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Viewings hit by the virus? Agents offered unique ‘virtual alternative’

A Spanish housebuilder’s bespoke system to allow prospective buyers to view properties without visiting is being offered to the UK agency market.

AEDAS Homes has developed bespoke technology to help sell new-builds to international buyers, and says it could appeal to UK agents during the Coronavirus crisis.

One London estate agent, Jeremy Leaf, said earlier this week viewings were down as much as 25 per cent because of the virus - and that was before the latest phase of the outbreak, as defined by government guidelines. 


The difference in the Spanish system from many existing video fly-throughs and virtual tours is that there is live interaction with an agent at the same time.

AEDAS says technologies from television and video games have been combined to create the platform called LIVE: customers view in 3D with a consultant in real-time, allowing questions to be asked during a ‘tour’.

In the first few months after the launch the company had already conducted over 100 tours with clients worldwide: approximately a third of their clients who participated in a virtual tour decided to fly to Spain to do a viewing. 

José Luis Leirós, director of innovation at AEDAS, says clients often prefer to talk to an advisor. “With many of our prospective clients living in other countries, this was an issue we had to deal with.”

The technology does not require any virtual reality headset; instead the customer clicks on a link from their mobile or desktop device which then links them to an advisor who shows them the location of the property on an interactive map along with videos of the local amenities; they are then transported virtually ‘into’ the property. 

The agent walks customers through the garden and each room, allowing buyers to experience the interior, sometimes with different finishes and colour schemes.

Leirós says: “From the customers’ point of view it looks like the advisor is integrated into the 3D model, which is a first for the property industry. Feedback from clients has been overwhelmingly positive. They have said it helped them to get more clarity around the location and the project, and it gave a much better idea of space and room distribution. After the tour we have found they are more motivated to come visit us in the real showroom.”

You can see more details here.

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    Algarve  Investor

    Or a possible solution to an ongoing crisis. Do you not think the number of viewings might be affected at present?

    Not everything is opportunism, and in this situation (to my eyes) what they are offering could prove highly useful to agents during the current crisis. And potentially beyond that as habits change and people start to do many more things remotely.

    I think this crisis could be the step-change into converting our rigid 9-5, 'bums on seats' culture into something far more flexible.

    It's going to ask us to rethink our whole economic system and the structures of our society, and how investing property in a world-class healthcare system and having enough doctors, nurses, ventilators, etc, is crucial at a time of national crisis.


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