Leading real estate website realestate.com.au has achieved a new record audience for March, with 10.7 million people visiting the site.
The milestone comes as the real estate industry is being forced to operate under new guidelines in order to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
Realestate.com.au has remained laser-focused on helping the property industry adapt to new operating requirements with limited face-to-face interactions. Core to this has been the introduction of new ways to facilitate the connection between buyers and sellers at scale through app and web products.
Following the launch of Digital Inspections, more than 44,000 realestate.com.au Buy and Rent listings now feature digital video tours.
Compared to early March, views of digital video tours are up 96 per cent and views of 3D tours are up 327 per cent.
REA Group Chief Sales Officer Kul Singh said REA has been doing everything it can to support the property market through these unprecedented times and to deliver ongoing value to customers by providing access to Australia’s largest network of property seekers.
“Our record audience numbers in March demonstrate that Australians remain passionate about property,” Mr Singh said.
“Pleasingly, searches for properties for sale and rent on realestate.com.au also remain up year-on-year.
“We are really pleased that our new Digital Inspections and Online Auctions features have had an immediate impact, helping connect agents with more buyers, sellers and renters.
“This comes at a time when face-to-face interactions are limited as we all rally together and stay at home wherever possible to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Barry Plant Director and Senior Auctioneer James Hatzimoisis said new digital features are helping deliver more qualified leads.
“The tools now available to agents are incredible,” Mr Hatzimoisis said.
“Any business that’s worth its weight has been using digital tools for some time, but some of the new features make engagement a lot easier.
“We’re finding that the enquiries we’re currently getting are much more qualified.
“People may still want to privately inspect a property before they buy it, but features like Digital Inspections make it so much easier for them to make a decision.”
Jellis Craig Armadale Head of Property Management Sam Nokes said in the last fortnight he has seen an increase in leases signed without tenants physically inspecting the property and he expects this trend to continue.
“We have offered virtual inspections for about three years and landlords have only very recently become more willing to lease to tenants who haven’t completed a physical inspection,” Mr Nokes said.
“At the moment people want to visit as few properties as possible and Digital Inspections allow tenants to pre-screen a property.
“We’re also finding that most prospective tenants who view a Digital Inspection and go on to a physical inspection, will then submit an application to lease the property.”