Russia calling: why currency fluctuations and foreign buyers should compel estate agents to use virtual real estate tours on every high-end property.
With a volatile political backdrop continuing both at home and abroad, the value of sterling and other currencies continues to have an impact on international buying activity. As soon as the pound plummets or a conflict develops, globally-based property investors seize the advantage and ‘phones ring in estate agencies across the UK – often with amazing reactionary speeds.
Sterling’s value can nosedive within seconds of a Government or Bank of England announcement but it can climb again just as quickly, which is why overseas property buyers look to pounce and make snap purchasing decisions.
The trend is so pronounced that it prompted Jonathan Samuels, the chief executive of property lender Octane Capital, to say in The Guardian:
“The weakness of sterling means some of Britain’s wealthiest cities have become a goldmine for foreign investors seeking a bargain.”
Samuels’ claim is backed by figures from Hamptons International, revealing global purchasers bought 57% of all homes purchased in prime central London in the second half of 2018, with 36% of homes sold in Greater London also snapped up by international buyers.
Despite private jets and helicopters, high-net worth individuals aren’t likely to visit the UK just to tour a property but a real estate virtual tour can be an instrumental part in their speedy decision-making process - and win an agent a sale when stacked up against a rival.
When a keen buyer is on the end of a telephone in another country – looking to make a purchase in a matter of hours or even minutes – a virtual house tour is essential. It’s the next best next thing to visiting the property in person, with the agent able to walk the interested party around the residence, show them the views and allow them to interact with a 3D dolls house model.
The added beauty of virtual real estate tour as a selling tool is the ability to embed a number of key items, which can be revealed by simply hovering over hot spots. Agents can add captions to explain bespoke aspects, feature live url links to brochures and even include pop-up videos that can play a local area guide or showcase a piece of integrated technology, such as mood lighting or a sound system. In addition, all Matterport virtual house tours are available in a VR version, which gives buyers a realistic, immersive property tour from anywhere in the world, when used in conjunction with a VR headset.
With the ability to walk backwards, forwards, turn 360 and walk through in VR mode, virtual house tours negate the need to ever visit a property - vital when buying decisions are made in a split second from thousands of miles away.
With a change of Prime Minister and an ominous EU exit slated for Halloween, there are further opportunities for the pound to fluctuate once again, and agency ‘phones will ring as soon as it becomes cheaper to buy in the UK. Being able to take international buyers on virtual house tours online or over the telephone gives a clear advantage. Now is the perfect time to commission virtual real estate tours for your most prestigious properties. Contact Matterport to experience a demo and book your first virtual real estate tour.