Selling the dream using virtual reality as a marketing tool
Glen Wilson, Noble & Lord estate agency, www. nobleandlord.com
THERE’S A multitude of guidelines and statistics coming out almost weekly, offering advice on how best to sell your home or secure the perfect mortgage deal.
We all know the age-old mustdos when your property’s on the market. From having the smell of freshly-ground coffee wafting through the hall to giving interiors a lick of paint, sellers are au fait with what will grab potential buyers’ attention.
However, the marketing of houses is often a matter left in the hands of estate agents, with sellers putting their trust in the professionals to showcase their home in the best possible way using the most appropriate tools.
Of course, displaying specifications and beautiful imagery in high street agents’ windows is something that will never go out of fashion. However, sales teams should be open to taking their strategy to the next level.
The word “technology” can sometimes send traditional sectors, such as property, running scared and reluctant to try new avenues. There are many reasons for this and a lack of understanding and experience is one of them. However, digital technology tools are shaking up the property industry, from the building phase right through to final sale.
When considering how to bring the sale of your home into 2017, remember that it’s certainly not a case of one size fits all. It’s essential that, as a seller, you communicate exactly how you’d like your home to be positioned, while taking on board the experts’ advice. For instance, beyond the physical features of the house, does a certain room lend itself perfectly to a particular type of occasion? If so, tell your estate agent; it’s their job to bring this to life.
This is where the technology element comes into its own and agents can tap into their creative side. Selling a lifestyle and giving would-be buyers a taste of how their life would look if they were to sign on the dotted line is much more powerful than a two-page summary of room dimensions and floor plans. As part of our instruction process, we enlist the help a professional house doctor to direct a mini movie of the home, bringing in models where required and styling the home so that it’s camera-ready.
Not only does this give sellers the chance to make their home stand out against the competitions, but it also lets estate agents tailor their service to each listing and work with clients to create the perfect look.
Taking advantage of new technologies also stretches to marketing new-build homes.
For instance, the appeal of purchasing such a property often lies in having a blank canvas to work with and being able to put your own stamp on it. However, some buyers need inspiration and want to know what the house could look like once it’s lived in.
One way to cater to this need is through virtual reality, which has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and is still very much in the experimental stages across the property industry. Developing virtual tours of newbuilds allows potential buyers to envisage themselves in their new home and brings the traditional showroom into the 21st century.
Noble and Lord’s sister company, Noble Homes, is an early adopter of such technology and recently joined forces with French company Habiteo to create a special virtual reality programme, which involves inserting a smartphone into a virtual reality viewfinder, which can be a cardboard or gaming headset. It’s innovations like this that sets both estate agents and housebuilders apart. There are no right or wrong answers when incorporating technology into property marketing strategies but it can help agents and homeowners make the most of new developments.