Realtor.com® today announced the availability of Livestream Open Houses, enabling home shoppers to virtually attend live open houses from the comfort of their own home. As COVID-19 continues to limit social interactions and group gatherings including open houses, realtor.com® is working closely with MLSs to enable listing agents to show homes safely while practicing social distancing.
Just like traditional open houses, Livestream Open Houses allow listing agents to show home shoppers around the property in real time. Open house attendees will be able to drop in at any time during the open house to hear about the listing and have a look around. Unlike virtual tours, these events are scheduled in advance and broadcasted live so consumers can interact with the agent, ask questions and request to see specific home features up close.
“While virtual tours are a great resource for consumers, most home shoppers still want the opportunity to walk through a home with an agent and ask questions in real time,” said Ryan Green, vice president, product management, realtor.com®. “Especially during this time of social distancing, realtor.com®’s Livestream Open Houses will give agents the opportunity to showcase their properties, and will allow consumers the ability to still explore a home through a live online experience from the safety of their own homes.”
A recent consumer survey from realtor.com® and Toluna Insights found that with access to accurate listing data, detailed photos, virtual and live video tours, 24 percent of people (and 29 percent of 18-34 year-olds) would be willing to buy a home without seeing it in person. Further, 21 percent of people agree that COVID-19 has made them more likely to move into a home without stepping foot in it first.
At launch, Livestream Open Houses will support a number of video platforms including Google Hangouts, Zoom, join.me and Zoho, with additional platforms to be added over time. Real estate agents can choose which video platform works best for their needs.
Livestream Open Houses are now available on realtor.com®’s web and mobile web experiences in available geographic areas. Home shoppers can select the time that works best for their schedule and join via the Open House section of a for sale property listing or by searching for properties with upcoming open houses.
Realtor.com® is dedicated to supporting the community and helping to ease the home transaction process as much as possible during COVID-19. To learn more, visit: https://www.realtor.com/covid-19/