By: Mohammed Ashraf

Sales and Marketing Director
Era Real Estate

During these unprecedented economic times, strict lockdown measures in dozens of countries have put real-life property viewings into a tailspin. During what is expected to be a difficult real estate market going forward, virtual viewings have been introduced in an effort to maintain social distancing standards while searching for a property, meaning potential renters and buyers can now view flats and houses from the comfort of their own home. It could be some time before property agents see large numbers of in-person viewings once again. Even if the stay-at-home orders are relaxed soon, many owners may not want so many people entering their homes, especially if they’re still living at the property, which could boost the use of virtual tours even more.

Pre-crisis, the real estate industry was on the path to digitizing processes and creating digitally enabled services for tenants and users. Most people would agree that digital disruption is a prominent feature of the modern world. Adoption and integration of technology in our day-to-day lives has been both persistent and widespread in the last two decades. Industries, including real estate, have been impacted by a range of innovative platforms and solutions delivering business continuity, boosting productivity and transforming the way business is carried out.

The need to digitally transform has become ever more apparent in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which has profoundly shifted the way firms operate. To cater for a more location-flexible workforce, quick and reliable connectivity has been a high priority for businesses.

Investment in alternative digital sales and leasing methods, particularly using virtual technology for the likes of viewings and augmented and virtual reality to enhance the user experience, has been witnessed among players in residential and commercial real estate market.

Since then virtual viewings have become so popular with house hunters that it looks like they are here to stay.  Any proprietor or seller thinking about investing in virtual viewings can take specific steps to maximize the impact. It is the same advice real estate agents give to sellers for viewing in person. De-personalize your home to help the viewer imagine the property as if it was their own.

Complete all maintenance jobs, even the small ones, because virtual technology picks up the most minute of details. Cleanliness is also a must, and in the cases of neglected properties for sale, it is worth getting  a cleaning crew in for a deep clean. While cameras scan rooms, all people should leave to maximize the viewer’s experience.

Virtual viewings cannot replace location knowledge, and homebuyers will still need to do their research for that aspect. Still, the technology helps them to weed out which properties suit their lifestyle.  Focusing on providing excellent client services and embracing game-changing technologies will be essential key in enabling real estate professionals to ride the tides of digital transformation.

This article was published as part of the fifth edition of Property Finder Bahrain’s Trends Report