News: Property firms expect to see more transactions now that physical viewings are allowed

Jun 23, 2020

Many potential buyers still prefer physical viewings to get a feel of the space, environment and ambience before making a purchase decision.

With the circuit breaker period forcing home buyers into virtual viewings, property firms expect to see more request for physical viewings of showrooms and resale residential units now that these activities are allowed under Singapore’s Phase 2 of reopening, reported Channel News Asia (CNA).

“We have received many requests for appointments to view the properties since clients were not able to do so during the circuit breaker,” CNA quoted George Tan, Managing Director of Savills Residential Projects Sales & Associates.

“Many clients have done virtual viewings and Zoom presentations. But nothing beats the physical seeing and experience of the actual show flat and property.”

Potential tenants and buyers are requesting for in-person tours to ensure that the property meets their space and lifestyle requirements, said ERA Realty Network Key Executive Officer Eugene Lim. He added that they take such requests as a “sign that they are ready to commit”.

ERA Realty Network Division Director Benjamin Poh told CNA that HDB resale flats received more demand for physical viewing compared to new private launches.

This comes as buyers want to check if the flat has issues such as water leakage which cannot be detected over virtual viewing.

He revealed that his team of 20 agents was able to close eight transactions for HDB resale flats over the weekend, or almost triple the usual number they sell on a regular weekend prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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OrangeTee & Tie Head of Research & Consultancy Christine Sun expects the resumption of physical viewings to prop up sales numbers, given that many potential buyers still prefer physical viewings to get “a feel of the space, environment and ambience before making a purchase decision”.

As such, property firms have been preparing for the expected hike in demand. 

During the circuit breaker, Savills kept their clients updated via webinars, which feature property updates, project presentations as well as discussions on the market outlook, said Tan.

To prepare their agents, they also offered them training via webinars, tactical session and small group training, he added.

Developers, on the other hand, prepared for Phase 2 reopening by cleaning and sanitising their showflats, said Sun.

And while home buyers have been looking forward to viewing properties physically, PropNex Chief Executive Ismail Gafoor expects virtual viewings to stay.

He believes that the majority of property investors and buyers will “do research and narrow their selection” on virtual platforms, prior to requesting for a physical viewing of the property.

 

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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