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Checking out a new house using your mobile or laptop before bidding at an auction will be the avant-garde way of house-hunting for the new wave of buyers and renters.
David Choi, chief commercial officer at Propic, a software company specialising in real estate, has predicted this trend will be the “new normal” for modern real estate based on a study by Domain that “recorded 18 per cent growth from July to August 2021 in virtual tours”.
Although Mr Choi acknowledged that in-person inspections will still be preferred for the last stage of buying a house, he also opined that if virtual inspections and conversational AI technologies are made available during the inquiry phase, in-person viewings will attract only those who are actively considering making an offer or are ready to make the move to a new home.
In spite of the anticipated return to normalcy with the easing of lockdowns, Mr Choi believes virtual tours are here to stay.
Let’s take a look at the modern advantages of virtual tours and their benefits for buyers, vendors, and property managers:
For buyers, it gives them the freedom to inspect properties 24/7 at their convenience and not conform to a fixed schedule. No need to physically walk through a house in a mad rush to get to your next appointment, only to vaguely remember the pros and cons of the properties you visited.
2. Less environmental impact
According to Propic, there is a growing tribe of eco-conscious, modern renters and buyers who are looking for “a more automated, digital experience”.
Virtual house tours are more practical because it saves people time while also reducing carbon footprint. It eliminates the need to go through traffic or fly in from another state or country to inspect a house.
3. More considered decisions
When in a rush from one house to another during in-person tours, features of the homes visited can become as hazy as an abstract painting.
With virtual tours, people can revisit and review the pros and cons of home options to compare and make carefully considered decisions that will be a good fit for their preferences.
“Modern buyers and tenants are digitally literate, time poor, and eco-conscious so virtual inspections better meet their needs,” Mr Choi pointed out.
Open houses are just not viable in many locations in Australia due to varying restrictions in response to the pandemic. Some buyers may still have a preference for in-person tours to meticulously evaluate house options, which can be time-consuming.
To address this need, virtual tours can be the more practical option to COVID-proof house inspections.
Mr Choi reiterated the important role of technology in adapting to the changes happening in the property sector due to the rolling lockdowns, even if most people are looking forward to going back to pre-pandemic conditions.
“The technology exists and has proven itself able to virtually attract new buyers and tenants, while saving time, money and significant stress. As we emerge from lockdown into a uniquely tight and competitive property market it’s time to capitalise on all the advantages of virtual home inspections paired with the likes of conversational AI to answer inquiries whenever and wherever people are thinking about their next move,” Mr Choi concluded.
Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.
Real estate is a type of real property that refers to any land and its permanent improvement or structures that come with it, whether natural or man-made.