The US Housing market is still in a boom cycle and the trend is expected to continue in 2016. Reports published by Zillow, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and National Association of Realtors (NAR) are bullish on the growth of the realty market as well as prices through most of 2016. On an average, across the country, the sales of single family and condo units rose by 9.6% between June 2014 and June 2015.
Challenges faced by realty companies
In-spite of all the boom and demand, real estate agents who form the bulk of the marketing effort for properties in the US, still go through a few challenges while marketing their offerings. Most common among them are:
- Marketing self vs. marketing the listings: Even as agents list top properties on their websites, they need to market themselves as reliable and experienced professionals.
- Differentiating self from the crowd: In a market teeming with agents, standing out from the crowd can be difficult, and so, agents must invest a lot of time in building relationships.
- Choosing the right medium for marketing: Technology is changing nowadays the way properties are being marketed in the US, with SEO, social media and devices influencing sales.
- Tracking these painful efforts: And when sales are low, a lot of effort goes into tracking what went wrong or what is a more fruitful strategy.
Walkthrough video as a solution
Solutions to the challenges listed above can vary from region to region, agent to agent and in respect of current business health; however, technology has come to the rescue, providing a simple solution – walkthrough videos – to most of these challenges.
A walkthrough video in its simplest form is a continuous video-shoot or video-tour of a property. It gives the viewer a better sense of its dimension and direction, compared to photographs, and is more convincing. The video tour can be done when the present residents are about to leave, or when the home is empty, or anytime using mock furniture.
Over the years, 3D animation software has become more and more sophisticated and powerful. You can now simulate the look-and-feel of a property in the same way as a video. A sense of proportion of furniture is difficult to achieve in a simple video, especially when the property is empty.
A 3D-simulated video, on the other hand, will do the trick by showing different items of furniture in every enclosure. It’s also useful for marketing new properties which are still under construction. The builder shares just the dimensions and floor plans with the real estate agent. The best way to lure customers in to make a booking for the new project is through a 3D-simulated video, or walkthrough.
Tips for getting it right
Whether you do a real video-shoot of a property or a simulated 3D one, it’s good to bear the following things in mind.
- Start with the neighbourhood as that is a priority for most buyers. Cover the streets leading up to the property.
- Shoot in the day to show natural light conditions of the property.
- Ensure every nook and corner of the property is lighted well (or appears lighted in a 3D simulation) in order to be transparent.
- Even as you focus on the strong points of the property, do not avoid shooting the drawbacks, as they can be a deal-breaker.
- Ensure that the script for voiceover has all the details of the property right.
- Have soft music playing in the background to create a pleasant effect and thereby help increase the chances of conversion.
Shortfalls in communication or selling skills of the realtor or agent can be overcome easily with a well-made walkthrough video. It can fire up the imagination of the prospective buyer on how they could set up home ‘here’ and soon, and strengthen the desire of buying the property.