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The Future of Real Estate Marketing in Tampa: Virtual Tours vs. Traditional Open Houses

The Future of Real Estate Marketing in Tampa: Virtual Tours vs. Traditional Open Houses
The Future of Real Estate Marketing in Tampa: Virtual Tours vs. Traditional Open Houses

The real estate market in Tampa, Florida has been booming in recent years. With more people moving to the Tampa Bay area, real estate agents need to utilize the most effective marketing strategies to sell properties quickly in this competitive market. Two of the most common tactics used are virtual tours and traditional open houses. But which one is more beneficial for real estate agents in Tampa today and in the future?

The Rise of Virtual Tours

A virtual tour is a 360-degree 3D walkthrough of a home that potential buyers can view online. The tours are created by taking panoramic photos of each room and stitching them together to allow viewers to click through and explore the home room-by-room.

Virtual tours have grown enormously in popularity over the last decade. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the percentage of realtors using virtual tours increased from 17% in 2014 to 88% in 2019. This growth is being driven by consumer demand - 90% of homebuyers search for homes online before ever seeing one in person.

There are several key benefits virtual tours provide for real estate agents and home sellers in Tampa:

Wider Audience Reach

With a virtual tour, you aren't limited by geography or relying on potential buyers to schedule a time to view the home in person. Anyone can view the property 24/7 from anywhere in the world. This greatly expands the number of people who can see the home.


Virtual tours allow buyers to view homes on their own time, at their own pace. They can revisit the tour as many times as they want, share tours with others, and narrow down their options before taking time to view in-person.

Innovative Marketing

In today's digital world, buyers expect to be able to view homes online. Having a virtual tour can set your listing apart and shows sellers are utilizing innovative marketing techniques.

Time Savings

Virtual tours help buyers preliminarily evaluate a home and determine if it's worth viewing in person, saving them (and real estate agents) time from viewing unsuitable properties.


If unable to conduct traditional open houses for any reason (e.g. owner preference, pandemic restrictions, etc.), a virtual tour provides an excellent flexible alternative.

The Benefits of Open Houses Remain

While virtual tours provide an array of benefits, traditional open houses still play an important role in real estate marketing today. Here are some of the key advantages open houses offer:

In-Person Experience

Seeing a home in-person allows potential buyers to get a true feel for the layout, flow, lighting, and overall atmosphere. Virtual tours cannot fully replace this experience.

Immediate Q&A

Open houses allow buyers to ask real estate agents questions and get immediate answers about the home, neighborhood, schools, etc. Virtual tours limit this interaction.

Curb Appeal

Photography and virtual tours cannot fully capture curb appeal and the surrounding neighborhood. Seeing this firsthand can influence buyer opinions.

Promoting Other Listings

Open houses allow agents to cross-promote other available listings in person to potential buyers.

Lead Generation

Agents can collect contact info from open house visitors, generating leads even if visitors aren't interested in that particular home.

Community Connections

Open houses allow real estate agents to interact with the community and make local connections that might lead to future referrals.

The Future: A Hybrid Approach

Rather than choosing between virtual tours and open houses, the most impactful real estate marketing strategy combines both elements.

Virtual tours allow you to:

  • Generate excitement and interest in the property

  • Pre-qualify buyers before viewing in person

  • Reach a geographically wider audience

  • Provide flexible 24/7 access

Then open houses maximize impact by:

  • Sealing the deal with an in-person experience

  • Answering buyer questions face-to-face

  • Making local connections

This hybrid approach harnesses the power of both digital and in-person marketing tactics. Real estate agents that embrace this model will have a competitive edge in the Tampa market both now and in the future.

At AbstractZen Creative Content Media Agency, we specialize in creating stunning virtual tours, real estate photography, and video that showcases listings in the best possible light. Our real estate media packages make it easy to highlight your listings across digital and in-person experiences.

Schedule Your FREE Consultation Today: 727-301-2832 to discuss how we can implement a results-driven hybrid real estate marketing campaign for your Tampa listings.


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