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App launches to increase security for estate agents on viewings

ViewBuddy enables staff on viewings to alert colleagues if they need help and sets off alarms if agents don't return from appointments.

Nigel Lewis

property viewings buddy

A new app aims to make estate agents feel safer on lone property viewings by alerting ‘buddies’ when they need help.

Users enter the viewing length time and names of people viewing property in the ViewBuddy app and their buddies – colleagues or friends – get a text telling them their friend is going to an appointment with a ‘what three words’ location.

They then get an alert if the time limit has expired and a message to ring their buddy if they haven’t had confirmation that the appointment has finished. The app will also alert all buddies to contact the emergency services if the agent enters the PIN backwards.

Safety issue

Link to PropTech News property viewingsEd Mead (pictured), co-founder of Viewber, the firm behind the launch, says companies have struggled to address safety issues during property viewings which was first highlighted by the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh in July 1986. Suzy left her estate agency branch in London to meet a ‘Mr Kipper’ at an address in Fulham for a viewing and has never been seen again.

Mead says that although mobile phones have helped, making a call with an alert password could exacerbate a situation. He tells The Negotiator: “Agents are good at taking basic precautions, confirming someone’s ID and having an emergency word when phoning the office, but there are still risks and it’s not always possible to make a telephone call.”

Property viewings

The Suzy Lamplugh case took another twist after a former detective told a national newspaper earlier this year that prime suspect John Cannan, who is currently serving three life sentences in prison, was seen throwing a suitcase into an Essex canal three days after the estate agent vanished.

The ViewBuddy app can be downloaded for free on the Apple and Play Stores.

July 19, 2021

One comment

  1. Fabulous idea! All agents should use this. I knew Suzy Lamplugh at the time of her disappearance and the whole agency community was in shock. God forbid that should ever happen again. Personal safety above everything.

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