Life has changed abruptly in the past week where we now find ourselves again in a familiar place of an unexpected Level 4 lockdown.
Fortunately, many businesses are equipped with the experience of being in this position before where working from home is possible and has become a new normal, even for real estate agents.
Here at homes.co.nz we are operating as usual throughout level 4 (just from the comfort of our homes), providing support to our agents during this daunting period.
Here are some ways you can continue business while following the level 4 guidelines.
3D Virtual Tours
3D virtual tours allow prospective buyers to walk through a property without leaving their homes. The use of virtual tours did not take off in the New Zealand real estate industry until Covid-19 struck, forcing agents to look at new ways to market properties.
A virtual tour is a great way to create a stronger connection with a potential buyer and could end up winning you more listings. It can save the buyer valuable time so they can focus on open homes that they are really interested in. Real estate agents and sellers benefit from more pre-qualified buyers at their open homes. Check out this guide on how to upload videos and virtual tours on your homes.co.nz profile!
Offering virtual appraisals is a great way to engage with potential vendors, allowing you to stay top-of-mind post-lock-down.
The REA states that under ‘exceptional circumstances’ an agent can conduct an appraisal without viewing the property. We have sought clarification on this and COVID-19 level 4 has been deemed an ‘exceptional circumstance’. However the agent must uphold standards and if they can’t, the appraisal should not go ahead.
You must ensure:
- specific questions have been asked of the vendor around the condition of the property.
- any conversations are documented with the vendor. The vendor would need to understand the impact of the licensee not visiting the property to complete the appraisal; and
- what conversations are had (and documented) with potential buyers. Potential buyers also need to understand that the licensee has not physically visited the property they are listing for sale. This may have an impact on the licensee’s ability to identify defects.
Detailed Floor Plan
Another valuable tool agents can use to their advantage under level 4 is including a detailed floor plan. With restrictions on open homes & viewings under the current level 4 rules, a detailed floor plan used in conjunction with other supporting visual tools can create an even more detailed digital experience for the prospective buyer.
Online Auctions & Online Bidding
And remember, auctions can still take place but only if they are conducted online or via online bidding methods.
Read more about carrying out virtual appraisals on the REA’s website here: https://www.rea.govt.nz/real-estate-professionals/listing-a-property/appraisals/#physical-appraisals