Offering Virtual Tours: The Pros and Cons

October 18, 2019

Real estate marketing is miles away from its original methods of buying and selling. Now, the aid of digital assets is helping to boost sales and connect brokers and realtors with potential clients. One of the ways this is being illustrated is through virtual home tours available online.

These online visual tours have become well sought-after by potential buyers looking to get a sneak peek of the property their interested in. They’ve become so popular that listings with virtual home tours available get 87 percent more views than those without them.

While having a social media and digital presence with sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post short videos and images of listings is important, putting the buyers inside the home with virtual tours is becoming increasingly important. But while virtual tours come in handy when offering visitors a new way to experience a property, they do come with their own disadvantages.


The opportunity to reach homebuyers by creating well-designed virtual tours requires automated narration as well as dual integration with social media and curbside marketing. With everything going mobile today, virtual tours are begging to be at the forefront of any mobile strategy.

What this presents is an opportunity to boost your social presence while also promoting the listings in modern, user-friendly ways. By integrating social media, virtual tours can work two-fold to create a better relationship with new buyers.

Virtual tours also help to save time and resources. While it helps to have many different image options for people to thumb through, it’s better to put it in motion with a virtual tour. A virtual tour can help save brokers and agents a lot of wasted time in walkthroughs by giving them the ability to preview a place before they make the trouble to stop in for an in-person tour.

Having to take time to set up a meeting, walk a potential through, only leading to them not being impressed and moving on can drain a real estate professional’s time and business efforts. Virtual tours can be used as a way to eliminate properties that aren’t a fit and can help narrow down choices to the ones with promise for buyers.

Virtual tours also help create a sense of ownership, which is crucial to pushing clients towards finalizing a deal. Tours allow clients to tour the property on their own time, giving them a sense of autonomy and connection. The more time and energy they put into a tour and their own research, the more likely they will feel compelled to reach out with an inquiry.


Virtual tours may be inherently beneficial to everyone including brokers and buyers. But for buyers, most virtual tours aren’t giving them the full effect of being there in person. Agents and brokers might have to end up explaining more and answering more questions than intended.

New technology is always helpful, but getting people used to it can come with the risk of spending time going over what they’re seeing. Also, some properties are updated, making virtual tours susceptible to needing updates themselves.

If this is the case, agents and brokers have to put effort into updating their tours and their visual content so they keep everything as close as possible to what the buyer can expect. If a buyer goes through a tour and there have been updates to windows or carpeting since, this puts them in a tough spot.

That being said, agents and brokers will have to put effort back into updating their virtual tours and visuals, which can take time and resources away from their everyday duties.

Lastly, virtual tours can be expensive. Some providers charge between $100 and $200 to create a tour for a typical home. While this is a modest fee on its own, it can add up with multiple properties listed.

About Associations Liability Insurance Agency (ALIA)

The ALIA Team (part of the Riverton Insurance Agency Corporation), specializes in helping real estate professionals find the affordable and comprehensive liability insurance they need, without the hassle. ALIA dates its roots to 1991 with the founding of FREA, Foundation of Real Estate Associates. In 2013, ALIA was created to work with multiple insurance companies thereby broadening the portfolio of products to customers. For more information about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 882-4410.