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Zoopla estate agents offered free viewings service as Covid rules tighten

Portal has teamed up with FocalAgent to offer both 2D and 360-degree virtual viewings to buyers.

Nigel Lewis

focalagent

Estate agents are being offered a free viewings service following a deal struck between industry supplier FocalAgent and Zoopla, which both organisations say may become essential as Covid restrictions are tightened across the UK.

Zoopla’s member agents will be offered free no-frills accounts on FocalAgent.

Described by Zoopla as a pilot, it is for selected agents only – which The Negotiator understands means those who are not already FocalAgent customers.

“By enjoying free access to the Smart Viewing platform, agents can provide home movers with a best-in-class virtual viewing experience, and an alternative to physical viewings, which is crucial when the threat of Covid means that many home movers and agents may be hesitant to tour a property in person,” says Andy Marshall, Zoopla’s Chief Commercial Officer.

The offering requires agents to use their existing photography supplied with the listing to drive the virtual viewing, or the option to create a DIY 360 tour experience from these using the Vieweet app, which is also free to Zoopla agents.

Lee Wainwright (left), CEO at FocalAgent and until earlier this year was Purplebricks’ MD in the UK, says: “We know that estate agencies are people businesses and we’ve created technology that allows for virtual viewings to be controlled by the agent so the consumers gets the best possible experience which achieves two things.

“Firstly, it increases the genuine interest of a potential tenant or buyer who has the opportunity to ask the questions pertinent to them and their situation.

“Secondly, Smart Viewing reduces – and in some cases can replace – the need for physical viewings.”

Interested agents can sign up here.

October 16, 2020

One comment

  1. Is it then a hop and a skip to vendor self listing? Will Zoopla be going all in – upping the ante with the biggest game of property portal poker now looming? Agency models and portal platform models are ‘pivoting daily’ who will dare to break the real estate taboo in the UK? In other parts of the world portals allow vendor listing on the same portals.

    I am all for technology replacing paper and legacy systems, having recently had two market appraisals, by so called local professional agents, one showed me comparables of properties unlike my own, the other did not even send a marketing report.

    Having sold in a day with using a proper agent I worked alongside 30-years ago, who runs a traditional and flourishing agency where the consumer is at the heart of the business, I can see that maybe huge chunks of boring groundhog processes can just be done by machines, allowing consummate professionals even more time to engage with their client bank.

    More power to Lee Wainwright and Zoopla, time to cut through and streamline front end processes.

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