Winkworth is rolling out free video valuations to clients who are considering a future house move. Below we see how it is working successfully for some of our offices.
A bespoke virtual service has been created at 45 of its offices in London, Hampshire and Kent, while current restrictions on appointments to visit clients' properties are in place. Many of the offices are already offering video viewings.
Using one of the video platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime or WhatsApp, a video call is set up and the client will talk to the agent about the house while conducting a virtual tour, moving from room to room, into the garden or outside the property to provide a full picture of the property. The agent will carry out full background research on the area, prices and comparable properties and deliver a free no-obligation valuation.
Dominic Agace, Chief Executive, Winkworth, said: "We've been valuing property for more than 180 years and we pride ourselves on changing and adapting to support our clients when it matters most. We are offering video valuations to households who are still keen to plan for their next move. This can provide great reassurance at a time of uncertainty. More and more of our offices, who are all working from home, are taking part and even at this early stage, there has been significant interest from people looking to sell.
"We are also offering video viewings for sales and lettings, which are proving very popular. Lettings have been secured using this method and our Notting Hill office reports that it has received a sales offer made on the basis of a virtual viewing. We continue to offer the highest levels of personal service but within the confines of the current restrictions."
Winkworth in Tooting carried out five valuations in the first two weeks since launching the service. Charlie Mitchell, from the Tooting office, says: "There has been a lot of interest. I carried out a video valuation this morning on a purpose-built two bed flat for a young couple who want to move to start a family. We have sold five properties in the block in the past couple of years, so it was good to have those comparables. The most important thing is that it is enabling us to have remote contact with clients and continue to offer a service."
Natasha Firman, from Winkworth Tunbridge Wells, said: “I planned ahead in case of greater restrictions and filmed walk-throughs with a Matterport camera at eight properties before the lockdown. I arranged with the owners to be out while I was there and, of course, observed Government health and safety guidelines.
“The vendors love the walk-throughs and so do prospective buyers. There is a measurement tool for pieces of furniture so you can plan a room. We have been able to deal with a good level of enquiries by offering these films as a first step.”
Video tours shot on iPhones are working for lettings at Winkworth offices in Shepherds Bush and Ealing. Both offices have let properties on the strength of videos taken by the agent before the lockdown or by asking existing tenants to make a short video on their phones.
Carl Burgess, from Winkworth Shepherds Bush, said:
“People still need to move and we are seeing a lot of interest, including from people looking for a home to rent with their friends. We have recently let a four bedroom house and a two bedroom flat, both of which had been empty and we were able to offer a video tour. We have found that landlords and tenants have been happy to help with providing video viewings on their phones. There have also been a number of landlords, who had previously let their properties on Airbnb and are now returning to offer a conventional letting.”
Andrew Gilbert, from Winkworth Ealing, has even had sealed bids on one vacant one bedroom flat. He said:
“We WhatsApped the video to a number of tenants and had interest from several parties. The flat went eventually let for £100 a month over the original letting price.”