Virtual open houses have become popular since the shutdown caused by the spread of COVID-19, and Century 21 will be the newest broker to offer the service when it launches live virtual open houses on its website at the end of the week.
Developed quickly in response to COVID-19, Becky Beyer, vice president of customer experience at Century 21, said the feature is offered through a simple interface that agents will be able to access through the company website.
The virtual open houses will be available on 17 different platforms, from Facebook to Zoom.
Potential homebuyers can make a virtual appointment through their agent or on Century 21’s website, like a regular old open house.
“[Agents] will be able to schedule [open houses], and they will show up on our national website, then they will get pushed to the top of the listings,” Beyer said. “This was really about responding to agent and consumer demand because housing hasn’t stopped.”
Beyer said there is still demand from the Century 21 agents, and this move is important for agents and buyers.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Century 21 Mike Miedler told HousingWire that the 360-degree views potential homebuyers will get are important when purchasing a home.
“I think when we add these things to our website, and to our agents’ arsenal it allows people to show off the home in a different way,” Miedler said. “Instead of people going to a website and clicking through a bunch of pictures, they might get all the way through the offer stage, because they’re able to see something on our website that brings you that live view like Matterport would.”
Matterport is a 3D data platform that Century 21 has a partnership with to help show off the homes.
During the virtual open houses, the agent will be in the home during the time they post online, and will be able to give virtual tours.
“It will allow prospective buyers to ask questions, see different parts of the house that they’re interested in, work a lot like a regular tour, they just won’t be in the room,” Beyer said. “It’ll be all virtual.”