If given a chance, would you tour a home on your own?
Traditionally, a real estate agent needs to “show” you a property and sell the home’s features to you. That has been the case for a long time, but with the digital era expanding, the real estate industry has had to adopt technology to meet evolving customer needs.
More so when the pandemic hit, when it became challenging for property showings. Amid the uncertainty and social distancing being mandated, a safer and more reliable home-showing model had to be adopted.
During this time, virtual and self-guided tours picked in popularity, all providing clients a contactless home viewing experience.
What is a self-guided tour?
The self-guide home tour route has proven to be extremely useful during the pandemic. As the name suggests, self-guided tours provide a potential home buyer or leaser with an opportunity to visit an apartment or home in person, without a leasing agent or realtor present. They provide a buyer with the flexibility to tour the home or apartment when convenient for them, not based on leasing office hours.
How do they work?
Realtors who use the self-guided tour model often use a third-party service such as Rently. Companies provide realtors with the needed software, hardware, and customer support to make an agentless showing to potential prospects.
Depending on the company the realtor uses, each is slightly different, but they generally work the same. The first step is scheduling, where a prospective buyer or tenant requests a tour with the property manager or realtor. The scheduling can be done through an app, email, or online.
Step two covers the security aspect of the whole process—how do you know who is getting into the property. Before a prospect can enter the property, they have to be screened to verify their identity. To minimize the risk associated with these tours, cameras can be fitted indoors or outdoors or by having the prospects provide their ID, credit card, or other means of identification.
The final step is touring, where a prospect will be given a one-time access code to enter the vacant property. And again, because of safety, if the prospect wishes to view the property again, they will have to apply for another code.
Are Self-guided tours the future?
Self-guided home tours have become more popular now among real estate professionals and prospects alike for a good reason. The appeal of self-guided tours is the potential of leasing more units more quickly—you can coordinate multiple visits per day. They eliminate the time wastage that traditional showings have— with self-guided tours, there won’t be the need for the “Be back in 30 minutes” clock sign.
But as much as these tours have gained popularity, they have existed long before the pandemic. Real estate market leaders such as Rently pioneered the idea as early as 2011. Realtors and property managers have leveraged self-guided tours, acknowledging their potential of having deals closed sooner.
The majority of buyers will still work with a real estate agent in their home searches. However, self-guided tours are also here to stay. According to a survey of 3,500 Americans, 83 percent of the respondents said they would use self-guided home tours, despite a virtual tour being an option. Sixty-three percent of them added that they would take a home guided tour to view properties at their own pace, 69 percent said they would only use self-guided tours because of social distancing. Forty-three percent of respondents preferred the option because they would get to view the property on the weekend or after business hours.
The future is here; leasing and real estate agents have to be on board and learn the mechanics of how self-guided tours work. To the agent’s advantage, they can show multiple units simultaneously without having to drive from one location to another. For prospective clients, they can view a property at their own pace safely and securely. However, there is no shame if you want a traditional agent-guided tour, where you can ask questions. The Power Is Now Media Inc. has a carousel of qualified real estate agents that will be more than happy to help you sell or buy your next property.
About Eric Frazier:
Eric Lawrence Frazier is President and CEO of the Power Is Now Inc. The Power Is Now is a multimedia company specializing in real estate and mortgage education for consumers and real estate professionals on various topics in real estate, lending, economics, and government policy since September 1, 2009. The financial and real estate information is distributed through BlogTalkRadio, iTunes, TuneIn, and other online radio platforms nationwide, as well as online TV and eMagazines. Connect with Eric Frazier DRE 01143484 | NMLS 461807 | Office: 800-401-8994 x 703 | Direct: 714-361-2105 and start your real estate investment journey or homeownership in safe hands.
About the Power Is Now Media
The Power Is Now Media is an online multimedia company founded in 2009 by Eric L. Frazier, MBA, headquartered in Riverside, California. We advocate for homeownership, wealth building, and financial literacy for low to moderate-income and minority communities. The Power Is Now Media corporate office is located at 3739 6th Street Riverside, CA 92501. Ph: 800-401-8994 Website: www.thepowerisnow.com
Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA.
President and Founder,
The Power Is Now Media