Published On: Thu, Apr 2nd, 2020

3D Scans and Chat Platforms: Larry Weltman, Others on Selling in a Virtual World

The Toronto real estate market is showing few signs of slowing down, despite mounting obstacles that are leaving buyers and sellers wondering how to move forward.  The good news is that even in uncertain circumstances, the consumer’s approach to buying and selling real estate has adapted with the emergence of technology.  

Today, virtual reality can be used for remote property sales, and everything you need is just a smartphone tap away. Modern buyers are able to shop around by using the latest technologies and apps to search for homes, research real estate information, and communicate with their agents.

photo/ Adam Hill

To make listings shine online in a virtual world, agents are using 3D scans to create an open house experience.  With a whole floor plan, users can skim through a home and get a good feel of the layout.  

Real estate coach Glenn Twiddle recommends, “Engage a reputable 3D virtual tour company to create an amazing 3D tour for you, there are many companies out there and they all do an amazing job.”

Larry Weltman, customer service representative at AccessEasyFunds, one of Canada’s leading commission advance companies, says there are many other steps and technologies that agents and brokers can utilize to create a virtual setting. 

“With the use of technology, agents can host a virtual open house with a self-shot video tour. They can also use chat platforms such as Facetime with the seller agent and buyer agent doing a virtual walk through a home,” explains Larry Weltman.

Larry Weltman goes on to suggest, “If you’re viewing a bathroom, you can embed videos or commentary that pop up to tell the buyer who the designer was and details of the materials and finishes.” 

Although seeking alternative ways to conduct real estate transactions has been made more convenient with technology, the question some agents are asking is, “does virtual reality actually sell properties?”  

According to Kevin Powell, Head of Digital at Strutt & Parker, “It’s more about streamlining the process and affirming leads. If someone comes into the office to use the VR headset or have experienced the model online and still wants to view the property, it’s likely they’ve got a strong interest in buying.”  

The use of VR tools becomes even more effective when selling properties to foreign buyers since it enables them to ‘try before fly’, in the form of seeing the property on their screens.  

Agents who work in vacation markets or who frequently work with foreign buyers are no stranger to selling properties virtually.  They share tricks and cover valuable social media tools such as Instagram, as well as best practices for video tours.

Eddie Shapiro, CEO of Nest Seekers International says, “In addition to virtual reality and virtual tours that are already available on many listings, we’re using Google meetings, YouTube Live and Facebook Live to orchestrate virtual open houses.”

Foreign buyers have been purchasing property via virtual tours for many years, but the trend is now transcending to domestic buyers, as well.

Rory Golod, New York regional president of Compass real estate brokerage comments, “Right now, most domestic buyers use virtual tours as a screening tool, but we’ll see more domestic buyers purchasing sight unseen too, I think.”

Outside of VR, the “paperwork” side of real estate transactions can be made through e-signing, e-closing and mobile notary services.  Agents can check in and review offers through Google Hangouts where documents can be shared and gone over together in real time. 

Technology and virtual reality has proved its worth in the real estate space, and the flexibility the process offers is hugely beneficial for both sellers and buyers all over the world.

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