These days it’s easier to solve a problem through your phone than it is in the classroom. A few clicks on a smartphone, a YouTube video later, and there it is, a digitized solution for whatever dilemma you come across. The internet is a powerful tool.

With lockdowns sending ripples throughout the economy, real estate is becoming more virtual. Buying a house is a lot of work. And with a majority of buyers shopping online—the number is estimated to be about 90% of the overall market—there is no better reason than now to find the right tools to solve home buying problems.

Below are a list of virtual tools realtors, brokers, and homebuyers use to shop online.

 

3D WALKTHROUGHS

Virtual tours allow buyers to get a glimpse of what a home looks like without actually being there. It’s as simple as downloading an app into your phone, logging onto the internet from your computer, and navigating through with a point and click interface.

If done correctly, this gives buyers an easily accessible, 360-degree view of the interior.

 

VIRTUAL STAGING TOOLS

Virtual staging tools give sellers the ability to furnish a vacant property, while giving buyers the chance to visualize what it would be like to live there.

This is done through computer-generated furniture. Starting with 2D pictures of the property, the images are stitched together and rendered in 3D. Furniture assets are then placed for a fully immersive experience. Buyers will be able to see the potential of what they can get from the home, and sellers will get a better return on investment, since properties that use Virtual Staging sell for 3% more than the anticipated price, and usually sell within a month.

 

VIDEO CONFERENCING TOOLS

Like 3D walkthroughs, the right video conferencing tools can provide buyers with a 360-degree view of the room in front of them. When it’s time to work out the logistics and speak with an agent, seeing a person’s face and noticing how they react gives buyers a better understanding of the terms in front of them.

 

USE AN AGENT

At the end of the day, online shopping is behind a screen. There should be someone you can turn to for support. An agent can be that liaison. They have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients, to maintain the privacy of their financial information and provide them with the knowledge of what information is needed when shopping for a home.

They do the research. They know what to look for. And there’s a good chance they’ll bridge the virtual gap.