Over the past year, real estate has been forced to adapt faster than ever before. Suddenly, the industry built on relationships was all but banned from any personal connection, and technology quickly took on a new level of importance.
In a new report conducted by Redfin, it was found that 63% of homebuyers in the last year made an offer on a home without ever seeing it in person.
While sight unseen offers had been trending upwards in recent years, 63% is nearly double that of the previous year. When the world went virtual real estate went right along with it, and a new class of terms found their way in to daily conversations.
Virtual open houses, virtual tours, virtual client meetings, virtual closings, virtual signatures, virtual notaries, even virtual happy hours became the new norm in seemingly a matter of weeks. This digital transformation was largely expected to take place over the next 10 years, however this timeline went up in smoke.
Shaking hands and kissing babies – the age-old political tactic commonly utilized by real estate industry vets was no longer in play, and online visual presence became the differentiator.
Now certainly client and community relationships will remain a top priority both during and following this pandemic, however this current reality will not soon be forgotten.
The images, videos, 3D tours, and floor plans of properties were the lifeboat keeping the industry afloat, and we expect the importance placed on the digital home experience to persist. As said in the 2021 housing market predictions by Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather, “The virtual home tour is here to stay.”
In other words, visual content is king.
Never has it been more important to produce high quality content for a home, and the agents and brokerages that have the infrastructure in place to best manage and utilize this visual content are the ones that will win.
Agents will continue to be the catalyst that makes the industry go round, and visual content is a tool in their tool belt. However, this tool is no longer the differentiator, but instead the expectation. It’s time to invest in the people and technology to create an incredible digital experience for every home to ensure you aren’t left behind.