Now is the time to optimize your real estate website for online buyers and sellers, especially those who are eager to move faster with the help of virtual tours. You’ll likely get more for your advertising dollar right now and there is more online consumer attention than ever before.
Housing Is In A “V-Shaped Recovery”
According to the April Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, the median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $286,800, up 7.4% from April 2019 ($267,000), as prices increased in every region. April’s national price increase marks 98 straight months of year-over-year gains.
“The economic lockdowns – occurring from mid-March through April in most states – have temporarily disrupted home sales. But the listings that are on the market are still attracting buyers and boosting home prices. Record-low mortgage rates are likely to remain in place for the rest of the year, and will be the key factor driving housing demand as state economies steadily reopen,”
-Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist
National Association Of Realtors
Yun also stated that “The housing sector is in a V-shaped recovery”, despite the fact that the broader economy may not be. Read his entire response to positive employment data released for May.
The Rise Of Remote Work
Adding to the recovery is a new wave of homebuyers predicted by experts because of companies allowing workers to relocate from high-density areas of the country to the suburbs and exurbs. Many are seeking more space between neighbors or they have been priced out of urban areas where they’ve worked and want to buy a home while they can take advantage of low mortgage rates.
How Are Your Preparing?
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Tips From A Veteran Real Estate Coach
You can do a lot of things right now to outperform your competitors during and after the recovery. Hear what a veteran real estate coach has to say about what you can do right now to prepare. How does your current activity compare to his clients’ activity? Through his free advice, you can learn what you can adjust in your approach to close more clients.
You Should Be Advertising
As a major business-to-business advertiser summed it up once, “When times are good, you should advertise. When times are bad, you must advertise.” The current market has handed you an opportunity to build a greater share of market through aggressive advertising. Lots of research has proven that aggressive advertising can increase sales and profits during and after an economic downturn. This fact has held true for all recessions since World War II, as backed up by studies by American Business Press starting in 1949.
Is Your Real Estate Website Ready?
Now could be the time for younger workers to start putting the matchmaking skills of online real estate platforms to the test.
– Wall Street Journal
Since buyers are out there and more are coming, including younger, tech-savvy buyers, how are you using technology to make their home search easier and stand out from the crowd?
It’s likely that consumers will rely more on agents now, and post-pandemic, because they need help accessing digital tools that help transactions continue. Virtual Tours and Virtual Opens are two digital tools that have proven to be valuable intermediary steps to help buyers and sellers. Agents who embrace these tools and promote listings that include them will attract more buyers and sellers and compete more effectively.
“COVID-19 won’t stop us from buying and selling homes, but it will change how, where, when, and why we buy”
– Jennifer Anderson
Honoree in NAR’s “30 Under 30” class of 2014
How To Promote Virtual Tours
If a listing has a Virtual Tour uploaded in the MLS, iHomefinder accounts prominently display the Virtual Tour link with the listing.
Virtual Tour Search
A new search option in iHomefinder accounts will locate listings that have a Virtual Tour uploaded in the MLS, along with any other search criteria they choose. While this is really helpful for searches, you can take this feature a step further to keep buyers coming back to your site and differentiate yourself.
All iHomefinder accounts let agents create saved searches, called Markets. These galleries of listings can be featured on your site for visitors to explore quickly without having to perform a search. They provide immediate gratification, and you can create as many of them as you need for different locations and other search criteria.
Create Your Own Virtual Tour Portal
Now you have the tools to promote a section on your site dedicated to listings with Virtual Tours. You can feature all listings in your MLS that include Virtual Tours, broken down by location. You can even break it down further using additional search criteria, like price range or property type. If you can’t easily pinpoint a location with your MLS location fields, you can even draw on a map to define the location for a Market (saved search).
Promote Your Virtual Tour Portal
Once you have your Markets created, share links to them regularly on your blog and in your social media channels. Make sure you get the word out regularly that your website is the place to go to explore listings!
Accounts with MarketBoost will even send automated email campaigns for each Market you create. Site visitors can subscribe to receive reports or you can add subscribers to report campaigns yourself.
Our Virtual Tours and Virtual Opens features are available in most MLS® Systems. Please contact us if you have questions about using these features in your location.
Are you ready to create new Markets in your iHomefinder account? Step-by-step guides will show you how in our Support Center. Just select the Quick Start Guide for your account, then follow the links for creating Markets.
If you don’t have an iHomefinder account, sign up for a personal demo or send us your questions. We’ll show you how we can help your business grow faster.