There has been a huge increase in orders for virtual tours.
Andy South, founder of NicheCom, says that compared with a year ago, there has been a 600% surge in orders for the firm’s 3D showcases, which use Matterport viewing technology. Since the last week of February, when coronavirus began to take hold in the UK, there has been a threefold increase in orders.
The showcases allow immersive ‘viewings’ of properties via the technology, which describes itself as a digitizer of the built environment.
Yesterday, the NAEA and ARLA both issued new protocols suggesting that agents use remote viewing technology in place of actual viewings, with the Government now saying that all unnecessary social contact should be avoided.
However, South said that the upswing of interest in 3D showcases preceded the coronavirus crisis, as has the development of NicheCom’s latest product, a virtual viewing platform called GoToView.
He said: “It is currently in beta testing with a number of our existing clients and we hope to be able to launch in the near future.
“Development started in the middle of last year, and our business case was developed on the back of reduced numbers of viewings, more effective use of agents’ time and giving both vendors and buyers a better property experience.
“That said, coronavirus has undoubtedly made this more relevant.”
The Guild is due to produce a new remote viewing product for its members at the end of this month. Again, the product had already been in development but the coronavirus has lent urgency to its launch, which has now been brought forward to March 31.