Helping our out-of-town clients remotely find their dream home

Moving is stressful!. Moving from out of town can be particularly daunting.

We are here to help. We help people moving to the Washington area from other parts of the country—and even the world—all the time. From Foreign Services Officers, to members of our Armed Forces, to people relocating to the area for work, many of our clients don’t have the luxury or convenience of being present in the Washington area while they shop for their next home. 

The pandemic made matters even more complicated. In 2020 and 2021 many of our clients either could not travel to the area or didn’t feel comfortable doing so. 

We had to get creative. 

In the process, we’ve developed a tool kit of capabilities that allows us to: remotely learn our clients needs quickly and accurately, help the client to experience properties beyond listing pictures alone, and give them as much access to the properties as possible so that they can make the most informed decisions. 

Our toolkit includes

Client Consultation: We’re not asking about bedrooms and bathrooms. We’re asking how someone lives in their home, what they use their space for, what their aspirations are for the home. When we know how someone plans to use their home, it gives us a better idea of what to look for. 

Video Tour: We’ve amped up our tech game with video equipment that allows us to seamlessly tour homes without you getting vertigo watching an otherwise shaky video. When we do a video tour we aren’t selling you on a home – we’re trying to provide an accurate representation of the home. If the bathroom is really narrow, we go out of our way to show you that so that you aren’t surprised or underwhelmed when you physically walk into the space for the first time. 

Zoom Inspections: If a client decides to pursue a property and there is a home inspection conducted, we’re not just sending the report for bedtime reading. We’re arranging to have an extensive Zoom conversation from the property with the inspector so that the client can see any problems that may exist in the home with their own eyes and ask the inspector about any red flags. 

Case in point: In helping Foreign Service clients buy a home sight-unseen in McLean, Virginia, we noticed that the floors on one section of the home were sloped. Because this was hard to see in video and photos, we brought marbles to the home and demonstrated on video how they rolled. The home inspector identified the cause, recommended further professional follow-up, and talked our clients through the possible fix. Our clients were thrilled with our eyes-wide-open approach and felt that they bought their home with all of the knowledge they would need to maintain it for years to come. 

Not all of our clients are buying homes sight unseen. We use these and other capabilities with all of our clients to make the home buying process easier. We’re always happy to do a Video Showing, for instance, to help figure out if a property is worth an in-person visit for a local Buyer client. 

If you or someone you know is currently living outside the DMV but planning a move here, reach out for a no-obligation talk about how we might be able to help!

Work with Katie Geffken

Katie is founder and partner agent at Collective Property Consultants. A marketing strategist and local business owner turned Realtor®, Katie has an entrepreneurial spirit and loves to make a positive impact in people’s lives through her work.