How can agents save thousands of pounds with livestream viewings?

Estate and letting agencies which embrace livestream viewings and minimise physical appointments can save thousands of pounds, according to Gavl.

Following a turbulent 2020 and with the economic outlook remaining uncertain, these savings could be crucial to the bottom line of an estate or letting agency business.

Gavl is a livestream platform which allows agents to stage interactive open house viewing events, increasing efficiency and providing them with a USP.

It says agents can save thousands with livestream viewings in two main ways which then pave the way to increase revenue and market share.

Saving money on recruitment

By carrying out fewer physical viewings, agencies can reduce the workload of their staff and avoid spending money on recruiting new team members.

According to Matt Nicol, managing director of three-branch agency Nicol & Co, Gavl has saved his firm thousands in recruitment fees since 2020.

He says that on average his agency now agrees tenancies after 1.1 viewings, down from 14 before adopting livestream technology.

“Despite all that 2020 threw at us, we have some good moments to reflect on and finding Gavl is certainly one of them,” says Nicol.

“While our portfolio has grown, we haven’t needed to recruit because we’ve actually managed to cut the workload for the team.”

As well as fewer viewings, carrying out livestream open house events significantly reduces the amount of administrative and qualifying work required of agents.

“Recruitment can be an expensive process which doesn’t always pay-off. Livestream viewings significantly reduce agents’ workload which means business owners don’t have to expand their teams in an uncertain market if they don’t want to,” says Joel Smith, CEO of Gavl.

“The money saved can be spent on looking after existing staff, improving customer service and the associated costs of adapting to the new normal.”

Less time on the road

Another way in which agents can save money with livestream viewings is through less time spent travelling to viewings, which also has environmental benefits.

Previously, agents would have to travel to a property many times while marketing it. By reducing the number of physical viewings, they can complete transactions by visiting a property on just a few occasions.

“With agents typically attending each property more than ten times for viewings over its marketing period, the travel costs rack up,” explains Smith.

“By using livestream viewings and ensuring physical viewings only take place for seriously committed applicants, agents can save a significant amount in travel expenses.”

The time usually spent travelling to viewings – many of which were pointless – can now be used more effectively by agents to progress transactions and generate new business.

“The majority of agents will be much happier not to have to keep travelling to viewings over and over again, so there are also opportunities to improve team morale and productivity,” adds Smith.

He says that while the pandemic is ongoing, it remains important for agencies to minimise contact where possible and prioritise staff safety.

Higher consumer satisfaction

As well as saving money through reduced travel and recruitment costs, agents can use livestream viewings to improve satisfaction rates among sellers, landlords and applicants.

For prospective buyers and tenants, a livestream viewing means they don’t have to leave home and are not wasting their time travelling to a property that is not suitable for them.

“By organising just one livestream viewing appointment instead of 10-25 viewings, agents can allow all interested parties to view properties at the times which generally suit them most such as evenings and lunchtimes,” Smith continues.

“This means they can view more properties and the chances of missing out on their desired property through not viewing it quickly enough are reduced as there is a level playing field for all applicants.”

He adds that instead of just one or two people attending a physical viewing, an applicant’s friends and family can attend a livestream event which can help them to make a decision.

For sellers and landlords, one of the main benefits is only having to open up their property for viewings once or twice rather than 10 to 20 times.

“Particularly at the moment, sellers and landlords will be more comfortable if they can promote their property effectively without having to open it up to large numbers of people,” says Smith.

“Moreover, with applicants qualifying themselves during a livestream viewing event, there is the added benefit of not having to host physical viewings for time-wasters and only welcoming those who are seriously committed to buying or renting the property.”

“Higher viewing satisfaction among sellers, landlords and applicants can help agents to generate additional future business and ultimately build their market share,” Smith concludes.