There’s no question that COVID-19 has been a game-changer for the rural real estate market.
Restriction of movement, volatile financial indicators, and possible threats to future income all could be expected to threaten sales during pandemic uncertainty.
But rates are still low, small acreage sales are up and many motivated buyers are looking specifically for an isolated property they can retreat to if this happens again. So there’s no reason to expect that you can’t successfully sell rural real estate during the pandemic.
Of course, along with the face masks, sanitizer, and frequent hand-washing we now accept as routine has come the need for us to find new ways to limit face-to-face interaction. And that can be a challenge in a business that’s sometimes called a “contact sport”.
The answer lies in embracing technology. Take a cue from residential real estate sales and start incorporating virtual tours into your sales presentation. Solid statistics support the fact that buyers want to see virtual tours when looking for real estate properties online. So providing that extra service will help you and them in the long run. Consider these numbers:
79 per cent of repeat and first time real estate buyers use the internet to find properties. Few anymore browse the newspaper or respond to “For Sale” signs. So your web site is the perfect platform for providing prospects with the added benefit of a virtual tour – the next best thing to seeing the land in person.
We’ve become a visually-based culture, thanks in no small part to the internet. And now a full 83 percent of online buyers want and expect to see pictures or – even better – video when they’re thinking of making a purchase.
A National Association of Realtors survey revealed that more than half of U. S. adults who spend time online have taken a virtual tour. They attract more than six million viewers each day. That’s a huge potential market for you: people stuck at home, many shopping for land investment during the pandemic lockdown.
If you’re still not convinced, think about this. 54 percent of buyers won’t even consider a property unless there are virtual images to look at. That’s over half of your possible customer base. And it follows that listings with virtual tours get 87 percent more views (Source: Realtor.com).
Digging even deeper into the numbers, we find that virtual tours keep people at your web site five to ten times longer. So they both increase your traffic and improve customer retention.
But are virtual tours financially viable? There’s no question that they are. The return on investment is typically less than four weeks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made adjustments necessary in all walks of life. Adopting the use of virtual tours of rural land instead of personal showings is a change we should embrace because we’ll benefit greatly from giving our customer base what they want.