Almost in the blink of an eye the world has changed forever, including the way businesses transact, and how we buy and sell homes, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
“The global pandemic has had a major impact on the entire planet, firstly from a humanitarian perspective, but also in terms of the way we go about doing business, whether as consumers or corporate or commercial entities.
“From the decision to sell a home to the final transfer to the new owner, a property transaction is multi-dimensional and involves many steps, which require specialised expertise in a number of different disciplines including area knowledge, accurate valuations, pricing strategy, marketing, finance, legal and conveyancing, to name a few,” Golding said.
“What the lockdown has quickly demonstrated is that as a key priority, and without in any way precluding the invaluable expertise and negotiation skills of our agents – who are all currently operating remotely on a decentralised basis – we needed to rapidly re-engineer the real estate transaction process in order to be capable of transacting from A to Z online.”
As a consequence of these learnings, Golding said that the company is transforming and fine-tuning its paper-based processes into a custom-designed, integrated and technology-driven online system.
Golding said that given that the lockdown regulations will be lifted gradually – which means that buyers are not yet able to physically visit homes for sale – Pam Golding Properties will soon be able to offer both buyers and sellers all the technological advantages of an online agency coupled with the benefits and scale of a traditional agency.
Of particular importance to homeowners is that this will allow sellers to interact with Pam Golding Properties agents from the first point of contact, verification of the property, client logon and authentication of ID and signing of an exclusive mandate through to an offer and acceptance / negotiation process and ultimately processing of a virtual Agreement of Sale in a secure, digital environment.
The group is also developing an online valuation methodology.
“Moving forward, and given these innovative and rapidly evolving technological advances, we anticipate that the property landscape will in future see buyers undertaking a much more rigorous browsing process preceding one or two physical visits to their preferred properties – the number of which, in their ideal ‘portfolio’, is then drastically reduced,” said Golding.
“This also means that the photographic and virtual experience will need to be significantly enhanced, and here key differentiators which we have incorporated include use of the leading Matterport 3D camera system which creates detailed floor-to-ceiling perspectives which give the viewer the impression of actually being inside the property.”