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A new first in the world of estate agency has taken place, with online agency HouseSimple recently attempting to sell the first home in the UK via a viewing on Facebook Live. Sale by social media, in other words.
The viewing, conducted in real time by the owner, was for a three-bedroom semi-detached bungalow in Rainham, East London, valued at between £470,000 and £475,000.
The viewing was livestreamed on HouseSimple’s Facebook page from 1pm onwards on Wednesday 22 June, with viewers able to make a private offer on the home via the Facebook Messenger app during and after the live streaming.
Using the #LiveHomeSale hashtag, homeowner Shanty Helim did a 30 minute tour of her home, with HouseSimple answering various questions as the viewing was taking place. “Arranging a viewing over Facebook Live seemed to me the perfect way to allow potential purchasers to ask me questions, look around the house, and make an offer,” Helim said before the live viewing.
The aim is for the sales process to be drastically speeded up, by getting many interested buyers in one place at the same time. As their interest is piqued by what they see, they make an offer there and then – based purely on gut instinct and the look of the home - and may look to outbid other buyers who are viewing at the same time. Of course, there are risks involved with such viewings – as is the case with virtual reality viewings and buying off-plan homes. Viewing a home through social media or a VR headset is a good starting point, but you won’t be able to recreate the thoughts, feelings, smells and instinctive reactions that come from visiting a home in person.
That said, in an increasingly competitive marketplace where homes to buy are in short supply, buyers may be willing to be more decisive and take more gambles when it comes to purchasing a property. There will be those who tense up at the idea of selling a home via Facebook Live, and those who see more potential complications and issues than benefits, but others will suggest it’s a forward-thinking, innovative approach that could become the norm at some point in the future as technology, social media and the internet have an ever greater influence over our lives.
It's certainly an interesting experiment, and it will be fascinating to see whether this “sale by Facebook Live” trial is a success and whether or not it is replicated in the future. There is certainly an appetite for the easy mixing of property, social media and technology – as proven by the booming success and influence of the PropTech sector. This, of course, doesn’t mean that houses are suddenly going to be sold like confetti on Facebook and Twitter, but it could be the start of something major. At the very least, social media and the internet are set to play an increasingly important role in house sales as time goes by.
One thing that is already highly important to estate and lettings agents across the country is top of the range property software. At Gnomen we provide exactly that, allowing your business to work in complete harmony. Our cloud-based system is specifically designed to help you run every aspect of your agency, at the click of a button, from anywhere in the world. You can manage your office, staff, diary, customers and marketing in one place, at any time.
We also offer free training – to ensure you get the most from your software – and integrated office accounting, while our software is designed to work with, rather than against, your existing website. If you want a glossy new website to keep up with a modern, rapidly evolving world, we provide that too, offering websites that look beautiful and work beautifully.
As the above Facebook Live viewing story makes plain, many of us now live large parts of our lives online, glued to our smartphones or tablets and doing everything from our food shopping to our banking via the internet. As such, the demand is there for fast, interactive websites that really look the part. If you’ve got a website that looks like it belongs to the 90s, it will stand out from a million miles in an era where websites are becoming increasingly slick and pleasing on the eye.
Websites, like agencies, need to keep up with the times, and we can help to do just that with regards to a contemporary website. For more information about what we do, give us a call on 0208 123 9019. To book a free demo, please click here.
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