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How People Shop For Homes In 2020.

A New Era Of Technology And Innovation

It is interesting to see how quickly travel restrictions and recommendations from The CDC and government officials to practice social distancing are affecting how we learn, train, buy, sell, and socialize.

The adoption of virtual technology is accelerating.  Most universities and public schools have canceled the remainder of their spring terms and are turning to virtual learning to train and deliver information to students. The demand was certainly there for new virtual technology tools already but the Coronavirus is causing the remote workforce to grow even more quickly, creating the right environment for lots of innovation!

There is a future where everything (including our homes) is cataloged, valued, located and viewable online. The days of self-driving cars, drones delivering packages to our doorstep, and refrigerators that order our groceries are just around the corner.

Call me old fashioned but I am not sure that I am quite ready for all of this!

In real estate, the demand for virtual technology is growing as well. Home Buyers do not want to waste time with “discovery” showings. They want to know the details upfront and only view homes that truly have what they want. More and more buyers will make offers on homes – sight unseen!

Insurance companies and mortgage lenders will use this same technology to estimate repairs, claims, and loan money claims without visiting a property.


Here Is What Buyers And Sellers Are Telling Us They Want From Digital Home Shopping Tools.

Accurate and up to date data.

Buyers tell us this all the time. They are frustrated when listing data is incomplete or inaccurate and want more information online. They want the listing status (active, pending, sold) to be up to date so they don’t get their hopes up on a property that is sold or under contract.

Trend:

We will see more and more information conveyed visually: condition, materials, layout, and flow for instance. Artificial intelligence will be able to pull even the most specific information from photos and share that data efficiently. For example, home search tools will be able to filter for homes with hardwood floors, lots of windows and light.

High-quality photos

Buyers expect quality photos. Sellers and buyers want photos that tell a story, convey emotion and appeal to the target buyer’s interests.

Trend:

Higher quality HDR photos, professionally edited are becoming the norm. A lot of photos are edited overseas now and with software algorithms with results that just get better and better. Low-quality photos just are not going to cut it. 

Accurate floor plans

Buyers tell us they love properties that have accurate floor plans available online to help them understand a home’s spaces and layout.  The Matterport 3D digital system is the best on the market for this currently. It allows the user to take measurements inside the 3D walkthrough and is accurate to within 1 percent in three dimensions! They are even accurate enough for vendors to use to measure for replacement materials like carpet, paint, and built-ins.

Trend:

Buyers will depend on virtual tour information to understand a home’s usefulness for their needs and help them negotiate inspections and plan improvements. Tools for virtual staging will help sell homes and show buyers how to use a space. 

Location location location

Aerial photos of the home and neighborhood

You can get some of this from Google Earth allowing you to see in great detail what is going on in the neighborhood, the location of the home relative to busy streets, noise, parks, schools. For more detail, buyers appreciate aerial views of homes and neighborhoods taken via drone technology so that they don’t get “lost inside the four walls.” Drone photos/videos allow buyers to get a feel for the properties they are viewing as well as the surrounding neighborhood.

Trend:

There will continue to be increased use of drones for aerial photos and videos that show a site’s assets and create excitement around how the target buyer will use the home. For example, porches, patios, yards, water features outbuildings and trees.

State Of The Art Real Estate Applications And Virtual Technology

We’ve adopted the Matterport 3D data platform for creating and presenting 3D virtual tours for our sellers’ homes because Matterport is the leader in immersive virtual tours. They offer the best technology and features. Buyers can view each room from multiple angles, take accurate measurements of any area in the home, zoom in on every detail, and walk through the home as if they were actually there in person. The technology creates a 3D “digital twin” of the property and a highly accurate floor plan. 

The 3D walkthroughs are so accurate you can even use the floor plans and measurement tools for estimating repairs and remodeling. 

Trend:

In times of restricted travel, we feel these tools will assist buyers in ruling out listings they do not like, minimizing “discovery showings” and even enabling the bravest buyers to put in offers without having an in-person showing. 

Even as travel restrictions relax, the trend toward virtual tours and 3D listing presentations will not go away.


By maximizing our ability to provide accurate and detailed listing information, we provide innovative and effective services to our buyers and we help our sellers get their homes under contract quickly. According to an independent study, homes using Matterport 3D data sell at a 4-9% higher sales price with a 32% decrease in the time on the market 

3D tours and walkthroughs are the next steps in improving the online shopping experience. They allow us to better serve our clients by taking the online home search to the next level! 

During this time of change and uncertainty, we are committed to doing all that we can to adapt our business to our clients’ needs! 

For more information on virtual tours and 3D listing presentations, contact us!

Contact Us

For immediate assistance, call us at 734-845-9700 or email Andy Piper at andy@piperpartners.com.

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