Despite the vast amount of publicity given to the concept of virtual viewing, a survey suggests relatively few properties on sale have this facility for prospective buyers.
Digital company U-See Homes has analysed properties on sale in various cities and found that even in the ‘best’ location, only 17 per cent of homes listed on Rightmove and Zoopla had virtual options.
Most had just between two and five per cent.
Newport was the city recording 17 per cent, followed by Manchester on 16 per cent and Liverpool (13 per cent) and Leicester (10 per cent).
Every other city from the 24 analysed recorded single figures, and mostly five per cent or below.
Across all the cities combined, an average of just four per cent of listed properties on the two major portals had virtual viewing options - this is despite virtual viewing being given priority in government advice on how transactions should be conducted during the depth of the pandemic last year.
U-See Homes’ marketing head Simon Dempsey says: “Many agents still fail to see the added value of incorporating them into their advertising portfolio.
“Virtual viewings have long been a great addition to the digital advertising armoury of estate agents, but the threat of Covid-19 has seen them evolve to serve a far more important purpose than marketing collateral alone.
“The ability to view a property in a virtual capacity has allowed many buyers to reduce the number of physical viewings undertaken during the homebuying process, which in turn has prevented unnecessary contact with additional households throughout the pandemic.
“There are a wealth of excellent virtual viewings platforms out there but it’s perhaps fair to say that they haven’t been used to their full potential and this is probably why many agents are yet to fully embrace this technology.
“Should the property fail to impress, the agent can swiftly move onto the next one and by using a comprehensive virtual platform to whittle down the initial list of potential properties, both agent and buyer can save a considerable amount of time when searching for the perfect home.”