Property Market goes digital

04 February 2021 11:25

Property market goes digital

[Durban, 19 June 2020]

The COVID-19 lockdown left the property market high and dry and unable to operate, but it is now time for resourceful professionals to prepare for transitioning through the various phases to business in the new normal. A key factor in many industries, and one that can certainly be utilised in the property market, is the use of digital tools that make the prospect of long-term remote working more manageable.

“We cannot predict exactly what the new normal will be for the property market, but it does seem relevant that professionals in this sector – estate agents, valuators, conveyancers – and stakeholders including investors, buyers and sellers will need to embrace a remote approach to the listing, marketing and sale of both domestic and commercial properties,” says Rudi Kruger, General Manager: LexisNexis Data Services. “Professionals will need access to reputable platforms that store and update information such as property ownership, land and building specs, size and features and area amenities which can be used to build trustworthy data on property listings and reduce the need for face to face contact and on-site visits.”

“Having been in lockdown, many people have also done home repairs and prepared their homes ready for market, while others are just tired of the same four walls,” says Kruger. “There will also be those, who as a result of being required to work remotely during the lockdown, have realised that this is a possibility for the longer term and will be looking for a property that includes a home office space to do so more comfortably in the future. At the same time, commercial operations may be looking to downsize their premises to reduce costs and adapt to a reduced in-office staff component.”

Kruger says that individual buyers and property investors will most likely prefer online property searches, virtual property tours and want their real estate professional to be ready to provide property specs with ease and efficiency, limiting their external exposure. Subscribing to an online tool that provides the necessary property information, in real time, will keep real estate agents at the top of their game and assist valuators to achieve faster turnaround times.

An additional factor that is certain to be a boost to property sales, and which may help recoup some of the losses incurred by the property sector, is the recent reduction – for a second time during lockdown – of the repo rate. This reduction will effectively increase the buying power of individuals and may encourage potential first-time buyers to take the leap into the market. Real estate agents, valuators and conveyancers need to be ready and prepared for an influx of remote and virtual buyers.

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