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One of the most exciting real estate marketing trends on the horizon is augmented reality (AR) home tours. AR allows potential buyers to virtually tour a property using a smartphone or tablet, blending digital elements into the real-world environment. While virtual tours have been around for years, AR takes the experience to the next level by creating a highly immersive, interactive preview of the home.
For real estate agents and homeowners, AR tours provide a powerful new tool for showcasing listings in a cutting-edge way. According to real estate tech company Matterport, listings with AR tours can generate up to 407% more clicks compared to those without.
Immerse buyers - With AR, home shoppers can immerse themselves in the property as if they were actually there. They can move freely throughout the rooms, peek inside closets, check out the backyard, and get a feel for the layout and flow. This creates an emotional connection and excitement that 2D photos and videos simply cannot match.
Convenience - By giving buyers an on-demand AR tour, real estate agents make it easier and more convenient for prospects to preview homes whenever they want. Clients don"t have to coordinate schedules or travel to each property. They can tour at their leisure on their own time.
Interactivity - AR allows users to interact with digital objects and information layered into the real environment. For example, they may be able to change paint colors on walls, toggle different furniture arrangements, or view local school information overlaid on a kitchen counter. This interactivity turns viewers into active participants.
Accessibility - AR tours help real estate agents showcase listings to more buyers, including those who are not local or have mobility challenges. Out-of-town buyers can virtually walk through homes before traveling to see the real thing. For anyone unable to access the upper levels of a property, AR provides a way to still experience the full home.
One rapidly advancing real estate marketing strategy is 3D visualization and virtual staging. While virtual staging isn"t new, the quality and realism of 3D rendered images has vastly improved thanks to innovations in technology like 3D scanning and advanced rendering software. As a result, virtual staging is becoming an indispensable tool for real estate agents to showcase listings in the best possible light.
With 3D visualization, agents can stage a vacant home with digital furniture and decor. This allows buyers to envision the potential of empty spaces. According to the National Association of Realtors, staged homes sell for up to 20% higher prices and 50% faster. But traditional staging with physical items is expensive, requiring storage space and manpower. This is where virtual staging delivers major advantages. Agents can stage a fully furnished property for a fraction of the cost, with no physical hassle.
Matterport reports that listings with virtual staging generate 61% more engagement compared to unfurnished 3D tours. Why does staging matter so much to buyers? Opendoor discovered that staged homes result in buyers rating spaces 15% more attractive. When rooms look lived-in and welcoming, buyers can picture themselves in the home. This sparks emotional connections that drive faster sales.
Virtual staging also allows for endless experimentation. Agents can upload 3D scans of the empty property, then digitally style it with various furniture layouts, paint colors, flooring and more. This flexibility lets them test different design options to determine what appeals most to target buyers. Gone are the days of guessing what works best. Now agents can get data-backed insights to strategically stage each listing for maximum appeal.
For developers with new construction listings, 3D visualization and virtual staging are invaluable sales tools. Many new builds are sold off-plan, before construction is finished. Virtual staging gives potential buyers the ability to walk through unfinished spaces and visualize the end design. Developers can upload 3D scans taken throughout the construction process to provide continuous previews of progress. This keeps buyers excited about the future build.
Video has exploded across the digital landscape and real estate marketing is no exception. An increasing number of real estate agents and agencies are embracing video content to connect with modern, tech-savvy homebuyers who have come to expect rich media experiences.
While listings with photos still reign supreme, videography can bring properties to life in exciting new dimensions. High-quality virtual video tours give potential buyers far more detail and a better sense of what a home feels like than pictures alone. According to the National Association of Realtors, listings with video tours receive 403% more inquiries than those without.
Beyond virtual tours, many realtors are also incorporating listing announcement videos, neighborhood spotlight videos, testimonial videos, and live streaming open houses. The power of video is its ability to showcase not just the physical attributes of a home, but also its sights, sounds, and intangible vibe.
"We"ve been blown away by how much video has enhanced our marketing," said Amy Chen of Re/Max Realty. "Watching a video tour of a charming cottage or luxury apartment, buyers get a sense of flow and space much better than with still shots. Video captures unique details that photos cannot - from floor squeaks to neighborhood sounds."
Chen also explains how video adds an emotional element that photos lack. "Seeing and hearing children playing in a backyard or wind chimes on the porch makes shoppers start picturing themselves living in that home," she said.
Overall, incorporating more video content has helped Chen double her client base as consumers become more accustomed to shopping visually online. She advises agents to think cinematically in order to showcase the experiential aspects of properties through dynamic camera work, seamless editing, and compelling narratives.
On a similar note, Brian Fenton of StartHouse Real Estate emphasizes the power of video for new construction marketing. "Uploading weekly video updates of a home build draws potential buyers into the construction journey and gets them emotionally invested long before a place is move-in ready."
Social media marketing has become an essential component of a well-rounded real estate marketing strategy. But blasting listings across all platforms is not enough anymore " agents need to get targeted and strategic with their social approach. The key is optimizing content for each specific platform and its intended audience.
About 84% of homebuyers use social media during their search process. So having an active presence on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube is a must. But simply maintaining accounts is not enough " you need followers who are actually interested in real estate content. This is where targeted social strategies come into play.
"We tailor our messaging, visuals and calls to action based on the unique user behavior on each platform," explained Morgan Davis of Realty360. "For example, on Instagram we focus on eye-catching imagery and lifestyle content. On Facebook it"s about special offers and events. Twitter is for brief announcements and market news."
Analyzing user demographics and interests on each platform allows Davis to segment and target their audience. She can then share the type of content most likely to resonate with that group. If the target is millennial first-time buyers, video tours work best on Facebook, while Instagram is better for showcasing modern styles through photo galleries.
In addition to customizing general content by platform, agents can micro-target posts to reach hyper-specific audiences. Tools like Facebook Ads Manager allow agents to target users by location, income level, home type interests and dozens of other filters. Agents can even upload customer lead lists to ensure posts reach those most likely to buy or sell soon.
"We"ve found retargeting warm leads to be hugely successful," noted Davis. "Running a special offer or event invite as an ad targeted only to our lead list has helped us close deals much faster."
As smart home technology becomes increasingly mainstream, more and more homebuyers are factoring it into their purchasing decisions. Integrating smart home tech can be a major selling point for real estate agents marketing residential properties.
Smart home tech encompasses a range of internet-connected devices and systems that allow homeowners to automate, monitor, control and optimize various functions in their home. This includes smart lighting systems, wireless security cameras, voice assistants, wireless speakers, smart thermostats, smart locks, motorized window shades and more.
According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, 77% of homebuyers want tech-equipped homes. When sellers integrate smart home tech, it adds value and makes the property more enticing to tech-focused buyers. It also enables real estate agents to showcase cutting-edge, high-tech features during showings.
Jessica Fields of RE/MAX explains, "One of our listings has full smart home integration, from lighting to climate to security. During showings, I can use voice commands or the app to dim the lights, start music, view the security cameras and more. Clients are always impressed that everything can be controlled from an app or by voice. It really gets the 'wow' factor going."
Smart home tech also offers practical benefits to homeowners, which agents can promote as major perks. Smart thermostats and lights save energy and money. Smart locks provide added security. Smart cameras keep homeowners connected to their property from afar.
Virtual assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa even add a new level of convenience. "Homebuyers love testing out the voice assistant integration during showings," said Andrew Chin of Century21. "I encourage clients to ask Alexa for information like weather, news and local restaurants. Being able to control your home with a simple voice command feels like the future."
While smart home tech provides an advantage during sales, it also helps drive value after move-in. Mark Nielson of Keller Williams notes, "Today's buyers want the latest gadgets and tech conveniences built into their dream home. Smart features ultimately help properties retain resale value down the road."
Additionally, smart home tech makes listing properties easier for agents. Stacy Hampton of Hampton Realty explains, "If an owner is away, I can remotely access and disarm their smart home security system to show their home. I can also ensure lights are on and thermostat adjusted for showings. This ensures properties always show at their best."
One rapidly emerging real estate marketing tactic is aerial photography and videography using drones. Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras can capture stunning aerial footage and images of listings and surrounding neighborhoods. This provides a unique "bird"s-eye view" that is impossible to achieve with standard ground-level photos.
For real estate agents, drone photography and videography have become an extremely powerful way to showcase and differentiate listings. Eye-catching aerial visuals give properties added curb appeal in listings and marketing materials. According to real estate drone company RaptorMaps, listings with aerial photography see up to 100% more calls from buyers compared to listings without.
Realtor Jenny Yang explains, "One of my rural listings is a sprawling 30-acre ranch. While the home itself is modest, the massive amount of land and scenic views are the real selling points. Drone footage does an amazing job capturing the scope of the property and showcasing exactly why it"s special."
In urban areas, drones also provide value by showing off neighborhoods. "I use drone footage in listing videos to set the scene and help buyers envision what living in that community would feel like," said Kyle Simmons of CityWide Realty. "Quick drone shots of parks, shops and city skylines make listings stand out while also getting buyers excited about the lifestyle."
Videography is especially impactful for development projects. Tyler James of Aspen Properties shares, "For a new row of townhouses we were building, I captured video footage every few weeks to showcase construction progress. Splicing these weekly updates together into a compilation video gave buyers an insider view of the building process from start to finish."
Virtual hard hat tours using drone footage are becoming a popular way for real estate developers to give potential buyers a sneak peek of new constructions long before projects are finished. This technique gets buyers invested early when selection is best.
In today's digital era, data is paramount for running an effective real estate marketing strategy. Agents can no longer rely on outdated ways of acquiring leads " cold calling, door knocking, open houses. While these techniques still have value, modern buyers expect a data-driven, personalized experience. This is where leveraging consumer data and analytics pays major dividends.
"Data is crucial for connecting with quality leads at exactly the right time," explains Michael Scott of Vanguard Properties. "Thanks to analytics, we know more about our prospects than ever before " their demographics, behaviors, interests. This enables us to be surgically targeted versus just blasting the same message out to everybody."
Data can be used both for timing marketing and personalizing content. For example, buyer activity typically spikes in spring and summer. So promoting new listings would see higher engagement during those seasons. Data may also show your audience responds better to video than text. This insight allows you to adjust visual vs. written content accordingly.
"We comb through data to identify consumer pain points around real estate. Then we can position our expertise as the solution," says Scott. "If our target buyers are families, maybe they need help finding homes zoned to top school districts. That becomes our hook for catching their interest."
Data even powers AI-driven lead scoring tools used by many brokerages. These systems analyze consumer behavior and interactions to gauge interest level and sales readiness. Hot leads go to the top of follow-up lists so they can be contacted while still engaged.
"Our lead scoring algorithm looks at a client"s website visits, listing views, open rates and more," Scott explains. "The machine data helps us focus energy on warmer prospects with the highest likelihood to convert."
Overall, leveraging data and analytics helps agents market smarter, not harder. They can avoid wasting time cold-calling or canvassing random prospects. Instead they can nurture qualified leads ready to transact.
Voice technology is revolutionizing how consumers interact with brands " and real estate is no exception. A growing number of brokerages and agents are incorporating AI-powered voice assistants and chatbots into their digital strategy. These tools enable natural, conversational engagement with prospects and clients.
According to real estate portal Zillow, over 50% of users want voice assistants to help facilitate home searches. Voice allows prospects to inquire about listings, open house details and more through casual verbal exchanges versus typing searches.
Leading brokerages like Remax and Century21 already integrate with popular voice assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Asking an enabled device about neighborhood insights or open houses prompts the voice assistant to share listing details.
Jennifer Wu of Remax explains, "We built custom "skills" so Alexa can understand common real estate asks like selling price, year built, school zones and more. Now prospects get immediate listing information using natural voice commands."
Wu also reports that an increasing number of clients use Alexa or Google devices to control smart home technology during showings. Being able to say, "Alexa, dim the living room lights" leaves prospects with a lasting impression of technological convenience.
In addition to voice assistants, AI chatbots are being deployed by many real estate firms to enhance customer experience. These bots have live text or voice conversations with website visitors to engage prospects.
According to real estate coach Tom Ferry, chatbots can respond to 70% of common prospect inquiries, allowing agents to focus on higher value activities. They also generate promising sales leads by nurturing site visitors who want quick information.
Mike Jenson of Shorewood Realty shares, "Our Facebook chatbot handles easy questions like pricing and open house logistics. But content analysis also tracks how the conversation evolves. If the prospect asks more about schools, it gets tagged as an indicator they have kids."