Could the lockdown increase property sector take-up of technology?

As the UK property market faces yet more restrictions, could this help increase the take-up of new technology? It is common knowledge that the UK property market was one of the last bastions of non-technology-based business. Yes, we have seen the increased use of drones and other remote technology, but the take-up has been painfully slow in many areas. Is this about to change?

Increasing popularity of remote viewings

As the estate agent sector has become more and more competitive, the use of technology has increased. While there is often a significant initial investment required the long-term benefits of technology in the property sector are well documented. We know that the Internet has become an integral part of the marketing strategy of those in the sector. Indeed, the ability to instantly multiply your potential audience was something taken up at a relatively early stage. Progress since then has been, in many areas, painfully slow. However, things are changing!

Use of commercial drones

Such has been the huge increase in the use of commercial drones, across many business sectors, that regulations covering the use of these machines will tighten going forward. The ability to use drones as a means of viewing the wider area is priceless for many investors. This, coupled with the ability to get involved in an interactive viewing, is a game changer. As with so many different areas of technology, once one of the major estate agent chains broke ranks the rest had to follow.

Are there any drawbacks with remote viewings?

This is an extremely active discussion about the potentially enormous benefits of remote viewings, but there are some drawbacks.

• Getting a feel for a property

Even though there have been huge developments in interactive video/drone technology, nothing beats visiting a property. You get a feel for the hustle and bustle of the surrounding area, and the opportunity to take an in-depth look at the property, not just the showcase areas.

• Viewing rooms in perspective

Even the slightest change in a camera angle, use of colour, and other subtle adaptations, can make a huge difference to the “look and feel” of a room. There is nothing wrong showing off a property to its best, but it is up to buyers to spot the flaws.

While property TV shows seem to focus on the extremes of the market, there are numerous examples of people failing to physically visit a property before purchase. This additional risk does not always turn out costly, but it can.

Finding a balance between new technology/old school investment

In reality the pull at the moment is not towards new technology or old school investment, but a mixture of the two. It is now fairly easy to remotely view a property before you decide to visit in person. For many long-term investors this is the way forward, the greatest means of reducing risk and maximising profit. However, one of the great benefits of this type of strategy is maximising the use of your time, something which is extremely important. Cut the losers and run the winners……..

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