Zoopla has announced that it is running a pilot scheme to give free virtual tour technology to select eligible agents. The move seems well-timed, coming as it does with the housing market still very much enjoying a purple patch despite parts of the UK getting set to be plunged back into regional tiered lockdowns with the threat of another national lockdown very much on the horizon.
The technology being supplied comes from FocalAgent, a photography and technology provider founded in 2010. What is being offered free of charge for the lucky selected agents is FocalAgent’s viewing platform where the agent leads the prospective buyer on an interactive tour of the property using a webcam. The sweetener for FocalAgent is that Zoopla will be marketing the company’s ‘bolt-on packages’ which include virtual 360 tours and professional photography services.
Commenting on the pilot project, Zoopla’s Chief Commercial Officer Andy Marshall said: “By enjoying free access to the Smart Viewing platform, agents can provide homemovers with a best-in-class virtual viewing experience, and an alternative to physical viewings, which is crucial when the threat of Covid means that many homemovers and agents may be hesitant to tour a property in person. It was important to us that the technology offered agents the opportunity to ‘guide’ and tailor their tours – as it helps build a rapport with each consumer and to refine what they’re looking for.
Marshall confirmed that Zoopla would be monitoring the success of the pilot with a view to rolling out across Zoopla’s customer base if things go well.