As virtual tours start to get even more popular, and in some cases become the norm for the majority of letting agents, it begs the question whether your virtual tours are GDPR and CPR compliant?
First of all, what is a virtual tour?
The purpose of a virtual property viewing is to show a prospective buyer or tenant around the property virtually, i.e. through a live video stream (which may also be recorded). This is usually done using a smartphone or a tablet through an application, which allows for video calls, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or WhatsApp (other applications available). More elaborate video productions (3D cameras) are also available but not as widely used. The future may even hold Virtual Reality viewings provided at agents’ offices or online.
From a GDPR perspective, the amount of personal/sensitive data that can be accidentally captured within a home can be surprising, from personal photos of family members on the wall to letters on fridges and worktops.
In addition to this, consumer protection regulation means that virtual tours must not be misleading. For instance, it can be misleading for some virtual tours to contain small furniture in a room, giving a false impression that a room is much bigger than it actually is. When creating virtual tours, whilst it’s important to sell a property through the virtual tour, it’s also important to be honest and transparent and put yourself in the customer's shoes.
So, what compliance do lettings agents need to adhere to? Well, we sought the help of JMW Solicitors, who are a full-service law firm providing legal services and advice for both businesses and individuals. We put our heads together and came up with this handy customisable Word document that covers everything you need to know about virtual tours and GDPR and CPR compliance.
The guide covers off a host of things such as:
Virtual property viewings.
Consumer Protection Regulations.
The Property Ombudsman Guidance.
The Information Commissioner’s Office.
You can download a free copy of the guide here.
It’s important for lettings agents to adhere to good practice and hopefully, this guide puts you on the right path to ensure that the virtual tours that you create for your properties are not only the best on the market, but also compliant and fair.
*Mitch Handley is Marketing Director of Inventory Hive