As we continue to follow the advice of our public health officials, most residents in Toronto and around the world are continuing to stay inside. In Ontario, the Government announced that, although Real Estate is still deemed an essential service, open houses are prohibited. Even when these restrictions are lifted, it may be a while before you want someone trudging through your home with their “outdoor clothes”.

Luckily, technology is on your side. Meetings aren’t the only things that can occur from the comfort of your living room. Below are 6 creative ways that ReaLawState can assist with showing your home, without letting someone through the threshold. (Pants are optional, but always recommended).

  1. Virtual Tour

The word virtual tour is typically over-used and misrepresented. Links to “virtual tours” and “virtual open houses” exist all over the web. In Toronto, it’s been our experience that these links are typically just to an Adobe Flash-powered gallery of the same pictures that exist on the MLS. Some might auto-play the images and…is that a Ken Burns animation we spot?

ReaLawState’s Virtual Tours, however, do not disappoint. A true virtual tour is a self-navigated, 360 view inside your home, Google Street View style. These virtual tours, often performed with special photography and measuring equipment (the most common being MatterPort) allow the user to click through the home and look around, as though they were touring the space themselves. Various companies exist that will come and shoot a virtual tour, leaving you with a 12-month expiring link. Our virtual tours are included with every listing, and are an effective way to show off your home’s natural splendor. Virtual Tours are also embedded into listings and beyond, allowing those from all over the web a peek inside.

A sample Virtual Tour is embedded below:

2. Instagram/Facebook live

In the previous years, there’s been a war to dominate the mobile-first live stream market. However, it would appear that Facebook has been victorious. Instagram live seems to be the most effective way to host livestreams, with the only requirement for broadcasting (and viewing) being the ever-increasingly popular Instagram app. The benefit to this is that any REALTOR® can host one – no prior experience or fancy equipment necessary.

Tips for Success:

  • Set a date and time in the future, and announce it via social media
  • On the date, prepare your area and your stream slightly ahead of time. Launching on-time will be key.
  • Take a “pre-walk” through the space, and try to determine the most natural path. Avoid backtracking if possible.
  • Show off your space by walking around the house or condo, ensuring that viewers have the opportunity to see every room for a sufficient amount of time.
  • Avoid “over-sharing” every cupboard and interior – would you normally look in the residents underwear drawer during an open house?
  • Remember to pay attention to the comments – someone may have a question that could benefit the entire audience!

3. Pre-recorded video

One of the benefits to pre-recording a video is the ability to edit pauses and fix mistakes in post-production. The addition of sound is also a nice touch. Companies can be hired to produce these for you. Here’s one we produced for a listing:

4. Instagram Q&A

Instagram’s new Question and Answer feature can prove extremely useful for open houses. With this feature, users can post “questions” that can be re-shared and answered by the one who asked. Not only does this allow for a variety of features to be exposed, but responding to questions can lead to showcasing a part of the house in a way you never thought of before! For best results, we reccomend asking for questions 24 hours before the “answer time” to ensure that you have enough questions as well as know the proper answers!

5. FaceTime

Is your listing more of a luxury showcase in which you might want to discuss individualized benefits to the discerned buyer? Facetime sounds like the platform for you! Pop open Apple’s FaceTime and dial away! Let your viewer see each room, and only move on when they’re ready. They’ll love the personalized touch!


Have questions about a virtual showing? Contact ReaLawState today.