Croft Residential announced it has begun the use of virtual tours for potential house buyers amid calls for social distancing.
The Yorkshire-based property agency has launched a high-tech service to enable prospective buyers to take “hyper-realistic” virtual property tours as an alternative to conventional viewings.
The agency collaborated with Cloud 9 Architectural Photography in Leeds, to jointly invest in an “immersive” three-dimensional technology that can create highly accurate scale models and virtual tours of properties.
The property tours can be viewed on bespoke headsets, and viewers will be able to zoom in on details such as bathroom and kitchen fittings, and look out of windows to outside areas and views.
Toby Cockcroft, who founded Croft Residential in 2010, said that the firm has been the first in the region to adopt the technology.
He said: “It will be immensely helpful in situations such as for overseas buyers who are looking to move to the UK, and the growing trend of Londoners relocating to York or other value-for-money northern locations.
“Buying a property sight unseen happens a lot these days in US cities such as New York and San Francisco, where there’s high demand and low supply.”
He added: “Although a virtual tour is unlikely to be the only viewing that will be made before someone buys a property here in Yorkshire, it’s definitely a game changer in terms of the accuracy and ease with which you can now view a house and decide whether to add it to your shortlist.
“We think it will be a real boon to our clients and will help us to sell their properties for them, which is what we are all about.”
Jonathan Taylor, Cloud 9 director, said: “We have been shooting property for 30 years and seen many developments in digital technology, but the new Matterport 3D scanner is the first bit of kit we have bought that has really struck me as a great leap forward.
“The idea of 3D walk-throughs has been around for over 15 years, but in the past they were slow and required specialised software to run them. Matterport has finally taken this concept and made it work.”