Virtual property transactions - the new normal for the Rawson Property Group




The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many businesses to reinvent the way they operate. The traditionally interaction-heavy property industry is no exception. The Rawson Property Group has gone virtual, committed to keep connecting buyers with sellers and landlords with tenants during lockdown and social distancing. Some, however, believe this to be far more than just a temporary measure or “quick fix” for current circumstances.

“There’s no doubt that we have needed to act quickly to continue to serve our customers in these challenging times,” says Tony Clarke, MD of the Rawson Property Group. “No matter what is happening in the world, people still need a roof over their heads, which will always mean that they need to be able to keep buying, selling and renting property. We have also seen a rise  in the urgency with which some of our clients are needing assistance.” 

To enable the continuation of these services as seamlessly as possible, the Rawson Property Group has leveraged its award-winning technology to roll out 6 efficient products for their clients  - virtual valuations, Rawson 3d virtual tours, Rawson virtual showhouses, electronically signed documentation and online meetings. These, Clarke says, will serve as important stopgaps during lockdown and social distancing, and ultimately form part of a much larger service strategy as well.

“The value of virtual show houses at the moment is obvious,” says Clarke. “It’s going to be some time before any of us will feel comfortable having dozens of strangers visiting our homes, so enabling them to take a live, high-quality, virtual walkthrough of our properties, and having an interactive experience with our agents in real time, is essential.”

Beyond that immediate need, however, Clarke says that allowing buyers to tour a property virtually could also become a major service differentiator moving forward.

“Not only are live, interactive virtual tours a massive time-saver for buyers narrowing down their property search, they also make it dramatically easier to purchase property from a distance – when relocating or buying an investment property, for example,” he says. “From the seller’s perspective, virtual tours and virtual showhouses would also minimise the number of times they’d need to prep and vacate their homes for show houses, removing one of the most common pain points of the sales experience.  We believe our interactive Rawson 3D Virtual Tours and Showhouse service offerings address these needs.

As for virtual valuations, Clarke says these offer homeowners an important opportunity to get an immediate indication of market-related pricing and eliminates the need to wait for “lockdown” to be lifted. This, he says, could be just the head-start our Sellers and Landlords need to be able to grab the attention of the many buyers and tenants who are currently surfing the portals, as many have ample time on their hands, searching for their ideal property.

Additionally, virtual valuations could help homeowners reassess things like insurance coverage to cut unnecessary expenses at a time when finances are under serious pressure and the ability to present their properties’ value to financial institutions when seeking a payment holiday.

“It’s important to remember that, while data-driven valuations are very powerful, nothing can replace the hands-on knowledge of a real estate agent,” he says. “At Rawson, we’ve also incorporated additional online interviews as part of our virtual valuation process, to allow agents to incorporate as much of this personal expertise as possible.” 

“More and more, we’re seeing buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants looking for property services that are adaptable to their personal circumstances,” says Clarke. “If the coronavirus pandemic has done anything for our industry, it has shown us that Sellers and Landlords will be demanding virtual solutions to ensure that their interaction with the marketplace is as remote as possible so as to preserve the safety element so desperately required while social distancing is commonplace”. 

“With that in mind, I think the real measure of our success as an industry is not how well we weather this pandemic, or how fully we adopt virtual solutions, but how well we use the lessons we are learning to make our services more flexible, more resilient and more valuable to our clients moving forward, all the while preserving that invaluable personal touch with an experienced property professional.”

"At this time, we are particularly grateful to have embarked on our award-winning technology journey a few years ago, enabling us to contribute an ‘essential service’ to communities across our country and to meet their urgent needs. As always, we remain passionate about serving our clients excellently, even in challenging times such as these."

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Tony Clarke

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