Data from a property consultancy suggests that two thirds of renters who use virtual viewings sign tenancies without actually visiting their chosen property in person.
Independent analysis carried out by TwentyCi indicates that guided virtual tours increase sales conversions by over 19 per cent and drive selling prices up by more than five per cent. Let conversion rates increase by 8.5 per cent - two thirds of which go on to let the property without a physical viewing, saving agents up to 90 per cent in costs.
TwentyCi used a large sample of over 13,000 properties in sales and lettings between October 2020 and March 2021, to find out whether or not guided virtual tours made a difference to the purchase or rental of a property, and what that difference was, compared to a fully representative control group.
TwentyCi describes the results of its analysis as “simply staggering” and says they “represent a catalyst for change in the industry”.
The company also predicts that guided virtual viewings will be “one of the PropTech solutions that will win out”.
In response to the findings, one player in the Virtual Viewing sector - Smart Viewing, which has Marc Haguenauer as its chief executive - says: “What TwentyCi has brought to light is not based on anecdotes, models or sentiment, but on real-world data from out there in the field, watching real people make real decisions in real time. We’ve always believed that guided virtual viewings had a significant impact on the purchase or rental of a property – now we have proof.”
He continues: “As for lettings, nearly 70 per cent of those in the study took place after at least one guided virtual tour of a property.
“What’s more, two thirds of those tenants let without a physical viewing of the property at all. This represents a considerable cost and time saving for the agent.
“The 66 per cent let without a physical viewing resulted in 90 per cent of time saved, compared to a standard approach. This not only translates into cost saving, but also creates opportunities for business development, thanks to the time freed-up.”
Haguenauer says that the Coronavirus pandemic has amplified the digitalisation of consumer behaviour across all generations – including the eldest.