In today’s technological world we’re allowed a wide variety of ways to reach potential renters in the housing market while adding an abundance of in-depth viewing opportunities to a listing. Given the current spreading illness involving COVID-19 and the Flu it may prove difficult scheduling in person tours, so use of tools such as 3-D and Virtual Tours can prove more useful than ever. As you still proceed with in-person tours, performing preventative sanitation measures can help to protect yourself as a tourer and your potential tenant viewing the property. By exploring ways to make better use of online viewing tools and how to protect your home from sickness we hope to provide the best experience possible to potential tenants.
With the evolution in 3-D camera and Virtual Tour technology it’s now become easier than ever to allow renters’ to have an “in-the-home” experience from the comforts of their living room. The type of experience the consumer has during these online tours can be broken into 2 categories, “Guided” or “Free Roam”, and will make or break how effective the use of the advertisement is for your rental. “Guided” tours are ones which bring the viewer through a streamlined viewing of the home that offers little deviation from the course of the tour and is most commonly referred to as a Virtual Tour. Utilizing this type of guide can be especially useful for displaying homes with rooms that may seem jumbled or duplicated if not looked at from room to room. This also gives you the opportunity to highlight particular areas of the home with the assurance that these “prime time”spots will be seen, given the viewer finishes the virtual tour. Some issues with Guided tours come from the scripted feeling, lack of maneuverability the renter has, and time it takes to finish the tour. If the consumer feels that the progression of the virtual tour does not properly follow how they envision the “flow” of the house it may disencourage the viewer from finishing the tour or viewing the house altogether. With that being said, the length of the virtual tour also plays into the viewers’ participation. Depending on what the viewer is most interested in for the home a 10 minute introduction of the porch may prevent them from looking at the rest of the home. Taking the time to properly structure the tour to include all aspects of the house you’d like the viewer to see while also making the movement around the house quick enough to keep the viewer engaged is a balance you’ll need to find to do it properly. Some viewers may only care about certain aspects of the home like the patio or living room so this type of tour may not allow them enough freedom to explore the area before moving on to a new area which will take points away from the initial value they can see in the property. To address issues in Guided Tours the use of “Free Roam” tours may seem more practical. Free Roam tours involve individual 360 degree snapshots of each area of the home to give an “in the room” feel to the tour. These usually involve the viewer moving the camera angle from room to room while being placed in a particular location that gives them the feeling of being there while they turn the screen. This is perfect for users looking to take their time with in-depth views of particular sections of the home while also creating a deeper vantage point of what it would feel like to be there. While this gives more freedom to viewers and allows for a more personalized tour it can be much more difficult to execute properly. Instead of bringing viewers through a scripted and more perfect walkthrough of the home you’ll have to position the 360 degree views in ways which not only give a good view of the room, but feel real. This means being sure that lighting looks proper in all aspects of the view, that the height of the camera and placement in the room gives good depth perspective to the area, and that the overall feeling of the view seems real and not photographically enhanced. Without being able to guide the viewer this also means having them potentially miss areas which could be big selling points for the home. To avoid this, properly utilizing the User Interface of the tour to give suggestions for areas to view can become very important to increasing the value of your 3-D tour. With pro’s and con’s to both types of virtual touring, doing your due diligence in discovering which type of tour may be most appropriate for your home can add major value to your home’s discovery for a potential renter or buyer.
Now that your online tours have spiked the interest in your rental it’s time to prep it for house viewing. With current levels of anxiety over sickness and disease, performing proper sanitation of the home can both prevent the spread of illness and keep your potential clients at ease. Both the Flu and COVID-19 are both susceptible to disinfectant sprays like Lysol. Spraying high-contact areas like doorknobs, faucets, and lightswitches can act as a first defense in preventing the spreading of the virus and keeping your home smelling clean and fresh. For more in-depth cleaning the use of bleach, for tiles or ceramics, and hot water and soap, for carpets or wood floors, has been proven to kill this virus and almost any other type of bacteria that may be present. Performing an in-depth cleaning prior to the move-in of a new tenant can help to speak volumes about how you or your company will handle the well being of the home they may be moving into. While these tips are just normal cleaning recommendations it is especially important during this time that we all do our best in preventing the rapid spreading of disease through available methods.
By utilizing these online touring methods in conjunction with normal picture displays it can add a lot of value to the feeling of a home prior to a renters’ visit. Choosing which type of tour to proceed with may be difficult, but in times where people are choosing to travel less it can be vital in pushing someone to come view your home in-person. Taking precautions to prep your home for tours by following common sanitation practices can help to prevent the spread of disease while also showing your tenants how well you’re willing to take care of them and the home.