When Queensland went into lockdown recently, Kindred Property Group (KPG) knew they needed to do things differently in order to keep their new listing numbers high. When they couldn’t visit properties in person, they launched a campaign to conduct virtual appraisals.
We sat down with KPG’s Daniel Lyngcoln to find out why the group pivoted to virtual appraisals and why potential vendors love them.
LH: Tell me a little bit about your virtual appraisal campaign.
DL: During the recent lockdown we knew people still wanted appraisals on their properties but the restrictions meant we couldn’t do face to face. We already do digital appraisals but they lack accuracy since we have to rely on online tools and they don’t allow a vendor to truly show the property, including possible improvements. Within two days of lockdown announcements, we developed a virtual appraisal service and launched it to our customers with an educational video, web page and newsletter to our database.
The concept involved vendors doing a virtual walkthrough of their property with one of our agents, resulting in a virtual appraisal. As a result, we were able to win the listing and decided to carry through our virtual approach to the entire sale.
“Every single month we are breaking buyer enquiry records and we attribute that directly to the addition of virtual tours.”
LH: Why did you decide to take this completely virtual approach?
DL: We knew this was the best way to service customers the way they wanted to be serviced during a lockdown. It allowed us to provide a safer alternative to an in person appraisal
We made the process super easy – customers could book an appointment for a virtual appraisal and our customer care team would arrange a FaceTime call where the vendor could walk the agent through their property virtually.
We received our first booking within 24 hours launching and our agent conducted the virtual appraisal on that Saturday. The customer was so impressed, she listed the property with us immediately. The vendor had purchased elsewhere and needed the property to be listed online ASAP, and we knew if we wanted to get buyers attention quickly, we would need a virtual tour.
“With Little Hinges, we were able to have the property scanned within 3 days of listing and the property live the same week on our website, our email newsletter and on REA.”
The property had over 500 groups through it’s virtual tours and multiple offers the first weekend. It was sold within the week, to the delight of the vendor.
LH: Why did you decide to add virtual tours to your marketing activity for this particular property?
DL: We knew a virtual tour was essential to get this property sold quickly. The vendor was also particularly keen to see a virtual tour added to the marketing mix in order to get the best price in the fastest possible timeframe. We needed to increase the buyer activity and exposure of the property to maximise competition.
LH: What made you choose Little Hinges?
DL: Little Hinges were so responsive, we were able to get the property scanned within days, which was vital. We needed to get the property live as soon as possible, and nobody else could have met our needs so quickly. The high level of customer service was also a key selling point for us, the Little Hinges team made everything exceptionally easy.
“We tell vendors that it’s not really a choice. If you want as many buyers as possible through your property in order to get the best possible price in the fastest time frame, a virtual tour is essential.”
LH: How has adding virtual tours to your marketing mix changed your results?
DL: We are seeing exceptional results since adding virtual tours to our marketing mix. Every single month we are breaking buyer enquiry records and we attribute that directly to the addition of virtual tours.
Before Christmas, we’d have been happy to get 600-700 buyer enquiries per month, this month we’re sitting at 1300 buyer enquiries already, and these are engaged buyers who are actually interested in the properties we’re showing. We’re seeing a significant increase in the number of interstate inquiries and having the virtual tour allows them to self qualify before reaching out to us.
LH: What do you say to vendors to get them excited about adding virtual tours to their marketing mix?
DL: We tell them that it’s not really a choice. If you want as many buyers as possible through your property in order to get the best possible price in the fastest time frame, a virtual tour is essential.
LH: What has been the feedback from vendors since adding virtual tours to your marketing mix?
DL: Feedback has been excellent, because of the results we are getting for our vendors. Our days on market are the best they’ve ever been, we’re exceeding all price sets and our vendors are really happy.