Plymouth tech firm Made Snappy has reported a 600% increase in demand for 360-degree virtual property tours and is expecting a further surge for holiday lets.
The company said that analysis of Rightmove data from November 2019 to June 2021 shows a huge leap in the number of people wanting to view properties digitally during the Covid pandemic.
The figures show virtual tours are now in use for 7% of properties to let and 14% of homes for sale in the UK. Those figures have jumped from 1% and 2% respectively at the start of the data period.
More South West tech stories…
Meanwhile, with staycations expected to deliver a £30bn boost to the UK holiday sector, an increasing number of potential holiday makers are also using 360-degree technology to view accommodation.
Mark McCorrie, chief executive and founder of Made Snappy, one of the fastest growing 360-tour companies in Europe, said: “We’re seeing a strong, sustained increase in the use of 360 tours, as agents do all they can to respond to the immense pressures related to such a hectic market. As the time saving that virtual tours deliver becomes more widely appreciated, we’re likely to see their use jump even more.”
And with 33 million people expected to enjoy staycations during the next couple of months, according to Sykes Holiday Cottages’ 2021 Staycation Index, Mr McCorrie added: “360 tours allow viewers to experience a property in a vastly different way than regular photographs do. We already work with many lettings agents and estate agents who appreciate the value.”
At Quay Holidays, based in Poole, near Bournemouth, lettings assistant Hannah Challis said: “Most of our properties are solidly booked for the rest of the season”.
Quay Holidays is one of a rising number of UK holiday providers using 360 tours as a marketing tool and is using a solution provided by Made Snappy.
“We were introduced to Made Snappy last year through our residential lettings business,” said Ms Challis. “A Made Snappy virtual tour is so simple to put together. Popping the camera on the tripod and connecting it to the mobile phone takes seconds.
“Once they are paired, you can move round a property recording each room in a matter of moments. When I get back to the office, I just upload the photos and use the programme to create the virtual tour – an average-sized property takes me no more than 15 minutes.”
For lettings agents and estate agents, the value of 360 tours lies in reducing wasted viewings and better matching potential renters and buyers with suitable properties.
Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has more than a decade’s experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. He is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.
To contact William: Email: [email protected] – Phone: 01752 293116 – Mob: 07584 594052 – Twitter: @WTelfordHerald – LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com – Facebook: www.facebook.com/william.telford.5473
Stay in touch: BusinessLive newsletters have been re-designed to make them even better. We send morning bulletins straight to your inbox on the latest news, views and opinion in the South West. Get our breaking news alerts and weekly sector reviews too. Sign up now – it’s free and it only takes a minute. To sign up for Business Live’s daily newsletters click here
And visit the Business Live South West LinkedIn page here
For holiday rental firms, the use case is slightly different, though no less beneficial, and Ms Challis said: “Photographs are great, but holidaymakers know they can be manipulated to show the best angles. A virtual tour puts the prospective guest in control – they can wander through the whole property online, look out of the windows, stand in the garden and view it from every angle. This gives them greater confidence to make the booking. Ironically, it also makes our job easier too, as the more the guest can see beforehand, the less they can reasonably complain about when they arrive.”
Mr McCorrie founded Made Snappy, now based at Plymouth’s Lister Mill Business Park, in 2019 after having previously designed software for the aerospace industry and clients such as Boeing. He also worked as a letting agent before founding Made Snappy and had been frustrated by wasted viewings and wanted to create something easy to use and cost effective.