AUSTIN - Realtor Abby Husbands has been developing a new talent recently. In addition to her normal business and client meetings, she's now become proficient at giving tours of homes to a 360 camera and using that footage to open the tour to the world.
"I've known about virtual reality," the realtor with JP And Associates said. "I just never thought it would be used for homebuyers. When I saw this platform, I thought, 'I have to get it.'"
Husbands joined a growing group of realtors across the country that aren't just taking videos and pictures of homes for clients, they're creating virtual tours that prospective buyers can look at on their own time.
"It saves time," Husbands said. "Usually if I would take a client house hunting, we'd see about seven houses in a day. That would be about the max they could take.... Now it takes me about five to eight minutes to do a video tour of each house."
In a market like Austin, Husbands said, that's an incredibly helpful use of time.
Now, she sends clients a list of potential homes. They select the ones they want more info on and Husbands can go tour them for the buyers.
"It's an actual virtual tour," she said. "I start in the front yard and do a 360 degree video of the neighborhood....In MLS, the houses either look really amazing...or look horrible, but a live video in virtual reality shows the house how it really looks."
While the videos she makes can be seen on any phone or device, she also provides a virtual reality headset to all the clients, allowing them the chance to virtually step into the potential home.
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