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Taking interested buyers through a home for sale in his turf of Sydney’s inner west is something that Ray White Surry Hills-Alexandria agent Ercan Ersan is very familiar with. But these days he is doing things a little differently.
Open homes are strictly controlled with social distancing, there is growing demand for private inspections, detailed virtual tours going from room to room are underway along with Facebook Live tours as the business of buying and selling homes adapts in the time of coronavirus.
“We are preparing to be a contactless society,” said Mr Ersan.
He said both agents and the public had quickly adapted to this new way of doing business.
“I’ve done three private inspections this week, others want Facebook live tours and we are producing detailed video tours for every property we have,” he said.
In Brisbane, Ray White New Farm agent Christine Rudolph, who specialises in the city’s high-end and investment properties, is doing the same.
“For every single property at the moment we are filming virtual open homes which are up to 13 minutes long giving a detailed tour for those who want further social distancing or expats who now can’t fly over to see properties,” she said.
Such approaches are paying off with Ms Rudolph selling an investment apartment in the riverside of New Farm to Australian expats in Hong Kong in one weekend, sight unseen.
“Within minutes of a gorgeous New Farm waterfront apartment launching to the market last Friday, I was contacted by expat clients from Hong Kong, excitedly wanting to make an offer sight unseen,” she said.
Meanwhile in Melbourne high-end agency Kay & Burton has also seen three sales in the past week, where expats in London, New York and Hong Kong bought properties remotely.
“They were bought site unseen,” said Kay & Burton managing director Ross Savas.
“People are buying when they have a need to and there is a pent up demand,” Mr Savas said.
He said the agency was also working closely with those looking to list in these unprecedented times.
“We will talk to them and advise them in line with the circumstances as they change hour by hour.”
With more than 25 years in the real estate industry, Steven Abbott, managing director of the Jellis Craig Boroondara Group, said the property business was well prepared for the changing times. Along with new industry-wide measures to ensure the safety of buyers and sellers, he said technology had also played its part.
“The software advances in the past few years have been extraordinary,” said Mr Abbott, who has offices in Hawthorn, Balwyn and Glen Iris.
“We have the ability to transact the sale digitally with such things as digital contracts and digital deposits.
“Previously this would go through four of five sets of hands.”
He said inquiry remained strong in the past week, in particular for those looking at selling, with people keeping their long-term plans in mind.
“Yes some of the market will choose not to transact but you can’t say that is the whole of the market,” he said.
“We have some people saying here thinking this is not going to last a lifetime and our life plans will continue.”