Remote Working to Remote Living
When buying a property, customers are either looking for a home or an investment, somewhere to live or somewhere to let.
Either way, buying or renting a home is a big deal and that’s why many of us take months to conduct a meticulous search to find the right place.
Location is a key factor. Many of us would rank location alongside, or even above, the requirements of the property itself. Multiple things will inform our location decision, such as being near work, or being near loved ones. We’ll also think about transport connections, local conveniences or even proximity to a sports team. Some people even consider how close the nearest Waitrose is.
But with the last year plunging many of us into a digital working world, the parameters around choosing the ‘right location’ have changed a bit.
A Digital Economy
With the impact of the pandemic altering many facets of our lives, one of the areas to be most affected was the way everyone works. Almost overnight, huge swathes of the United Kingdom started to work their jobs from home. As the pandemic restrictions subsided, many companies including global giants like Google, Facebook and other big technology players have decided to keep their work-force remote for the foreseeable future.
This has led to not only a shift in how people manage their work, but also impacted how people choose where they call home.
Remote Working becomes Remote Living
With many workers no longer tied to a physical office, the commute is either a thing of the past or undertaken on a more limited basis. This has created a wave of people looking to move out of the cities and into the suburbs; out from the metropolitan hum-drum and into the peaceful pastures of the countryside.
It impacts what people are looking for from their property. They might be open to explore further from a train station, or consider an extra room for a home-office, or even a bigger garden. Punters are sacrificing premium city locations for plots with more space, we’re witnessing a generational shift in what drives a customers choice in the location of their home.
This article from The Guardian back in May 2020 charts the initial exodus of those in the cities, looking to move out to the countryside. In June 2021, the Telegraph uncovered to those of their readers who are ‘working three days a week’, the best rural hotspots to commute into London. They also talked more about the changing of buyers’ needs as people adjusted to working from home the majority of the week.
What’s clear is that people are looking for something different in their housing choices. That means the way they search for housing needs to change too. Whether punters are looking to buy off plan, or a recent new build, they are starting to cast the net far wider on their preferred location.
The key question then – how do customers view this real estate?
CGI Virtual Tours and Remote Viewing – John’s First Home
With a CGI virtual tour, customers looking to find their next move can view new build property, on and off plan, in stunning detail. This is especially helpful when customers are interested in property, that’s further afield or in more remote locations. These are plots where a journey to visit a marketing office could be time and cost heavy for the customer.
We spoke to John Cooper, a first time home-owner who used a CGI virtual tour to view and review a property in a remote location, as he looked to get out of the London life.
Here’s John’s experience on the whole process and how using a CGI virtual tour enabled him to show his friends and family realistic renderings of his new home. This was a home that wasn’t even built yet:
“Like everyone else at the moment, we’ve been working from home all week and decided we could change our lifestyle and make the most of working remotely. We felt a change of scene would bring a better work-life-balance, so started to look at locations outside of London.
As first time home-owners, we decided to take advantage of the help-to-buy scheme and started researching new build developers in rural locations. Once we found our location of choice and the development that hit all of our requirements, we did take a visit up there to meet the team and get a sense of the plot. We also wanted to see the work that had been done on the building to date.
After assessing the plot and the pricing structure, the sales team helped us through the calculations of what we could afford using the help-to-buy scheme. Their marketing brochures and materials were helpful in the first instance, showing us what options they had on plan. After this, we had an opportunity to visit the show rooms, as they’d fully completed a couple of the properties to show customers.
After kicking the tyres a bit further on the showrooms, we decided we wanted a style of apartment that actually wasn’t available as a showroom. It was a duplex apartment. This is where the CGI virtual tour came in, it really made a huge difference. Without it we would have had to settle with seeing the shell of a property or a similar one. The virtual tour meant we could get into the detail of the specific type of duplex apartment we wanted.
The CGI tour was well executed, it showed the layouts of all the rooms, the space available and gave inspiration for the layout of our new home. The most useful part of the service was being able to share the renders and tours with family and friends, who are obviously a big part of our decision making process.
The CGI renders were a massive improvement on the shots of the building site I’d sent through to my Dad off my smartphone. Also, as the development was out in a rural location, it saved multiple trips to and from the site and meant I could keep the family updated with any visuals of the place. In the end, it really sealed the deal and we’re looking forward to moving into our first home this winter.
Like many potential homeowners looking to turn remote working into remote living, John was eager to get a thorough sense of the new-build whilst keeping his family and friends up to date on the process. He was provided a brilliant experience of the CGI tour; which ultimately played a key part in him sealing the deal and putting a deposit down. Without the CGI tour, John wouldn’t have been able to experience the specific version of the apartment he was after, or been able to share visuals of the place with his friends and family.
Moving With The Times
When it comes to housing, many of the age-old truths are still relevant. We’re still big believers that the best houses sell themselves and you can’t replicate the physical experience a buyer has when they set foot onto a development, or into a home for the first time.
But one thing’s for sure is that buyers’ needs are changing, with many punters enjoying flexible working patterns. As a customer’s need changes, so must the search and marketing process around great real estate. It’s true that an excellent property sells itself but as we saw with John’s testimonial, in the modern buying process it’s more than just the home-owner involved in the decision.
Virtual tours are an effective and efficient way of enabling this new generation of buyers to view and review property listings, even in remote locations. They also ensure family and friends are involved in the buying process, all from the comfort of their living rooms.
If you’d like to find out more about virtual tours and the different ones on offer, get in touch with us today to book a demo.
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