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In the Age of Digital Technology, are Virtual Property Inspections Really Here To Stay?

The last 2 years have seen the real estate landscape shift significantly in the pandemic and with people more accustomed to virtual meetings and trying to limit face to face contact where they can, we’ve seen a shift in the way people want to view properties too.

Virtual Property Inspections have become an increasing trend amongst the property industry, we explore some of the reasons why and how they could be beneficial to you when preparing your home for rent.


What is a Virtual Property Inspection?

A digital or virtual inspection uses technology like video apps, pre-recorded videos or 3D technology video to remotely showcase a listing to potential tenants.

3D tours have been around for the real estate industry for a while but in the age of digital technology and in the face of a pandemic that is in its 3rd year, it has become critial to the industry.

Whilst nothing is ever going to be better than viewing a property physically in person, virtual viewings are becoming more and more common. Running an initial virtual inspection offers its perks for both landlords and tenants.


What are some of the perks of Virtual Property Inspections?

  • Saves time for both parties, the viewing can be done at anytime/location vs a traditional house inspection.
  • Qualifies people who are serious about renting your property – they will book an in-person viewing in person if they are really interested.
  • You will get more exposure, without the limitations of timings and locations.
  • Tenants have the opportunity to shortlist their choice of properties quickly and more efficiently so it’s a win-win for both parties!
  • They are really helpful if you have a property with existing tenants that you are planning to re-let. Eliminating the hassle involved in scheduling while tenants are still occupying the home and the back and forth communication with current tenants to try and organise multiple inspections.


What are the different types of Virtual Property Inspections?


3D Virtual Tours

The 3D tour has been around long before the pandemic hit and has been a common way to showcase properties for a while now. 3D tours enable users to move through a property and see it from any angle and are facilitated by specific technology using a sequence of videos or still 360° photos.

Virtual tours usually come with costs attached and they can vary.

At RentBetter, we partner with Snappr for Real Estate photography. There are a number of packages available with different inclusions and various budgets. Get in touch to find out more.


Live Virtual Inspections

Generally, these involve hosting the inspection through a video call such as WhatsApp or facetime or through zoom. There are plenty of mediums to use so you can just choose whatever works best for you.

If you use zoom, you can conduct the call with more than one person which is handy if you want to get lots of people to view your home once. Live calls also allow you to interact with your audience and answer any questions right there and then.


Videos and Property Walkthroughs

Videos and property ‘walkthroughs’ have become more popular in recent years are probably the most common. They don’t require you to have any specific technology or pay for fancy equipment, they can be filmed on a regular smartphone and uploaded directly to your property listing.

They are really useful as you only have to film the property once and then upload it – easy!


Tips for Conducting a Virtual Property Inspection


1. Choose your medium – Whether you’re investing in a 3D tour or filming directly on your smartphone, you want to ensure you are happy with your choice.

2. Prepare your property – Make sure it’s clean and free of clutter just like you would prepare it for in-person viewing.

3. Practice using your tool – Whether that’s your smartphone or computer, you want to use the tool that’s going to show your home in the best light.

4. Be prepared for questions. If it’s a live virtual viewing, be prepared to answer any questions, the same way you would if it was an in-person viewing.

5. Be on time. Just because it’s virtual, doesn’t mean that you should treat it any less formally. If you’ve scheduled a call for a specific time you should stick to it just like a normal inspection.


Are Virtual Property Inspections here to stay?

Ultimately, virtual property inspections will never replace physical viewings however they are a powerful tool for marketing your property and one we think is worthwhile when preparing to list your home for rent.

Video allows you to capture a truer sense of what your home is like compared to traditional photos and is a tool that is used by lots of tenants in the age of technology to screen properties.

Research completed by REA Group determined that property searchers spend 50% more time looking at listings and are more likely to enquire about a property listing that includes a virtual tour or video.


Property Inspection Checklist

Managing your own property inspection or viewing, especially in these times can be hard to navigate but it doesn’t have to be. If you’d like to see more tips on how to conduct inspections, you can see our property inspection checklist here.

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