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Should agents be doing more remote viewings to cut their carbon footprint?

With sustainability and eco-friendliness becoming more important by the minute, new research has suggested significant amounts of carbon could be saved by a typical agent if they carried out a fifth of their viewings remotely.

The carbon standards agency, Carbon Footprint Ltd, was recently commissioned by NicheCom to conduct a unique piece of research into the emissions involved during the property viewings process.  

NicheCom argues that, in the estate agency business, the sheer volume of car journeys made, week in week out for valuations and viewings, will be significantly adding to the carbon footprint of each and every branch.


As such, it wanted to find out how much CO2 is typically released during the traditional viewing process and to discover out how much this could be cut by if even a small number of viewings were conducted virtually.

Carbon Footprint, as part of its research, sourced statistics on the average distance an agent drives to a viewing, as well as the average number of viewings it takes to sell a property and the average number of sales per branch per year.

What were the findings?

The research found that, for each property sale, an average of 30 Kg CO2 is emitted from the car journeys where all viewings take place in person. This could, however, be reduced by 5.5 Kg when 20% of viewings are carried out virtually, the findings claimed.

The firm argued that if every estate agency in the country slightly reduced their number of physical viewings, it could save a ‘staggering’ 6,089 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. This is the equivalent to 10,500 return flights from London to New York.

On a smaller scale, it was argued that a typical two branch agency could cut their output by a ton of carbon per year.

“We were pleasantly surprised to discover that even a small reduction in the number of car journeys made can make such a significant impact over the course of a year,” Peter Burnham, managing director of NicheCom, said.

Christian Risoli, environmental consultant at Carbon Footprint, added: “It was a pleasure to be able to offer NicheCom some insights into the environmental impact of the traditional property viewing process. Where many agencies are now thinking about carbon offsetting schemes that can be costly, we would first encourage them to consider opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint and then offset the remainder.”

  • Martin Moston

    Nonsense report, how do they know how many viewings took place on an 'open house' viewing block or that the agent always drove to a viewing. Be interesting to find out how many sales you would agree with the virtual viewing client apposed to an actual in person one. I can just hear the conversation with the owner, ' well Mr A viewed it, loved it and has offered x, Mrs B said from the virtual viewing she loved it and has offered x, WHICH CLIENT DO YOU PREFER?
    I'm all for reducing our carbon footprint. Why not get the owner to do them :)


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