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The real estate world has had to adapt swiftly with the sudden surge of the coronavirus, but as an industry, it didn’t take long for real estate agents to begin using video tours as a way to show properties when stay-at-home orders were put in place. The technology behind these tours is getting more sophisticated, though it still hasn’t fully recreated the experience so that it feels like you are there in-person. Until that day arrives, I’m sharing a few tips we use at my brokerage to give buyers a sense of what it would be like to live in the home.

Remember, the tour begins before the tour begins. Before you start the video, make a strategic decision about where you are going to be standing when the video conference starts. This is the first impression your clients will have of the property, so pick a spot that will catch their attention, and make sure your camera is angled in just the right way so that it picks up the best feature as the background. For example, if you are looking to showcase the granite countertops in the kitchen, lean your phone against something on one side of the kitchen in order to show off the countertops on the other side of the room. If your clients are looking for a house with good yard space, kick off the video outside and stand at the spot that provides the widest angle of the yard. If the home has a double-height foyer, this is another popular spot to begin your video, as this type of space tends to show up well on video tours.

Also, it’s important that you think big-picture first. Don’t try to recreate the on-site tour experience, where you would come in the front door and walk prospective buyers through each room as you pass by it. Instead, plan your route out ahead of time so that the first four or five things the client sees are the ones that will give them the biggest sense of wanting to buy the property. Of course, it has to feel like a natural progression from one room to the next, but you don’t have to follow the same route that you would if you were showing the property to a client in-person. Once you have the big picture planned out, it’s time to think small-picture. That might mean mentioning the original molding, book-matched marble or ample storage space in the built-ins throughout the home. These things won’t be obvious by themselves from the video, so you have to make a special effort to point them out.

Real estate agents are some of the best at adapting to hard times or sudden shifts in market trends. We’re working on coming through yet another hard time, and with that comes some new lessons about how to do business. Video tours aren’t going to mean the end of the real estate agent. They’re just another tool we can use to get our jobs done.

Allen Alishahi is president of ShelterZoom. For more information, please visit