Using virtual viewings in property marketing
A temporary pandemic essential or marketing tool with long-term appeal? Viewber looks at the future of virtual viewings.
Viewber was initially founded as an accompanied viewings service, with a Viewber chaperoning potential buyers and tenants round properties when agents couldn’t attend. So, you might think it is counterintuitive for us to talk about virtual viewings and their role in property marketing.
For Viewber, it was a natural extension to add other services to our accompanied viewing offering, seeing as our Viewbers are already visiting properties. Agents, auctioneers and investors can commission a Viewber to take record a walk through, take photos, prepare inspection reports and complete 360-degree virtual tours with floorplans on their behalf – saving them the hassle of repeat visits to the same property and dealing with numerous third-party suppliers.
There has been debate about the long-term role of virtual viewings in property marketing. While we’re all in agreement that they can never replace a physical viewing when it comes to an emotional connection, a gut feeling and an agent’s ability to close a deal, anecdotal evidence and statistical research shows there is a wider role for virtual viewings in the future.
Take, for instance, independent analysis carried out by TwentyCi. It used a sample of over 13,000 properties in sales and lettings between October 2020 and March 2021, to find out whether or not guided virtual tours made a difference to the purchase or rental of a property,
The results show guided virtual tours increased sales conversions by more than 19% and increased selling prices up by more than 5%. Let conversion rates increased by 8.5%, with two thirds of renters who used virtual viewings signing tenancies without undertaking an in-person visit.
If you’re weighing up whether to start commissioning or continue with virtual viewings, here are the different ways they can be used:
- As a stand-alone viewing tool: many home movers are approaching the viewing process with restraint, especially when it comes to travelling and physically entering other people’s homes. A virtual viewing is a great way to explore a property with zero social contact. Virtual viewings are also essential if an agent’s main audience is overseas buyers, property investors and developers, who are more likely to ‘buy blind’ or from afar.
As in the case of some rental properties, a virtual viewing may be the only opportunity a potential tenant gets to tour the let. We have found a virtual tour can work extremely well in tandem with a Viewber-generated property/locality report.
- In conjunction with other marketing resources: The simple fact remains, agents usually stand a better chance of selling or letting a property with as many details, images and videos about a property as possible. Virtual viewings can work alongside photographs and floorplans to encourage movers to make a physical viewing appointment.
- As a qualification tool: if an agent’s problem is far too many applicants for a property - knowing that only a small proportion will want to proceed after an in-person viewing - a virtual viewing can provide a good way to eliminate time wasters and encourage movers to create an authentic shortlist, saving an agent unnecessary accompanied visits.
- To facilitate second and third viewings: all agents know that viewing requests don’t stop once a property is under offer. Frequently, and especially in the case of sales, the new buyer would like to go back to second for even third visits, which take an agent away from income-winning tasks. Having the ability to revisit and explore a property as often as required in a virtual format may help reduce the number of repeat viewing requests.
While virtual viewings have many benefits, Viewber remains true to its roots and places a high value on the ‘in person’ element and emotion of seeing a property. If an agent can’t attend a viewing but knows the presence of a real person is critical, they can always book a local Viewber to meet the viewer on their behalf. Get in touch to learn more about our services.