Last year the Online Marketplaces Portal Standards report showed the extent to which 6 features and tools have spread throughout real estate portal sites around the world.
This year we wanted to double down on one particular feature that we are big fans of... Virtual Tours.
We've teamed up with virtual tour company EyeSpy360 to produce a world-first report on the spread of virtual tours throughout the real estate marketplace industry.
The report is based on over 25,000 data points collected by EyeSpy360 over 18 months from real estate portals in 56 countries and is the most in-depth data on virtual tours ever produced.
Sign up for our mailing list to access the report for free (if you already subscribe to our newsletter a link to the report is already in your inbox).
Virtual tours are the user-friendly real estate listing feature that lets users click their way through a 'digital twin' of a property. They often feature an interactive floorplan and a 3d model and nowadays can be generated by an agent's smartphone or tablet.
Guiding users around a property from the comfort of their own home became increasingly important during the pandemic-induced lockdowns of 2020. Since then virtual tours have been growing in popularity throughout the real estate industry and we now have the data to show it.
No longer a top-end, nice-to-have feature, virtual tours are increasingly being demanded by vendors and home hunters alike according to EyeSpy360 CEO Andrew Nicholls...
The percentage of listings on real estate portals around the world that include a virtual tour has risen from 5% to 10%!
According to Nicholls, the rise has largely been driven from the ground up by buyers who love the convenience and experience of virtual tours and sellers who are "putting pressure on their agent" to include a virtual tour on their listing.
The growth in popularity has accelerated over the last three months with some markets seeing hundreds of thousands more listings now including some form of virtual tour.
Although portals in markets like Japan, Poland and Finland have embraced virtual tours (with nearly 15% of listings carrying them), not all real estate portal companies seem to have the same enthusiasm. Portals in advanced markets such as the UK and Australia still don't have a way for their users to filter out listings without virtual tours.
While portal CEOs like OnTheMarket's Jason Tebb put this down to a lack of standardisation among virtual tour products, Nicholls suspects that some portals' reluctance to truly embrace virtual tours is "to do with their commercial proposition to their customers."
Although some real estate portals might be reluctant to fully embrace virtual tours, their popularity across the world is definitely on an upward curve. The report shows that their popularity has risen consistently month on month in almost every market studied.
It isn't always the developed real estate markets that have seen the quickest rise in the number of property listings with virtual tours.
"It's no surprise to see markets like Brazil leading the way when it comes to virtual tours. It might be counter-intuitive but in the real estate portal industry, it's very often the developing markets where the most innovation happens rather than mature markets where the incumbents are settled," commented Online Marketplaces' Chairman, Simon Baker.
The report includes graphs and expert commentary on
The report also includes seven case study markets showing how virtual tours have spread over the past 18 months on a region-by-region basis in the following countries:
If you are on the Online Marketplaces mailing list, we've already sent you a link to the full report - check your inbox.
To get access to the full interactive report and the data behind it, sign up for our mailing list here. On signing up, a link to the report will be revealed in the input box.