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Just a fad or here to stay?

The ongoing pandemic has increased the use of video and virtual viewing as part of property marketing by estate agents, but does that mean it will decline as restrictions are eased? First, lets consider some of what we already know about house hunting, prior to covid-19.

Where does the enquiry start?

As with most purchases nowadays, the starting point for the transaction is online. Gone are the days of marching up and down the high street of your desired location and registering your interest as a buyer with the local agents.

The portals have changed the way we search

Property listings galore are literally at your fingertips via portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. Setting your search parameters and setting up a property alert is only a few clicks away. Aside from property listings, they are packed with useful information on schools, market trends, historic sale data and guidance for both buyers and sellers – info traditionally sought from estate agents themselves.

Where the hassle comes in

Generally, the hassle starts when trying to marry up the schedules of buyer / agent / seller and carry out that initial viewing. Then, multiply that by the number of houses in contention and you can quickly say goodbye to days off and weekends. Not to mention the travel time involved when you’re an out of town buyer.

Wasted journey’s

So you’ve managed to settle on a day and time to view the property for the first time, packed the whole family in the car, driven to the viewing full of excitement, you get through the front door and…… 😩 it’s nothing like it looked in the pictures!

So where does virtual viewing come in?

First of all, Virtual Viewing is not designed to replace physical property viewings and we do not recommend making an offer or buying a property you have not visited in person. The purpose is to take that first viewing online by giving buyers a clear and transparent view of what a property has to offer before they request a physical viewing.

Good for buyers

High quality, 3d virtual viewing, like the one available from our property marketing service allows buyers to first view a property online at a time that suits them, not the agent and the seller. From there, a physical viewing can be arranged with confidence.

Good for sellers

Quality beats quantity when it comes to most things and viewings are no different. No one wants to spend their spare time cleaning the house to prepare for viewings that ultimately don’t go anywhere. Buyers that have viewed a property virtually, will effectively be taking that all important second viewing when they arrive in person, making it all the more likely to generate an offer.

Whats good for the goose…..

Ultimately, everyone stands to benefit, including the agents. Less time spent wasted on viewings that won’t go any further will free up more time for agents to make the difference where it counts, keeping up communication with buyers, sellers and solicitors to ensure that the once sales are agreed, they proceed smoothly through to completion. This is where the good agents earn their fee after all!

All things considered

I have every confidence that virtual viewing for property is here to stay and will fast become the next standard in property marketing alongside still photography and floor plans. It simply makes the ‘house hunting’ part of the process far more convenient for all involved and only serves to enhance the quality of property listings.

Floor plans were once considered a ‘nice-to-have’ item, but I think we can all agree they are now considered a standard part of a property advert.

Virtual viewing isn’t there just yet, but it it won’t be long.

Joe Webster, Director