Virtual viewings are here to stay and will continue long after lockdown eases according to the head of a PropTech group.
Babek Ismayil, founder and chief executive of the OneDome Group - which operates the free to list OneDome and Nethouseprices portals - says the use of virtual viewings during the Coronavirus crisis has triggered interest and enthusiasm that will continue into the future.
Ismayil, a former senior vice-president of credit trading at JPMorgan, says: "For many properties, traditional in-person viewings will still be required. However, virtual viewings are very useful for prospective buyers who live far away from the property or those who want to get an initial feel of a home before deciding whether it is worth visiting.
"Virtual viewings can therefore help agents to identify the most serious buyers and potentially contribute towards speeding up transactions.”
He believes agencies should now be preparing and training staff for the post-lockdown market, with virtual viewings as an integral offer to customers.
OneDome has created a free guide for agents on setting up and using virtual viewings, via Zoom, Facebook or Facebook Live. You can see it here.
Ismayil says his OneDome portal allows prospective buyers to request a video viewing of a property where they would usually request a traditional viewing. The request is then sent directly to the agent for them to confirm whether or not they can provide a virtual viewing.
The group has over 5,500 estate agents as customers and says that last month it received 1.37m unique monthly visitors to its sites, generating 120,000 leads for agents listing with it.