Published: November 28, 2014Topics: How To...

Host Online Virtual Showings With Video Chat Tools

Most savvy real estate professionals are eager to find new ways to save time, money, and differentiate themselves from other agents. If you’re working with a long-distance client or a very busy one, video chat is a convenient way to virtually “show” a property. In fact, in recent months, some agents have reportedly sold listings to clients who’ve never set foot in the property before – as a result of video chat.

According to the National Association of Realtors, an estimated 92% of home buyers use the internet in some way in their home search process. Several years ago, we witness how large, high quality photos really made a big impact on viewing listings online. Then it was virtual tours and videos. So we can imagine how much of an impact real-time virtual tours and online open houses will have on viewing listings online. Prospective home buyers have already displayed that they’d rather spend more time online narrowing down their listings search.

There are many tools that can be used for hosting a virtual showing. The following is a list of video chat tools that most agents are already familiar with and are all FREE!:

  • Google Hangout: You can turn any Google Hangout into a live video call with up to 10 clients. To start a video conference, first download the App to your device, then click to follow the instruction below that is relevant to your device:
  • Skype: Skype is the most widely used video chat software, with over 300 million users worldwide. While you can add up to 25 people to your video call when using your desktop or laptop, on mobile devices you can only host a 1-on-1 video chat. To start a video chat, first download the App to your device, then click to follow the instruction below that is relevant to your device:
  • Apple Facetime: Facetime allow you to host 1-on-1 video chat for virtual showings. Click here to learn more about starting a Facetime video chat on iOS devices.

Setting up a video chat for a virtual showing with these tools is very easy. You can also make a recording of the live chat which can later be posted on your website.

This phenomenon will most likely continue to grow. As wearable devices like Google Glass and Apple Watch enters the market next year, hosting virtual showings will become more intuitive. Any real estate agent that start implementing this technology now, will have a “head-start” on their competitors.

Check out this video posted by Sarah Hill, of Veterans United, which demonstrate how Google Glass could be used for virtual home tours:

Have you hosted a virtual showing or an online open-house? If so, what are your thoughts?