Is it #Facetime for Estate Agents?

As consumers continue to rely more and more on their internet accessing devices, especially their mobile phones, should more estate agents be adopting #Facetime in how they showcase homes / offer viewings / open houses? Or would the industry see this as agents, especially if being used by ‘traditional estate agents’, being too close to ‘Online Estate Agents’ or ‘Hybrid Agents’?

“FaceTime is a videotelephony product—and from September 2013, also means a set of related protocols for voice over IP (VoIP) developed by Apple Inc. It is available on supported mobile devices that run on iOS and Macintosh computers that run Mac OS X10.6.6 onwards.” Quote from Wikipedia.

I recently was asked a few questions regarding estate agents and if they are adopting Facetime, most of what I say credits this form of showcasing property online and how it can help agents to attract more business and build stronger relationships with their clients and customers. Article can be read here.

If an estate agent offers consumers the chance to have a viewing via their mobile phones, then surely they have an edge over agents who do not offer this service (let’s face it that we take our mobiles with us practically every where we can to include our trips to the bathroom and I am sure many readers will have fallen asleep with their mobiles in their hand, right!?). Consumers lives are getting busier and the convenience of being able to view a house whilst at work or at home if you are looking after the children or haven’t got the use of the family car, maybe it is simply too far to travel to view that property or the ‘open house’ day you simply can not attend due to work commitments, then Facetime opens a whole new opportunity for the agent and the property owner / interested consumer.

It is a technology that is easy to use for the estate agent as you do not need a degree in marketing to use the App and neither do you need to be a Steven Spielberg to film a property – The consumer can likewise easily use Facetime as it only really requires them to answer their phone and view / ask questions such as can you go to the back of the garden to give me an idea of depth or would you mind walking around the kitchen again so I can get a feel for the size etc.

I would suggest that Facetime should be a standard option that all estate agents should offer, maybe just by a logo on their website? More and more businesses are using live streaming video, especially with the likes of Periscope, there is no reason why estate agency can not do the same. We have moved on a lot since YouTube came on the scene with our mobile phones becoming great image and video capturing devices and also they are entertainment  products as they nearly all have big colour screens that makes for easy viewing for not only videos we enjoy watching, but also for viewing property!

I was with someone just the other day who was watching something on their new Samsung watch so that is another avenue… You can literally have a viewing of a property on your wrist these days, search for the ‘right property‘ by watching it on your watch… If that makes sense!

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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