A high-resolution, 360-degree virtual tour could be one of the key ways agents look to show potential buyers a property, following the ban on public open homes and auctions from midnight, Wednesday March 25.
Camera services and agents have reported a spike in inquiries for virtual tours of property listings in the past week to fill the void left by government-mandated social distancing measures.
Asset Reports partner Tom Williams said high-quality, 360-degree views of listed properties were an invaluable tool for vendors and buyers alike.
“It’s helping [agents] get the listing and helping them engage the right buyer,” Mr Williams said.
“I’ve seen easily a 50 to 60 per cent increase in more business than the week prior. We’ve doubled our bookings.
“It’s making a huge difference. It’s coming down to haves and have-nots [of property listings].”
Asset Report is one of the largest suppliers of Matterport 3D cameras in Australia. The cameras capture footage allowing buyers to move through the property at their own pace.
They can also see the property from a range of views including overhead, and interactive measuring tools allow them to assess how their furniture would fit in the space.
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Mr Williams said while agents remained confident properties would continue to sell, products and services like 3D floor plans would help them get buyers through virtual doors at a time when movement is restricted.
“If a product or service can make that [property] transaction happen with more clarity and better decision-making, then that’s great. Every little bit counts.
“At a time where everybody is at home and on screens and trying to communicate effectively, this technology is providing all of those things.”
It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced tough new crackdowns to combat the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on real estate auctions and open homes.
Real Estate Institute of Australia president Adrian Kelly said it was important the industry pulled together to support the government’s efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
“With regard to public auctions, these can still occur via telephone bidding or by using one of the many online auction platforms available,” he said. “We need to show some initiative and resourcefulness at this time.
“As an industry, we are all in this predicament together and the sooner we all do what needs to be done, the sooner we can return to a more normal real estate market.”
Crying Out Loud creative director Lee Lucas said agents were realising the major upside of having 3D virtual tours on property listings at a time when open home attendance was down.
“It gets a much larger audience. You pick up many more viewers than you would in an open home inspection,” Mr Lucas said. “You’re capturing all those people who couldn’t make it to the inspection or those people from afar or all those investors who can have a quick look online.”
He said the technology would become the “norm” as more and more listings included the feature in coming weeks.
Ray White Woollahra principal Randall Kemp said they were seeing greater uptake of the service to help vendors and buyers with their property decisions as people feel uncomfortable attending open homes.
“It’s a fantastic thing because people can see straightaway into properties without having to visit,” he said. “It will become more normal [to have virtual tour listings]. It’s only a matter of time.”
He said his agency had employed more videos and virtual tours on listings in the past week in a bid to adapt to the fast-changing times.
“We’re doing everything we can to adapt so we can still transact property, see property, rent property,” he said. “It’s enabling us to operate as agents.
“It’s the next best thing than a personal inspection.”