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Portals' apathy for virtual viewings is stifling consumer engagement

A leading agent has urged major portals Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket to feature virtual viewings content more prominently on their platforms.

Writing for Estate Agent Today as part of his Agents' PropTech Toolshed series, Kristjan Byfield says that the portals have shown apathy towards promoting virtual viewing technology as part of online property listings.

The agent, who runs Base Property Specialists in East London and is co-founder of PropTech compliance startup The Depositary, is urging agents who are enthusiastic about the potential of virtual tours as well as suppliers to push for the portals to make them more visible.


"One of the biggest hurdles currently faced by [virtual viewings suppliers] and us, their users, is the level of adoption and expectation from our customers," he writes.

"While I use tours on all of our listings (where possible) our applicant engagement is still disappointingly low."

He says that when it comes to incorporating new types of content into property listings, the portals are the 'gatekeepers'.

"The more front and centre [virtual tours] are featured, the greater impact they will have on your marketing and the more applicants will come to expect this level of content and rate agents who do."


Last week, Sussex-based estate agency Sawyers claimed that property listings which include video tours receive 'hundreds more views' than those without.

This was backed up by a survey of current applicants which found that 51% of buyers believe a detailed video tour would help them in making a decision as to whether they would view a property in the future.

You can read Kristjan Byfield's full article on virtual tours here.


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