Will virtual property visits remove the Estate agent?

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Will virtual property visits remove the Estate agent?

The COVID 19 crisis could be changing the property market for ever.  The trend at the moment is towards virtual real estate viewing at least at the start of a property search.

Due to the social distancing, a property inspection in the usual form was practically impossible in the past weeks. For many, however, the search for an apartment couldn’t be put off – and it didn’t have to be. Because numerous Estate agents have been using state-of-the-art technology for some time and enable virtual tours through apartments and houses. A trend that will become significantly more important in the future and will be accelerated by the current situation.


Virtual property inspection – what does that mean?

Visiting a property from the sofa? So far unthinkable for many of us. It was better to drive across town at rush hour to be on a property visit.  The Corona crisis forced a rethink and underlined the relevance of virtual visits to apartments and houses. Thanks to sophisticated technology, many freestanding properties can be experienced realistically virtually – without you having to be there yourself as a prospective client. A click of the mouse on the object is enough to start the tour of the apartment or house!

What methods are there?

    House inspection via live stream: When viewing the apartment via live stream, the Estate agent/consultant moves through the property with his smartphone at a fixed time and films all the rooms. If you are interested, you can click online and follow the tour in real time. A chat function usually gives you the opportunity to ask questions.

A    360 ° tour: Virtual tours are often 360 ° tours based on photos. The photographs are taken with a so-called omnidirectional camera, which scans the interior three-dimensionally and links and displays the 360 ??° individual images online in the form of virtual tours. In this way, you can examine individual rooms or entire apartments and houses in detail – as with a real inspection.

Tour with VR glasses: Real estate experiences can also be created regardless of time and location using virtual reality. As a prospect, you will be placed in a purely digital or simulated environment. That means you can also experience rooms or the view of an apartment that only exists on the plan. However, this requires special hardware, such as VR glasses.


Augmented Reality in new construction projects:
Augmented Reality also proves to be a very useful tool in the development process of real estate. Augmented Reality is a reality that is “enriched” by digital information. In this way, apartments and houses that are only in the planning stage can be seen and experienced. With the help of this technique, you can virtually go through your potential new home, set it up, paint the walls and much more. This can make decision-making in new construction projects enormously easier. In comparison to virtual reality, no separate hardware is required here. At the moment, however, augmented reality is only reduced to the visual sense.

What are the advantages of a virtual property inspection?
Pictures give a first impression. However, they are unable to transport all relevant information. Nor can they provide a realistic insight into the property. On a virtual tour, however, this works quite well. As a prospect, you get a feel for the room layout, style and atmosphere of the property. Based on this, it is relatively easy to decide whether the house or apartment will be shortlisted or not.

What do you have to consider as a searcher?

Virtual tours are an enormous relief when probing. This enables you to quickly determine whether the property is fundamentally suitable for you or not, without having to be on site, so no wasted journeys. They are not a real substitute for a personal property inspection.

Because it is and remains only an image of reality. Small blemishes can be easily “prettied up” virtually and may look completely different when viewed properly on site. If you have real interest, you should be very sure that the property does what it promises before signing the contract. So, it is advisable to wait for a real viewing appointment!  Nothing beats human face to face contact.
Source and Photo: Der Standard
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