In light of social distancing rules, traditional home inspections like open houses have drastically reduced or come to a halt. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that tenants still want to view their options before selecting and moving into a place. To meet this need, landlords have had to get with the program and find virtual technology solutions.
These solutions use technology like video conferencing, 3D tours, or video walk to let potential renters feel the property they intend to purchase. Some of these tools are pretty immersive and give prospective buyers a great idea of the layout and condition of a property. But on the downside, few technologies can provide likely buyers with the same experience as a physical inspection. However, amid a pandemic, digital inspections offer a quick and convenient solution.
So if you’d like to know more about how to use virtual technology for rental home inspections, stick around.
How to use virtual technology for a home inspection
Choose the right virtual inspection tool
Choosing the right tool is essential, as it can be the difference between a seamless inspection and a series of mishaps. Several applications can offer the perfect solution for a virtual inspection, and they vary according to complexity.
Platforms like Google meet and Zoom, which let you take your clients through the house in a live video conference, are pretty popular. You’re probably even familiar with it yourself. But on the other hand, software like inspection express, property realm, and others let potential tenants set up contactless inspections through a wizard or a 3D tour. They also have the advantage of being less time-consuming. You must be comfortable with whatever medium you decide to choose.
Include the key features
Serious buyers are more likely to go house shopping with set specifications in mind. So why not make it easier for them to see what your property has to offer by outlining all its features? Remember that virtual inspections have their limits. So if your property has features like 5G connectivity, an advanced heating/cooling system, and other unique selling points that require in-person experience to appreciate fully, then highlight it.
You can add such features with details to your listing. It can significantly influence getting tenants to make an offer on your house, especially when they enjoyed the digital inspection.
Cover the most important rooms
Stores, laundry rooms, and other auxiliary spaces are nice additions to have, but they’re rarely must-haves for your prospective buyers. Most clients would much rather see rooms they plan to spend a lot of time in, such as the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, and living room. Don’t forget to give the potential tenants a view of the exterior, especially if the house has elements like a driveway, a garden, or a patio. But don’t spend too much time there; you can always circle back at the client’s request.
While the auxiliary spaces can be extra points for your property, they’re not the main focus, so spend your time in rooms the clients want to see. You could even ask them which rooms they’re interested in getting a detailed tour of or seeing first. You can then tweak your tour accordingly.
Make your property presentable
A virtual inspection might not always be as immersive as a physical open house, but the presentation still matters to interested buyers. Plus, improving the appearance of your property is a great way to sell your house faster.
While fixing leaking pipes, adding a fresh coat of paint, and filling up cracks in the driveway can improve the overall aesthetics, those changes can be expensive. But there’s no need to worry; you can still achieve a difference on a budget. Minor cosmetic changes like arranging the furniture, removing the weeds in the garden, and cleaning out the cupboard can increase the appeal of a home.
Prepare to answer questions
Conducting a virtual inspection doesn’t mean you’ll have zero contact with your prospective tenants. On the contrary, you might have to communicate more to clear up any doubts or questions they might have. Which is why you need to go into every inspection well prepared with answers about the property. Moreso, responding to whatever inquiries they might have is only part of the equation. If you can convey your answers confidently and enthusiastically, the clients are more likely to trust you.
If you’re looking to win tenants over, then pay attention to how you’re dressed, especially in a video conference. Dressing smartly gives you a more professional appearance and makes you seem more trustworthy. Of course, if your attire will not appear during the inspection, then this point doesn’t apply. You can still prepare yourself to answer possible questions in your pajamas.
Although COVID-19 has placed many restrictions on activities, including traditional home inspections, virtual technology offers property owners an excellent solution. It allows you to showcase your real estate on a larger platform, even to prospective buyers in other states or countries, in a convenient manner. Still, you must keep helpful tips in mind, such as getting comfortable with your chosen digital tool, making your property presentable, and showing clients the most important rooms first.
Of course, if virtual inspections aren’t your forte or you don’t have the time, you have the option of employing a rental property management service to do it for you.