The property market has defied all odds and thrived during the coronavirus pandemic, driven by pent up demand from the first lockdown, and the Government cut in stamp duty. London in particular has made a strong start to 2021, as people anticipate a return to more normal life by the summer.
Despite the current lockdown, prospective buyers and tenants have not been held back from viewings, thanks to forward-thinking estate agents who are adapting to ‘PropTech’. This is a broad term which is used to describe the application of digital technology within the estate agent trade.
Estate Agent Today reports that the biggest game-changer of 2020 were ‘virtual 3D tours’, which recreate a virtual 360 degree viewing experience on screen. They are set to become a standard practice in the marketing of property, and the most innovative agents have already integrated 3D with their Rightmove, Zoopla, and social media portfolios.
Potential buyers or renters like the convenience of viewing a property on line without having to interrupt their day with travelling to a place which turns out to be unsuitable for them. The technology allows them to fully immerse themselves in 3D imagery, walking from room to room, zooming in and out, and accessing floor plans.
Agents also save themselves from wasted time, and attract better informed and more committed clients. This gives them more time to focus on sales and lettings, and also potentially opens up their market to more remote clients who might otherwise put their property to the bottom of the list.
The current advice of the Government for estate agents, backed by the Guild of Property Professionals, is to go through a virtual viewing first, and arrange a physical meeting and viewing only if deemed strictly necessary. This has driven estate agents to adapt to ‘virtual tours’ quickly, and decide that this is a marketing method which benefits everybody.
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