Among other teleconference solutions, the following tools are available to conduct a virtual showing: Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Google Hangouts. It’s important that the Showing Agent has content (photos, virtual tours, video, etc.) on their computer or device to share during the Virtual Showing. In addition, it must be clear when scheduling the showing that the showing is virtual, not on site.
If you don’t already have a video conference application, select one of the following, create an account and install the needed software/app. There are packages that vary from free to about $20 per month. (CRMLS has used all in the past and currently leverages Zoom for all our online meeting activity.)
|Provider||Web Site||Getting Started|
|Google Hangouts||https://hangouts.google.com/||Create a Google Account for Support|
* Tip: have your computer/device camera on for the meetings and positioned to put you in a good light.
Content for your Presentation
All the conference solutions allow you to share what you see on your screen. Have your photo gallery, virtual tours and other information you want to show ready to open during your presentation. Also consider using a presentation software like PowerPoint or Google Slides to organize your presentation.
* Tip: If you share the desktop on your computer, your audience can see any files or notifications you receive. Either share only the desired application or consider tidying up your desktop and turning off notifications during the presentation.
Scheduling your Virtual Showings
Just as when you’re doing showings in person, you’ll need to schedule a time to do your Virtual Showing. Some simply use their calendar and email; others use a showing solution like ShowingTime. When you schedule a meeting with your video conferencing solution, you can select a date and time, a subject, and even invite attendees. Depending on your solution and computer/device, this can even automatically insert the event into your calendar. You will also have the opportunity to copy/paste the video conference information into an email or other invite to your attendees.
* Please use caution and be clear that the meeting is virtual and that the attendees are not to go to the property location.
Practice with a Dry Run
To make sure your virtual showing goes off without a hitch, do a test presentation for a friend. Most video conference solutions are easy for the attendee to get started. However, practicing with a few friends will help you to understand the steps they take to get connected to your meeting. Depending on your choice of conference solution, including information on your invite to get setup is also an option to ensure a smooth Virtual Showing.
Virtual Showings with ShowingTime
There is currently no dedicated method for designating a Virtual Showing in ShowingTime; however, the makers of ShowingTime have provided resources for hosting Virtual Showings in their platform. Click here to view their blog post. By setting the Access Details to “Other,” the member can add notes about the Virtual Showing. We are in contact with ShowingTime to see what possible enhancements are coming.
Virtual Open House
Like a Virtual Showing, you’ll leverage the same basic tools of a video conferencing solution, content for your viewers, and a means to schedule and invite. There are some differences.
With a Virtual Showing, it’s possible to use a free or less expensive solution if you’re going to have showings of a limited time (e.g. less than 40 minutes) and with a limited number of attendees. With an Open House, you’re going to schedule a longer period and have any number of individuals coming to your Virtual Open House.
* Tip: If you feel you might have too much of a surge of attendees with questions, divert some of the questions or discussion to separate Virtual Showings later. Also plan to loop through your presentation as attendees join and leave your Virtual Open House. Lastly many solutions allow you to mute other attendees, or you might want to ask attendees to mute, if the line becomes overly noisy.
Content for your Presentation
You may find that a presentation for a Virtual Showing works just as well for a Virtual Open House. With an Open House, it might be more advisable to use a presentation software to keep track as you are looping through your content.