As Canadians continue to adapt to their new social distancing reality amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the real estate industry is also making adjustments by tailoring its approach to buying and selling properties. And now that open houses and showings have stopped, the entire real estate industry, including buyers and sellers, are relying on virtual home tours to get eyes on potential homes. With physical distancing measures put in place by the government and the cancellations of open houses around the country, Local Logic says those wanting to buy or sell homes aren’t contacting agents about listings as frequently as they did pre-pandemic. In fact, a recent report from Local Logic — which provides data-driven insight into global locations — on COVID-19’s impact on the Canadian Housing Market, said there was a “very clear” downtrend in March-April, with online users reaching out to agents dropping nearly 35% in just over one month. Buyers and sellers are also spending less time on Canadian real estate portals, with numbers down roughly 10% already in April when compared to January 2020. As one might imagine, it’s undoubtedly becoming harder and harder for agents to get buyers to see their listings;. Enter: virtual home tours. According to Local Logic, Canadian real estate portals are reporting an increase of between 200-500% in requests for virtual home tours as the pandemic has taken hold.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, it’s become clear that transitioning into the digital and virtual spaces have become critical for those working in the real estate industry to succeed. Not to mention that because of the state of the market, agents need to be more creative than they’ve ever been to have their listings stay relevant. “Landlords and property managers will need to embrace virtual leasing as much as possible to keep their staff and potential renters safe during this difficult time,” said Matt Danison, CEO of Rentals.ca. Danison says during this time he’s seen a huge increase from landlords and property managers from across Canada requesting to use Rentals.ca’s Matterport 3-D virtual tours, which offers users “dollhouse,” floor-plan, and street views. Users can also use the measuring tool.
As living amidst the coronavirus becomes the new normal, those working in the real estate industry and those wanting to buy or sell must also be willing to adapt to having 3D tours, virtual home tours, and video previews of listings become the new norm.
by Ainsley Smith