A property portal in Italy is understood to be the first in Europe to offer house hunters the ability to book via its platform a video tour of a property conducted in person by an estate agent.
Immobiliare.it has launched the service as part of its ongoing plans to digitise the entire house hunting process and get involved in much more than just being a listings website.
Industry watchers will be waiting to see whether one of the UK’s main property portal operators would dare to offer a similar service.
This would fundamentally change the way that portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla and OTM interact with their site visitors, shifting their models from simply offering agents sales and lettings leads, to organising their viewings for them.
Immobiliare.it is promoting its new portal service via a TV ad (main pic) that uses a Sherlock Holmes-themed story to drive Italian house hunters to the new service.
“We verified that most of the users used the contact form to ask for an appointment to visit the property. We have therefore decided to simplify this process with the new “Request Visit” feature, says Carlo Giordano, CEO of Immobiliare.it.
“It is a service that has been well received by users, since already one in five uses it as a first contact with the real estate agency.
“We put the utmost effort in offering the public new services that improve their experience more and more and support professionals in speeding up and digitizing their activities, all thanks to a great work based on the development of highly technological and cutting-edge products.”
UK portals have been tentatively travelling in this direction for some time including, in Rightmove’s case, offering tenants – but not house buyers – the ability to book viewings.