Do Webcams Drive Sales?

Do you video-chat with your friends? Better yet, do you video-chat with your clients? If not, you may be missing out on a valuable resource for buying and selling homes, restricting your clientele and cutting your income short. If you haven’t heard already, the newest RE tech trend is in, and it involves you, your client, and a webcam.

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Video apps like Google Hangouts, Facetime and Skype have been surging lately in the RE community, helping far-flung clients or even busy locals find homes. Why? It’s a convenient way for some house hunters to vet properties and their surroundings, providing some with enough confidence in a home’s setting and condition to make offers on listings without ever visiting them.

Greg Geilman, an agent at Manhattan Beach, California-based South Bay Residential, said FaceTime was very useful for showing homes to an executive at Electronic Arts, because the businessman didn’t have much time to visit properties.

“Obviously, seeing a home in person is the very best way to experience a home, but sometimes schedules don’t permit,” Geilman said. “And we are in such a low-inventory and competitive market these days that sometimes we don’t have time to wait a day or two.”

Live video walk-throughs can help buyers beat the competition as well, particularly in fast-paced markets.

Redfin agent Jordan Clarke said he beamed footage of a San Diego home to clients in Washington, D.C., about 30 minutes after the property hit the MLS.

The couple loved it, and immediately made an offer that was accepted before a higher bid rolled in later that day, Clarke said. Even local buyers are viewing homes through their agents’ smartphones.

Have your ever used a video-chat service to help show a home to one of your clients? Do you think video-chat apps are the future for agents and brokers? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  • secondgenamerican

    I have used video chat and it cost me a sale. The client was in New York, the property in Scottsdale. They didn’t get a full understanding of the value of the home and chose not to buy. They are still looking and the property sold for nearly $100K more than they could have gotten it for.