Why virtual inspections are the way forward
Could it be that we have finally turned a corner with those time-consuming, sometimes unfulfilling house inspections? Industry experts seem to think so!
In August 2021, Domain reported an 18% rise in requests for virtual home inspections. Of course, everyone knows the introduction of virtual inspections was a direct response to lockdown, but who’s to say the two are mutually exclusive?
Following a tumultuous few years of on-again, off-again real estate inspections, it seems virtual inspections may very well become a mainstay in real estate going forward.
Following a study conducted by ‘Time In Motion’ prior to the first lockdown period, Propic Chief Commercial Officer David Choi reflects that over 20% of property managers’ time was filled by final and routine inspections, as well as travel to and from the respective properties.
Most in the industry would agree that this is an alarming use of time that could be better spent elsewhere. So when a property manager or agent could instead conduct the same number of inspections but in a digital space and in a much shorter space of time, why not give it the benefit of the doubt?
Maximum knowledge, minimum effort
I’ve long known of the virtual ‘culture’ driving home inspections in the USA, and definitely believe this is the way forward for all parties involved, because there is no denying that virtual inspections save time – copious amounts of it.
Imagine being able to unlock your Smartphone or laptop, login to Zoom, Skype, Facetime or other preferred method of video chat, and see the property you’re interested in buying in real time. From your living room. In your jammies. (I mean, why not?)
But not only that, the agent is leading the virtual tour for multiple buyers simultaneously, giving you the chance to both ask questions and listen in on valuable information shared with other potential buyers in your online group.
What you learn in a virtual group tour could be interesting at the very least, or steer you clear of a financial dud, or maybe even spur you on to make an aggressive offer that will inevitably secure your dream home down the line. After all, knowledge is power!
Better on the environment
With reference to early data, Choi suggests that in-person viewings typically only attract people who are ready to consider making an offer, or need to move in a hurry.
But that doesn’t take away from the increasing number of buyers, renters and investors who demand the convenience of a cyber tour – and it makes sense.
According to Propic, buyers and renters are becoming more eco-conscious by the day, and therefore desire a more automated, digital experience when it comes to inspecting properties.
With there being no need to drive to the inspection (often in peak hour traffic), buyers are no longer forced to contribute to society’s environmental footprint. And speaking from experience, minimising stress in these early stages is the best strategy for surviving moving day when the time comes. So if that means trading an in-person inspection for a virtual tour, while also helping the environment – I’m all in!
Like Mr. Choi, I understand that buying or renting a property without having seen it in person prior to signing on the dotted line seems an inconceivable idea. Perhaps this was the case 100% of the time pre-COVID, but when buyers and renters were suddenly denied the opportunity to set foot inside a property of interest, there began this notable shift.
Rest assured, no agent will force you to sign your life away on a property or rental that you haven’t first viewed in person. While buyers will get ample understanding of a property via a virtual inspection, your property manager will organise an in-person viewing if they believe you are serious about moving into the property.
As long as agents continue to offer and even increase the availability of cyber inspections, there will be a better chance of the right home being purchased or rented by the right person – and life may become that little bit easier for all stakeholders.