Agents Need to Play Part in Reducing Exposure to COVID-19
In-person inspections are putting tenants and sellers at risk, forcing them to welcome strangers potentially infectious with COVID-19 into their homes, despite restrictions.
CEO of Little Hinges, Australia’s largest virtual tours provider, Josh Callaghan, says real estate agents need to reconsider the in-person inspection, not only to prevent the spread of the Delta strain, but also to ensure vendors and renters are getting the best possible deal.
Lockdowns have meant real estate agents are unable to show properties to large groups in the traditional Saturday morning showing. With Sydney’s COVID-19 crisis worsening, Victoria plunged into another snap lockdown, and Brisbane still under strict restrictions, real estate agents need to think beyond the traditional playbook to generate offers for their clients.
Callaghan said, “While in-person inspections are limited to one-on-one, there are other options to landlords and real estate agents that don’t require sellers, buyers and tenants to be put at any risk during outbreaks - and ultimately generate better results for both parties in property transactions.
“3D virtual tours allow potential tenants and buyers to conduct their research online before physically visiting a property, minimising the risk of coming into contact with someone who might have COVID-19.
“The best tours are accurate to within a millimetre, which means tenants and buyers can even measure to make sure their fridge is going to fit in the kitchen before ever leaving their homes.
“Not only does this mean that tenants and buyers are less likely to be exposed to COVID-19, it also means real estate agents are only spending time with serious prospects.”
Virtual tours are not only a tool for real estate agents to use during lockdowns and restrictions, with research from realestate.com.au suggesting that buyers are 95% more likely to call an agent about a property they’ve seen on the REA platform that includes a virtual tour. Data also suggests that agents with more visual content (like video) receive 403% more inquiries compared to those without.
Little Hinges virtual tours are carried out in accordance with industry guidelines provided by the State Government and the REIQ, and we're still operating as normal.