Virtual Reality: The New Open House in the Baltimore Area?

Virtual reality in the Baltimore area is growing. Like most things, some people love it, while others hate it. Those who love it find it a great way to view an entire property and see the layout, without needing to leave the comfort of their own home.  In the Baltimore Metro Area, where many buyers are from out of town, that’s a huge advantage.

On the other side, those who hate virtual reality, or VR as it is commonly referred to, claim the technology is clunky (especially if they are not tech savvy), that the buyers may not be as motivated to see the property, and that the technology is too expensive.

At Charm City Virtual Tours, we can see the validity of both sides.

A video from CNN provides some information about how the VR process works:

Two interesting statements in that news clip are:

“Typically real estate companies use photos and videos to sell homes online.  But it’s only a 2D experience.  That’s where real estate companies are investing in virtual reality.”
…”Open houses are only a couple of hours a week.  But when you have virtual reality we can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”

It’s true that virtual reality provides the opportunity to view 360 degrees of a property rather than a limited field of view provided by a still photo, or a video (although a video can also pan around an entire room and show it just as well).

Virtual reality also feels more like touring a home as the viewer can control exactly what is seen.  However, high quality photography with great lighting and views through the windows can feel very real as well.  Of course, a walk-through video is also a lot like a walk through of a home.

…One third of Sotheby’s listings in the San Francisco Bay area can now be viewed in VR.  But next year they plan to make VT the norm in other top markets.

Sotheby’s is obviously seeing the benefit of VR if they are expanding the use of it in their real estate marketing.  However, at this time, it appears that they are only using it on higher end properties that they list.

How does VR work for average or lower priced homes?

A benefit of using professional photography, a walk-through video tour or a VR tour of a lower priced property is that this type of marketing can make those properties stand out from the other available listings.

For example, if you are selling an average priced home in a market where most agents use low quality photography or even their cell phones (yes, some agents still do this!), then high quality marketing (like that typically seen for higher end listings) can increase the perceived value of that listing.

That’s why VR can be beneficial in any market.

However, great marketing doesn’t have to include VR, but may simply include using the best real estate photographer in your area and perhaps including twilight photos to make it stand out a bit more.  This is a great place to begin your marketing campaign.  If your marketing budget allows, seriously consider adding in a VR or video tour as well.

Next time we’ll talk about which VR system we use at Charm City Virtual Tours and why we chose it.

At Charm City Virtual Tours we offer a variety of products and services to fit any marketing budget including still photos, panoramic (360 degree view) photos, twilight images, walkthrough video, 3D Walkthrough Tours, aerial(drone) photography, virtual staging, custom flyers and brochures, single property websites, panoriders, and more.  We’ll be happy to discuss your marketing strategy with you and work with you to create a plan that fits your budget.

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