A leading PropTech entrepreneur with a lengthy pedigree as an estate agent says agents should use more technology in a bid to keep transactions flowing during Covid.
Lee Wainwright is now chief executive of PropTech supplier FocalAgent and over the past 20 years has held senior positions at agencies including Purplebricks, Countrywide and Bairstow Eves.
He says: “Many agents are now fully prepared for further waves of the Covid virus by offering a complete suite of virtual marketing tools to sellers and buyers, allowing sales and purchases to progress with 360-degree tours and online viewings.
“Demand for video tours and virtual viewing technology grew exponentially in 2021 and we expect this to trend to continue in 2022, particularly with the transmissibility of the Omicron variant making sellers nervous about opening their homes up for viewings.
“As Rightmove recorded one of the top 10 busiest days for valuation requests at the end of 2021, forward thinking agents are recognising that Covid is here to stay for the time being and are future proofing their businesses by permanently adopting a visual first approach.”
Wainwright says that not only do 360-degree tours make a property stand out online and instantly engage with buyers, but he claims that data shows that 95 per cent of buyers are more likely to call about a property marketed with a virtual tour.
“The pandemic has sped up the adoption of 3D tours and virtual viewings, and in a world that requires constant adaption to ever-changing rules and preferences, ambitious agents are reaping the rewards” he adds.
Yesterday Rightmove reported that the number of new sellers coming to market and listing on its portal was up by 21 per cent on Boxing Day just gone, compared to December 26 2020. This was the highest number of new sellers on Boxing Day Rightmove has ever recorded.
The portal also recorded its busiest ever Boxing Day for visits to its site and apps, despite concern over the Omicron variant.
It additionally claims prospective sellers jumped into action on December 30, its busiest day since May 2021 for people requesting agents to appraise their home, making it into the top 10 busiest ever days for these valuation requests on Rightmove