Home buyers and sellers turn to virtual tours during pandemic
COLUMBIA - Stay-at-home orders and fears of catching or spreading COVID-19 means fewer people are leaving their homes unless they have to take care of essential business.
But for some people, buying and selling their homes simply cannot wait until the virus passes. Now, they are relying on technology to get the job done.
“We’ve seen a huge demand for the 360 cameras because it gives a much more immersive experience for the buyers,” photographer Mike Gattorna said. “When they’re looking at homes online, they can be a lot more picky about the homes they are going to physically touch and go see.”
He said this means people do not have to go see as many homes in person and risk being exposed to the virus. While that means more people can stay inside, Gattorna has been a lot busier doing photoshoots for sellers.
“It’s definitely a blessing to have more business, of course,” he said. “But it’s also a curse because of the workload.”
Meanwhile, Ryan Ferguson, the owner of 3D Click Tours uses Matterport cameras.
He said buyers look at the house virtually, like a dollhouse.
“If you’re limited on in-person showings, this is the next best thing,” Ferguson said.
While similar technology is not new, he said having virtual tools for buyers are expected.
"With the situation we're in right now, it's apparent that you just got to have it," Ferguson said.
He said he expects this to become the norm.
"It’s exciting to see if this is going to pick up in the future, even after this coronavirus is in the past," Ferguson said. "Are people going to expect this?"