Before the rise of technology, there were only two options when it came to purchasing a property: go and view the property or put in a bid blind and hope for the best.
As you’d imagine, most homebuyers went with option A. Buying a home sight unseen was a huge risk – what if the description was inaccurate? What if the home required hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs? What if the neighborhood wasn’t, in fact, “up and coming” but crime-ridden and getting worse by the day? Without physically going and touring a property (and the surrounding neighborhood), potential buyers had no way of knowing what they were getting themselves into. And that was a risk most people weren’t willing to take.
But with recent advances in technology, purchasing a property without seeing it in person is becoming more and more common. A recent study by digital real estate brokerage Redfin found that 19% of people who bought or sold a home in the past 12 months put a bid on a property without ever viewing it in person. And that number just gets higher as home prices increase; the same study found that nearly 40% of people who purchased a property valued at over $750,000 did so without ever physically seeing the home.
Why has it become more popular for potential buyers to put bids on property sight unseen? Well, for starters, it’s not exactly “sight unseen.” Thanks to real estate technology, potential homeowners can now get to know their new home, explore the floor plan, learn more about the neighborhood and school system, and determine whether it’s the right choice for them – all from the other side of a computer screen.
And this has completely revolutionized the way real estate is bought and sold, particularly for out-of-state buyers and transplants. Before these recent changes in real estate technologies, out-of-state buyers had to either relocate to the area and find temporary housing or put a blind bid on a house and hope for the best. Now, potential buyers have everything they need to tour multiple properties, choose the right property for them, and place a bid right at their fingertips – even if they’re thousands of miles away.
For builders, this presents a HUGE opportunity. When building a new development, you’re no longer bound by geography. You have the ability to show your property to potential buyers anywhere in the world. This can help you to sell properties faster and can also create competition for your units, which can drive up the value and get you higher offers.
But in order to reap the benefits, you need to embrace these technologies and make them work for you. Here are 4 technologies and digital resources you as a builder should embrace to help draw in potential buyers, no matter where they live:
Even more important than professional photography is leveraging video to showcase your properties. Video tours create a truly immersive experience that allows your potential buyers to feel like they’re actually inside your property. Virtual tours give out-of-area buyers the opportunity to digitally walk through the property, get a better sense of the flow and layout of the property, and explore the nooks-and-crannies of each individual space.
Video tours also present builders with a unique opportunity to personalize the experience to each buyer. If you have a new development that offers multiple finishes, fixtures, and design options, you can create a video tour that allows buyers to mix and match the elements they prefer. By customizing the video tour for each buyer, you’re able to deliver a personalized experience that caters to their individual preferences, increasing your chance they’ll place a bid on the property.
As a builder, you know how important it is to have marketing materials like brochures and listing sheets for each of your properties. But with downloadable PDFs, you’re no longer limited by how many marketing materials you can print. Digital collateral is just as effective and can reach a much wider audience.
Create downloadable PDFs for each of your developments and properties that include photos, home descriptions, and any marketing messaging you want to get out to potential buyers. Include a call-to-action at the end of the brochure that encourages buyers to get in touch with any questions or if they want to take a virtual tour of the home.
By creating digital collateral that’s easily shared and stored, you can get your property in front of more potential buyers – and drive more sales as a result.
If you think 3D is just for blockbuster movies, you’re mistaken: advances in 3D technology have created huge opportunities for builders to showcase their properties in new and interesting ways.
3D renderings allow potential buyers to get a sense of the depth and size of your property without ever stepping foot inside. And recent advances allow you to create a hyper realistic experience (complete with details like landscaping and different lighting scenarios) to give potential buyers a true sense of the space.
With the real estate industry continuing to thrive, builders should take advantage of these technologies to widen their reach, connect with potential buyers around the globe, and fill their developments faster and more efficiently than ever before.