse the key selling point, and features of the apartment. Even if you’ve been leading showings for years, using a phone to do the job might throw you for a loop. Don’t take any chances. Instead, show up twenty minutes before you’ve agreed to FaceTime your client and rehearse your main talking points and the path you’ll take through the apartment. If you’re opting for a pre-recorded showing, try filming a couple of takes before you select the one you’ll send to your client.
4. Keep Things Steady with a Stabilization Device
Ever been on FaceTime with someone taking a walk and felt yourself get seasick by the movement? Make sure your clients have a better experience (and are able to see the apartment in its best light!) by investing in a cheap stabilization device (a pop socket or another type of grip), or, if you want to spend a little bit money, purchase a dolly–a tripod with wheels. It’s possible that virtual showings will become the norm for a while, so adapt and make sure you can give your client a smooth ride as you explore potential homes.
5. Don’t Take Wi-Fi For Granted: How Will Your Service Be?
If you’re leading a live-showing (FaceTiming your client at a specified time), good Wi-Fi is a must. A bad reception can garble the images your apartment, and–worse– disconnect repeatedly and cause a stressful and frustrating experience for both you and your client. When you call ahead to the landlord or property manager to let them know that you’ll be conducting a virtual showing, ask them about their WiFi situation. If it’s not good, you might need to dip into your data, or let your client know that a pre-recorded showing might work better.
6. Go Beyond Descriptive Words:
This is great to keep in mind even if you’re leading in-personal showings–make sure to use very precise descriptions.
Instead of saying: “This open concept living-dining room is pretty big.”
Say: “This open concept living-dining room could comfortably fit a round table for four and two couches.”
It can be tough to really get a good sense of space using a screen, so help your client envision what these spaces look like in real life with your words.
7. Don’t Rush: Walk Slow and Leave Time for Comments
Don’t rush your good work! It can be tough to envision something from an iPhone screen, so take your time walking through the apartment and showing off its fantastic features. Ask your client if you are moving too slow or too fast, and be sure to course-correct your pace as per their recommendations
8. Luxury Apartment? Best to Leave it To the Professionals
Are you working with luxury apartments? If so, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Connect with real estate photographers and see if they would be willing to lead a virtual showing for your client. Yes, it’s an extra expense. However, professionals have long-range cameras that will be able to capture depth in a much more realistic and compelling way than your iPhone can, and will know best-practices to make your showings successful. It’s an expense well worth it if you’re working for clients seeking luxury apartments. And, the opportunity to network with another real estate professional can grow your sphere of influence, and maybe even generate referrals.
As the home sales cycle softens in response to COVID, the flexibility and affordability of rentals is starting to increase in popularity. With Rental Beast, real estate agents can connect with eager renters, search thousands of no co-broke apartment units with virtual showing capacity, and quickly process leasing applications. We’re the end-to-end leasing platform that makes rentals simple and profitable for real estate agents. Click here to learn more about the Rental Beast platform, and see how rentals can help you supercharge your business.