If there’s one thing I’ve learned from selling second homes during the pandemic, it’s to be flexible. There’s still plenty of buyers out there who want second homes in Spain but between social distancing and travel restrictions viewing properties is a lot more complicated that it used to be.
So if you want to buy a second home but can’t travel, what can you do? Well, that’s where virtual tours come in. Anything virtual is vital in the times we’re living through. We can use them to show both foreign and local clients our new properties from the comfort of their homes. The virtual tour of the waterfront apartments at our Pier development in Sotogrande, Cadiz, is a great example of this.
From the client’s perspective, they can inspect the property in detail as often as they wish. They can also show it to friends and family members with whom they are discussing the potential purchase. This is an interesting point, as virtual tours are opening up the buying process in new ways, rather than merely being a substitute for in-person viewings. It’s making the viewing process more flexible and that’s certainly something we want to keep up even after travel restrictions are lifted.
Apart from offering virtual tours we offer real-time walkthroughs through our properties with our sales consultants. Our call centre is actively offering this service and we have quite a few every week. It means that clients can view the property at their own pace, revisit certain rooms and take a tour of the grounds, all while having a member of staff on hand to answer any questions they may have.
The real-time walkthroughs are an excellent way of connecting viewers with the properties they want to see. We’ve closed two sales in Sun Valley at La Cala Resort in the Costa del Sol in the past fortnight after providing WhatsApp video tours of them and it looks like we’re about to close another for one of our last three homes at Blue Cove, in Mallorca.
Both WhatsApp and Zoom are popular with our clients when it comes to taking video walkthroughs. The technology is so reliable these days. Again, it’s a service that we’ll be able to offer even once the pandemic has passed, as it makes for a more flexible viewing experience.
Our virtual tours have proven particularly popular for properties in the Costa del Sol. We’re getting 5,000 visits per month to our tours in that area. It’s also our Costa del Sol properties that buyers are particularly keen to inspect through video walkthroughs, with Botanic, Pier and Grand View leading the way. It seems that many buyers are craving the sunshine of the Costa del Sol as we head into winter.
There’s no denying that 2020 has been a challenging year for many in the property industry. But with a bit of imagination and plenty of flexibility, we’ll get through it together and even end up making improvements to our sales processes as a result, by keeping up the virtual tours and video walkthroughs. What changes have you made during the pandemic that you’re going to stick with afterwards?
By Marc Pritchard
Marc Pritchard is Sales & Marketing Director at Taylor Wimpey España. He has spent more than a decade overseeing the company’s sales in Mallorca, Ibiza, the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol.