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What’s the Difference Between Virtual Tours, Virtual Showings and Virtual Open Houses?

By May 11, 2020June 11th, 2020Open Houses, Realtor Marketing

I found this great post on titled What’s the Difference Between Virtual Tours, Virtual Showings and Virtual Open Houses? When Should I Use Each of These Offerings?

I suggest you read the whole post by clicking here, but here are some excerpts. The original post provides best practices advice for all three:


  • Virtual tours are videos that showcase the best features of a property.
  • Most online search portals and real estate websites allow virtual tour links or files to be attached to the search experience, so they are easy to find.
  • The quality of these videos varies greatly; some are simply a slideshow of listing photos set to music, while others are true video files or even 3D scans that allow the viewer to virtually navigate the house.


  • Virtual private showings are live, one-on-one viewings for a single prospective buyer. A virtual showing uses a live video feed from either the Seller, Listing Agent or Buyer Agent depending on the rules and orders in place where the property is located. The authorized individual who is permitted to be physically in the house takes the buyer through the property over a real-time video call.
  • Most online portals are not yet set up to accommodate this request, so buyers and their agents may have to facilitate these showings independent of an online booking system. (Redfin is one notable exception — they now allow buyers to request a video-chat home tour in their app; the company saw requests for these virtual showings go up by 500% last week alone.)
  • Virtual showings can be easily conducted over smartphone video calls, using native features like FaceTime or Google Duo. If your client would like the ability to review the footage later, you can set up a call via Zoom; their technology allows you to record video footage and save it locally or the cloud.


  • Virtual open houses are when a listing agent hosts a virtual event that is attended by many prospective buyers.
  • Agents who use traditional open house events to promote their listings should leverage these remote events during this time of social distancing.
  • While some MLSs are innovating quickly to allow virtual open houses, it may be a while before this feature is available in most markets. To build attendance, agents will have to independently promote their own virtual open house events.