How estate agents and mortgage brokers have adapted their marketing during COVID-19

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Date: 16 December 2020

A woman takes a virtual reality tour of a property

It doesn't matter what industry you're in, it's always easier to market your services when demand is high. That's why the news of the Stamp Duty holiday until 31st March 2021 was music to the ears of estate agents, mortgage lenders and brokers alike. The year-on-year rate of growth for house values has risen to 5%, setting new records for the average price of homes.

The Stamp Duty holiday, which removed Stamp Duty for all acquisitions of properties worth less than £500,000, has led to a buoyant UK housing market since May. Understandably, the UK's leading property groups and estate agents have joined forces to call for the Chancellor to extend the Stamp Duty holiday by a further six months until September 2021. Property Industry Eye confirmed a joint letter has been published on behalf of trade bodies and property organisations underlining the stress on the UK's property industry to beat the 31st March deadline.

Marketing innovations during the COVID crisis

One of the major successes of the last 12 months in the property market has been the creative marketing techniques employed to pique the interest of potential movers. Many of the leading estate agents have invested in virtual viewing functionalities, allowing residential clients to utilise 3D property technology to get a real-life perspective of a property, without having to physically visit the property.

This has been a major boon in these unprecedented times. Virtual viewings create a 3D image of a household which can then be viewed using VR headsets. The cameras used for virtual walkthroughs use a plethora of sensors to accurately calculate a room's spatial depth and width, allowing the system to create accurate VR models for users to browse using 360-degree functionality.

Targeting hot prospects

According to estate agents Strutt & Parker, it takes around 25 viewings on average to sell a property. The benefit of virtual reality viewings is that they are accessible to prospective buyers 24/7. This immediately filters out the timewasters and viewers that have little interest in actually making an offer.

Keeping customers safe

The mortgage market has also acted in the best interests of buyers looking to limit in-person contact. Trussle is one such online mortgage adviser which makes it easy for homeowners and first-time buyers to seek mortgage options online within as little as 24 hours. Their Mortgage and Remortgage Calculators not only help to put buyers in the picture of how much they can borrow, they've also been an effective upselling strategy, helping people to secure the best mortgage rates through Trussle's lender partnerships.

Looking forward to 2021

There are genuine concerns that the end of the Stamp Duty holiday could result in the UK property sector grinding to a halt. Although the country emerged from its second lockdown earlier this month, the reality is that tens of thousands of people are either furloughed or working from home.

The potential for rising unemployment in early 2021 could also cause a slowdown in market activity, with fewer people prepared to take the risk and upsize. The reality for estate agents and mortgage brokers alike is that no matter how creative their marketing techniques become, people need money in their back pockets to be enticed into buying and selling. That's why so many are trying to make hay while the sun shines.

Copyright 2020. Article made possible by David Small

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