Zoopla has linked with a PropTech company led by the former boss of Purplebricks to offer agents free virtual viewings services.
The link is with FocalAgent, led by Lee Wainwright, who until 2019 was chief executive of the UK operation of Purplebricks.
The deal is free only to a limited number of agents during a pilot project.
For the lucky agents it will mean free access to FocalAgent’s Smart Viewing platform with the ability to conduct what Zoopla calls “safe but effective virtual viewings” for any of their properties listed on the portals.
Those agents will also be able to show prospective buyers around a property using 2D photography, 360 photography or tours.
Agents will be able to select any one of their properties listed on Zoopla to view in real time, based on applicant requirements, but also switch between properties and do multiple viewings in one go to tailor viewings efficiently to applicant preferences.
Zoopla’s statement announcing the offer does not say how many agents can take advantage of the deal but those interested can register here.
Andy Marshall, Zoopla chief commercial officer says: “Agents can provide homemovers with a best-in-class virtual viewing experience, and an alternative to physical viewings, which is crucial when the threat of Covid means that many homemovers and agents may be hesitant to tour a property in person
“It was important to us that the technology offered agents the opportunity to ‘guide’ and tailor their tours - as it helps build a rapport with each consumer and to refine what they’re looking for.
“Virtual viewing technology implemented internationally has proved to be a resounding success, and a means with which to confirm a prospective buyer’s interest before going to see the property in person.
“If that success translates to the initial pilot, we will be looking to expand this partnership with FocalAgent and offer these benefits to all Zoopla agents across the length and breadth of the UK.”
Ex-Purplebricks chief Lee Wainwright adds on behalf of FocalAgent: “We know that estate agencies are people businesses and we’ve created technology that allows for virtual viewings to be controlled by the agent so the consumers gets the best possible experience which achieves two things.
“Firstly, it increases the genuine interest of a potential tenant or buyer who has the opportunity to ask the questions pertinent to them and their situation. Secondly, Smart Viewing reduces (and in some cases can replace) the need for physical viewings.”