The extent of the impact of COVID-19 on our society could not have been predicted; not only has it drastically impacted our day-to-day lives, but has led us to rethink how we live. Virtual reality software has anticipated these changes, becoming an invaluable and lasting tool for estate agents to navigate the pandemic era and beyond.

A society in lockdown

In the era of virtual dating, virtual doctor’s appointments, and even ‘cloud clubbing’, the pandemic has led to a pervasive reconfiguration of society. The internet has enabled us to adapt to a life of minimal social contact, helping to tackle both the practical and emotional challenges that a lockdown has presented.

Indeed, many positive changes have come from the pandemic; a life in lockdown has led us all to reconsider our priorities, meaning modern life cannot return to how it was before 2020. These changes have also affected real estate; the pandemic has highlighted the necessity of adopting virtual reality software as the ‘new normal’ for real estate agencies.

Real estate in the COVID-era

Residential real estate, like many industries, has been profoundly impacted by the pandemic.

Practical problems

On a practical level, house viewings were suspended in the UK with the announcement of a lockdown on the 23rd March 2020 and, 1 year later, remain restricted. This poses practical challenges for real estate agencies needing to show multiple groups of people a property multiple times. Here is where Floorfy can offer a solution.

Market recovery

Despite these challenges, the UK housing market has bounced back impressively since the first lockdown, with house prices rising by 5% in September 2020, compared to the previous year. As sellers rush to take advantage of the temporary stamp duty holiday on properties up to £500,000, real estate agencies face even greater demand when organising viewings and sales.

Qualitative changes

The UK house market has also changed qualitatively, where the pandemic has led many people to reassess their domestic priorities, increasingly valuing outdoor space.

As city-dwellers have realised they can avoid the stress of a daily commute by working from home, saving money and using time more effectively, searches for rural properties have increased dramatically. According to Rightmove, from July 8th to 31th August 2020 the slowest housing market in the UK was London, whilst searches for houses in small towns and villages with populations under 11,000 doubled.

The role of virtual reality software

Whilst the pandemic has posed significant challenges for real estate, Floorfy’s virtual reality software enables the industry to thrive in a difficult climate.

By simulating a physical house viewing through a virtual tour that is both realistic and aesthetically pleasing, real estate agencies are able to reduce the necessity of in-person visits by 70%. This removes the additional stresses raised by COVID-19, namely restrictions on in-person viewings and the increase in searches for remote properties in rural areas. You can read more about our virtual tours here.

What are the long-term benefits?

Not only essential in adjusting to the changes caused by COVID-19, Floorfy’s virtual reality software is also the most practical long term option for real estate agents.

The only equipment needed to generate a virtual tour is a 360-degree camera and a panoramic tripod. We offer advice and support on how to take these photographs, like this video on our YouTube channel. Overcoming the issues posed by time-zones and lengthy journeys, a virtual tour also allows 24/7 access to a property for a client, whilst, if they prefer, enabling simultaneous virtual calls with an estate agent at an organized time.

Convenience for your clients

This online service not only saves time and money for real estate agencies, but enables clients to view a property at their convenience and from the comfort of their own home, on their tablet, phone or computer.

By giving the clients a realistic impression of a property within seconds of their initial search, a real estate agency using Floorfy software gains a degree of credibility on their online portfolio.

The future of real estate

Virtual reality software offers both practical short term and long term solutions to the 21st century problems facing real estate agencies. Saving money, time and unnecessary physical contact, Floorfy offers a dynamic software central to the future of real estate.

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