The Future of Virtual Tours
Think about your average virtual tour...
In reality, it's just a fancy name for a slideshow right? Obviously, there's nothing wrong with a slideshow of a home, it gives you a decent visual idea of what a home is, but with the plethora of technology being developed everyday, the future of virtual tours is really exciting.
Some time ago, I wrote about the Periscope app and its potential place in the future of open houses. Long story short, Periscope allows you to live-stream from your phone's camera to an audience. I still think it can be an amazing tool for showing homes to clients from out of the area, etc. and given that you can stream live and then upload a recorded version for future use, Periscope is already better than a standard virtual tour. A virtual tour is a concrete thing, every image that's in there is there, nothing more, nothing less. Plus, there is no place to quickly comment and get an immediate answer. If I was watching an open house on Periscope and I wanted to see more of the master bedroom, I'd simply comment, 'Hi, can you circle back to the Master when you get some time?' and the agent could do that for me no problem. But enough about Periscope...
What I really wanted to talk about is the future of virtual tours in terms of 360 video. Take a look at this (Hint: Click and drag on the video to control the camera):
Now, this technology would make for a much more accurate definition of a 'virtual tour.' Imagine taking a 360 degree look at every room of a home, hundreds of miles a way. Of course 98% of people aren't going to purchase homes without ever stepping foot in them, but it would allow buyers to considerably narrow their search and eliminate homes from their list without ever leaving their couches. I'm sure buyers agents have experienced the sinking feeling of walking into a home with buyers and immediately knowing that there's no chance that this is the one for them. Imagine sending them some links and then taking them to the two homes whose 360 degree virtual tours that they really loved. They're happier and closer to finding the right home, and you saved hours of time for both parties.
In an industry where having a slight edge can mean everything, offering buyers 360 degree video of listings would be amazing. Keep an eye out for virtual tour companies that offer this technology in the future, and we'll do the same! Both Facebook and YouTube have 360 degree capabilities, and will likely continue their battle for video dominance.