The property sales business saw many changes in 2020 – a trend for estate agents which looks set to continue well into 2021 and beyond.
As with many businesses from all industries, the property market had to learn to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and has slowly come to understand that many of these changes will be permanent.
Even as some aspects of life will return – sometime – to what they were like ‘before Covid’, companies around the globe have realised that the population, including its customer base, has altered and many aspects of life will not return to ‘normal’.
Much of life has shifted online – it was coming anyway and way inevitable, but what 2020 did was speed up this transition and, like many trends, this was a one-way journey.
The estate agents and property sales teams of the future will be the ones to recognise this new trend in the property industry and adapt accordingly. The sooner the better.
Changes to the property market during Covid-19
The property business has shifted to become more web-based, as with many other industries, and this has led to the adoption of newer technologies at a faster rate.
These changes were inevitable anyway, but what has changed is the speed of the adaptation. Here are just a few of the main shifts that have occurred during 2020 for the property agents who will survive and thrive in 2021 and beyond.
Utilising social media – for viewings and for business promotion
The shift onto social media cannot be emphasised enough – both for promotion of properties and for advertising the agencies themselves.
As 2020 progressed – and turned into 2021 – so more consumers shifted towards social media for their daily contact with outside life.
This included contact with business – platforms such as Twitter and Facebook became a larger part of people’s lives, and Webchat became the normal way to communicate with businesses, partly due to the reduction in staff available to answer the telephone.
Property agencies were no exception. They began to promote properties online using social media as a communication tool – and often realised some amazing results.
Looking ahead, estate agents will need to become more adept at social engagement as expectations in the market increase.
A shift in perspective towards engagement
As a part of this, estate agents learned that a move towards more engaging content was required – it’s one thing to post a few photos of a property, it’s another to engage and keep the attention of online property viewers.
As they quickly came to understand, it was about relationship and trustworthiness as much as it was about displaying property information.
Property agencies that were most successful in this shift paid attention to FAQs, responding promptly to enquiries and other customer engagement.
Remote viewings for the Covid-19 property industry
One of the most important tools in the toolbox for 2020 property agencies became the remote viewing options.
Rather than personally viewing countless houses, potential buyers became adept at viewing a larger number of properties online, and then viewing in person a shortlist of those that they liked having seen them remotely in the first instance.
This made both the viewers and the homeowners feel safer as a result, as it kept social contact to a minimum.
Indeed, there were even a couple of positive benefits to this approach.
The first was that sellers had less interruption to their daily lives, as physical viewings reduced, but secondly, initial interest increased – as more buyers took an initial interest.
Additionally, there was more buyer interest from further afield. When you are viewing remotely, distance is not an issue.
Indeed, remote viewings offer several advantages and look very much to be the ‘norm’ for the way ahead.
It makes sense, therefore, to spend time and effort on making remote viewings look better than ever in the coming months/years by using all the available quality and technologies available.
Continued restrictions and safety first
In truth, no one (not even government experts) knows how long the current circumstances will prevail. Restrictions may well lift during the summer but return again in the autumn (as many medical experts predict).
‘Safety First’ – for the foreseeable future at least – should be the mantra of businesses from every field, and especially those that operate in the public domain.
It makes sense, then, to adapt and adjust now, in order to be best prepared for all circumstances.
The property agents who are most successful in the future will be the ones who adopt the most future-proof strategies today.
Here are a few suggestions that perhaps should be considered as property business new needs for 2021 and beyond:
Innovation and new trends in property sales for 2021
As we have already touched on above, and elsewhere, one of the most important objectives that were learned by estate agents in terms of the property business and Covid-19 was increased communication – communication with both buyers and sellers.
Keeping them both updated and informed became even more important as people felt more and more cut off.
As well as phone calls, customers are now far more adept at using email, social chat (such as WhatsApp and Telegram) as well as Webchats and even video calls.
3D walkthroughs as a new tool in property business
One of the biggest investments the property agencies made in 2020 was in 3D walkthroughs.
These generally take 2 forms – either a ‘normal’ video walkthrough or the utilisation of the new technology of 3D video (e.g. Matterport).
Video walkthroughs are not necessarily new but have been taken up much more post-Covid, as demand for remote property viewing has increased exponentially.
These comprise of a video presentation of a property in detail, as opposed to static photo images, and give a complete ‘feel’ of the space and dimension of the property being viewed.
3D video is another tool altogether. This is a series of 3D photos which allow the user to look around a room as if controlling the camera themselves.
The better systems are a combination of both of these – a 3D image with the ability to then ‘move’ to the next scene and thus also get a feel of a moving video. Much like Google Streetview does for the outdoors, so advanced 3D systems (such as Matterport) do for the inside of homes.
The other huge advantage that some of the 3D video tools allows for is annotated video and floorplans.
As well as allowing the viewer to remotely stroll around a home, additional notes can be added, including details of appliances and dimension measurements to help the viewer understand the dimensions of rooms etc…
The advantage of online video tours
Of course, the real advantage of this technology is that they are available online, anytime.
Video viewings can be made when it is convenient for the buyer, and will not disturb the seller at all. This means that both parties can have the recording and viewing made when it suits them.
It is only if a buyer sees a property that is a serious consideration to buy that they then request a personal, physical viewing. This cuts down on the number of properties they have to view and serves as a reduction in inconveniences to the seller.
Remote property video viewings are a win-win for both parties, let alone the estate agent, who is saving on costs.
Live streaming events
Live streaming events in property viewings has yet to reach its full potential, yet with this type of video becoming increasingly more popular with viewers on social media platforms, it is only a matter of time before it finds its way into being more relevant for estate agents.
Live viewings and auctions have happened online already and will only increase.
There is an appeal to live broadcasts that add urgency to proceedings that is simply not there with pre-recorded viewings.
Whilst certainly not suitable for many properties and occasions, this is a technology to at least become more familiar with post-covid, as it will play an ever more important role in business generally, including property.
Property business promotion
Aside from property promotion, many estate agents have had to find new and innovative ways to promote themselves online in 2020 and 2021. There are many ways to do this – which are summarised in a free report that is available to download right now – click the image here to access the e-book today
Aside from property promotion, many estate agents have had to find new and innovative ways to promote themselves online in 2020 and 2021.
There are many ways to do this – which are summarised in a free report that is available to download right now – click the image here to access the e-book today
Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the way property agents sell their homes – and regardless of how long the pandemic lasts, many of these changes are here to stay, as the public at large has adapted to new ways of living and new ways of conducting all kinds of business.
This includes buying and selling property.
However the pandemic pans out, in 2021 or even 2022 and beyond, there have been some changes and shifts towards new technological solutions that will simply not revert.
These innovations and new trends in property sales are here to stay, and the agencies that survive and thrive will be the ones to both adopt and adapt. The primary tool for property sales is now video.
Need help or advice with property video? Looking for a property videographer in London – or indeed anywhere?
Splento has professional property videographers available nationwide in the UK or wherever you find yourself across the globe. And with fixed prices to suit every budget – which includes editing and delivery within 48 hours – there is no longer any reason for your property business not to be using video.
Contact Splento if you are in need of: