Bit by bit, and with each passing day, the world continues its journey back to normality - albeit with the massive caveat of social distancing. Take the UK property market, for example. It has awoken from its slumber.
The Government is encouraging people to move homes again, and physical viewings can now take place. But do we even need to go to a property to view it in 2020? With demand for video viewings on the rise, one might question the importance of a physical viewing.
In the interest of fairness, let's say you do still need to conduct a video viewing. What does that look like in a world of social distancing? Does it mean dressing up in Hazmat suits and keeping two-meters apart at all times? Do you even need to go on the viewing at all?
Read on, and find out everything you need to know about how to do a property viewing during social distancing?
The new rules
Conducting a physical viewing has taken on a different look post-Covid-19. During the lockdown, only virtual viewings were permitted. But the rules have since been eased to allow visits to properties.
If you're taking part in physical viewing, there are a few things you should know beforehand:
- Wear gloves and masks where possible during the viewing
- Remain two metres apart at all times where necessary
- Ask the current occupant/landlord to leave all doors and cupboards open
- Check that the property and any communal areas are thoroughly cleaned before the viewing
- Ask the occupant/landlord to leave the property during the viewing if possible
While it's great news that the rental market is finding its groove again, safety still comes first. That's why it's vital that you go over the above points before a viewing to ensure all requirements are met.
Do physical property viewings pose any risks?
It's natural for agents to be slightly concerned about doing viewings again. After all, we've spent the last three months indoors staying away from Covid-19 and its risks.
However, if everyone involved follows the guidelines, those risks should be mitigated. Of course, we're not medical professionals (no matter how good we think we are at the board game, Operation). And you should always check the Government's official advice.
What are the alternatives to physical viewings?
Government is still recommending that renters view properties virtually before going to see it in person. Watching a video viewing could also remove the need to physically visit a home entirely.
So far, we've had more than 12,000 enquires from renters for video viewings, and some of that demand came pre-Covid-19. That's why we created video walkthroughs - to give renters an immersive, unfiltered experience of the property.
Not only is there zero risks of catching or passing on coronavirus; video viewings are so detailed [that] they're often good enough to convince someone to move without the need to visit the property physically.
Say goodbye to physical viewings
We think that video viewings will replace physical ones completely by 2025. Tech-savvy renters are continuously looking for more progressive ways to find a new a home while cutting down the time it takes to rent significantly.
Having the ability to view a home (and its communal areas) via video and make an instant offer brings the rental market in line with other prominent sectors, such as banking, ride-hailing, food delivery and, erm, Netflix. Well, video streaming, more specifically.
A natural digitisation
The rental market will always require a human touch. But there's no denying the landscaping is shifting, with digital leading the way. Video viewings are part of that natural evolution. Covid-19 has only sped up the process.
As more renters look for solutions where they can find, view and rent a home all in one smooth process, demand for video viewings will only increase. In turn, letting agents can spend more of their time doing deals, rather than trotting back and forth between large volumes of physical viewings.
Navigating the world of viewings
Physical viewings are still a thing, but Covid-19 has increased the spotlight on them. Now, renters and agents are looking for alternative ways to rent a property, and video viewings offer the chance to fall in love with a new place while eliminating risk. That sounds like a win-win to us.