Virtual real estate tours are changing the game for the real estate market this year. Let’s connect to make sure you’re ready to navigate the digital side of the homebuying process in 2020.

Hopeful Home Shoppers Rev Their Engines at the Starting® users saving and sharing more listings; relying on virtual real estate tours to prepare.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Increased activity on® suggests that home shoppers are gearing up for a later than usual homebuying season.® listing visits, saves and shares are all up significantly since the first wave of shelter-in-place orders took effect on March 16; especially for those listings with virtual real estate tours. Consumer survey data shows virtual real estate tours have become an essential part of the home search process and will likely remain so even after in-person open houses resume across the country.

Listing visits, saves and shares up significantly
More than 70 percent of® users surveyed registered on the site so that they could save homes as a way to track price reductions and make a shortlist of homes to tour post COVID-19. Additionally, since March 16:

  • Listing views for single family homes and condos are up 30 percent;
  • Saved homes are up 76 percent;
  • Shared homes are up 95 percent; and
  • Time spent per unique user is up 14 percent.

“Data suggests that home shoppers who had paused their search are now picking it back up, and the spring homebuying season won’t be lost, but merely pushed into the summer months,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist,®. “Tools such as virtual real estate tours and Livestream Open Houses are enabling consumers to safely continue their home search while maintaining social distancing guidelines and have proven to be very popular with consumers.”

Virtual Real Estate shopping technology is here to stay
Since shelter-in-place orders began, the growth rate of visits to listings with virtual real estate tours has been twice as high as those without. User visits were also 29 percent higher for listings featuring virtual tours, with those listings generating increased engagement and greater likelihood of a consumer connecting with an agent about the home.

“While many consumers don’t see virtual real estate tours as a replacement for in-person viewings, they have emerged as a valuable tool to learn more about a home, see details up close and help narrow down the search. We believe virtual tours will remain an integral part of the home search, even when shoppers feel more comfortable visiting homes in-person again,” said Hale.

A survey of® users found that:

  • Two thirds (64 percent) had taken a virtual real estate tour, and of those, 45 percent prefer listings that offer virtual tours;
  • Sixty five percent of home buyers believe that virtual real estate tours will continue to be a great resource in their home shopping process even after the pandemic; and
  • An additional 8 percent think virtual real estate tours can be a replacement for in-person tours.
  • When asked what they like about virtual real estate tours, top responses include:
  • They help me eliminate homes that aren’t for me (52 percent);
  • They help me see the details of a home without having to step inside (43 percent);
  • They help me create a shortlist of homes I want to see in person (38 percent); and
  • They allow me to see more homes more quickly, without having to drive around to open houses (30 percent).