STAY AT HOME: Viewings From the Comfort of Your Own Sofa.
Monday 23rd March: the UK entered a lock down and all “non-essential” businesses had to close.
Although it had happened weeks before in other European countries, it was all very sudden. All businesses had to adapt to this new environment quicker than ever!
For estate agents, it was clear that although the majority of their clients would put their search on hold, numerous applicants were still very keen to secure a property for the foreseeable future, or were not in a position to wait to find a new home.
This is where videos have come in handy!
If you scroll through Rightmove or Zoopla and look at properties to rent, you will soon realise that some estate agents have tried to anticipate this crisis, to be able to offer their clients video tours of as many properties as possible!
Serious or curious?
These videos were taken to help people in a situation of emergency to still have access to viewings and be able to secure a new apartment to move into quickly.
Although they were not originally meant to be sent on mass, they have stirred up curiosity amongst applicants who weren’t necessarily in a situation of having to secure a property. Virtually visiting a property from a sofa seems to be an enjoyable experience, as more and more requests for videos come through every day.
A video would never be the same as a physical viewing, that goes without saying. However, in a situation of crisis such as the current one, video tours become a very powerful tool that can help many people.
GLP landlords are over the moon to know that their properties are still receiving lots of interest, feedback and serious offers during this unprecedented time.
You need to find a property through video tours? What to look for?
Some “shady” agents could also take advantage of this new trend (forced by the Covid-19) and try to get their client’s money whilst not being 100% honest about some property features..
1. Tips of things to look for:
Can you hear/see your agent in the video?
It is always more personal to have an agent speaking to you about the property and describing things you can’t always see in the video. Interaction with customers and advice are always a good sign of transparency and professionalism!
2. Are they showing the building? Communal areas? The street?
Make sure you can clearly see the location of the building and its immediate surroundings, as well as the communal areas, the staircase for example, which floor it is on etc… This will avoid any future disappointment.
3. Is there a link to the property they can send you with information? Are the pictures and description similar to what you’ve seen on the video?
If the property is real, it should already be online, or marketed “off-line” by the agent. Feel free to request the link or brochure which should have the address, pictures and sometimes floorplan.
4. Don’t transfer money without being 100% sure!
If you have seen a property you like on a video and the agent is asking you to pay a holding deposit, be extra careful during this period. Make sure you have a supporting document from the agent which shows their terms and conditions. It is also always best to have written communication and if in doubt, make sure you have done all necessary checks such as the address of the agent, their company registration number or even their Google reviews, they are often a good indicator!
If you are looking to rent or purchase a home in the city, speak to our estate agent London today. We can help you find a home in the heart of London. Contact our Soho office on 020 7734 4062, fill in the form below or pop in to our office on Broadwick Street and we can point you in the right direction.