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Ex-Purplebricks chief executive reveals new challenge for estate agents

Buyer behaviour has changed over the past year of the pandemic and it’s up to estate agents to calculate how to use virtual viewings when normality returns.

That’s the view of Lee Wainwright, chief executive of PropTech supplier FocalAgent and former UK chief executive of Purplebricks.

In a video interview with agent and property presenter Chris Buckler, exclusively on Estate Agent Today, Wainwright says virtual viewings have obviously become commonplace over the course of the past year, but they are here to stay in the future too.

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“Visual content products will definitely exist post-pandemic. How agents use that visual content to win market share and become more effective - with time and with cash and to engage with the consumer - is more important, post-pandemic” insists Wainwright. 

He says virtual tours can be enough to seal the deal in lettings - and he himself has rented property on the strength of using virtual viewings - but he recognises that agents on the sales side have to use the technology in a different way to maximise market share.

FocalAgent launched just over two years ago with a product range including EPCs, photography and floorplans as well as virtual tours; Wainwright stepped into a role with the company in late 2019.  He’s a former long-standing managing director with Countrywide as well as serving with Purplebricks.

It’s a five minute interview and you can see it below.

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    Nice ad.

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    Always been the case.
    Virtual Viewings on the portals have vastly higher engagement than just images

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Maybe virtual interviews - next.

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    Crickey, how much do these ads cost? Can anyone get one?

    There is another technology which is useful in capturing buyer info such as motorbikes, pets, caravans - it's called a phone and buyers are quite good at using them.

    Let's not over-engineer things, impress buyers with great photos & video, get the click through and then have a phone call before the in person viewing. Simples as we used to say.

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    Thanks for the head's up, Lee. Great to be kept up to date with the groundbreaking technology.

  • Mark Walmsley

    Please help. A prerecorded virtual viewing is subjective with no customer interaction.

    A live walk through means agent at house, buyer at home.

    Health, risk and geography aside, if you’ve called the viewer and chatted, why not both physically attend if the property feels right if you’ve got to physically attend anyway?

    Less physical relationship x 24 months means less closer to needing physical agent surely?

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