Virtual tours are primed to become the default method of operation in several areas of the real estate sector, from showing off properties to prospective buyers to facilitating quick and easy house valuations. The past few years have seen the rise of several new virtual viewing options, with this trend set to continue as more people begin to appreciate the convenience and choice that comes from digital property tours.
Here are three key areas where virtual viewings have already begun to reshape the real estate sector.
This is an area of the property sector where the effectiveness of virtual viewings is still being established, but it appears inevitable that sellers digitally collaborating with surveyors to determine the value of their home will become common practice. Concerns about the potential thoroughness of a digital survey have been allayed by the work of support services firms like SimplyBiz, with the company responsible for fine-tuning the virtual valuation process. This will give chartered surveyors unlimited flexibility about where they can work, giving that they can operate remotely.
This will not only benefit sellers but also homeowners seeking to remortgage their property. A home valuation is an essential part of the remortgaging process, with an accurate figure required so that a mortgage advisor like Trussle can guide you to the best remortgage deals for your property. Virtual valuations will make it easier than ever for homeowners to receive an up-to-date figure for their property, therefore allowing them to switch to a more favorable mortgage much quicker.
Virtual open houses
Virtual open houses significantly decrease the logistical effort required on the part of the estate agent, the seller, and any prospective buyers. For those looking to relocate a significant distance, a virtual open house is a massive time and money saver when it comes to travel. Buyers can get a feel for a property and the neighborhood without the need to undertake long journeys.
An estate agent giving a tour of a house via a video stream is also more likely to engage with anyone who only has a casual interest, particularly if that video is posted on a popular and accessible platform like Facebook. Physically attending a house viewing is a firm statement of intent, whereas virtual viewings may catch the eye of someone who wouldn’t have otherwise displayed any interest in the property.
Virtual viewings have even more power when it comes to renters. While a virtual open house may attract the interest of a new potential buyer, that interest is likely to be followed up at least one physical tour around the house before any contracts are signed. This is less of an issue for renters, where a positive virtual viewing may be enough to convince someone to commit to a short-term lease.
The CEO of Movebubble has observed a 1300% increase in renters opting to virtually view properties in the last 18 months. Movebubble is an app that facilitates first-person viewings which are filmed to give prospective renters an honest feel for the place. Viewers can then instantly firm up their interest through an integrated ‘Rent It’ function. Virtual viewings feel especially well-suited to the renting world, given that platforms like Movebubble allow renters to digitally access several properties with just a few touches of a screen.
While some homeowners, estate agents and renters may still be reluctant to go entirely digital, virtual viewings appear destined to become common practice in the coming years. There will always be a need for some physical tours or inspections, but the flexibility of virtual viewings will be increasingly appreciated by tech-savvy generations.