Using the gig economy to outsource viewings
With the lifestyle of the modern house buyer requiring a more flexible approach to property viewing, Ed Mead, co-founder of Viewber, explains how agents can utilise evenings and weekends through the gig economy.
PRODUCT | Viewber
PRICE | From £30 for an inspection/viewing – options include single viewings to open houses and all day multiple appointments
TARGET | Estate and letting agents, commercial agents, property managers, asset managers, landlords
CHALLENGE | Having been an agent for 40 years I was well aware of how we failed in serving weekend customers. Indeed, Sunday -14% of the week, was a dead day. The days of expecting everyone to see properties when an agent wants are coming to an end. Our office Saturday diary used to fill by Wednesday and employing weekend staff is expensive and a big headache – with quality often suffering. We also wanted agents to be able to use their time better, not sitting on the road going to viewings, but mining the database for listings and getting deals agreed. Many upmarket agents do successfully use weekend staff because they can afford it. Why shouldn’t all agents have the same advantages?
SOLUTION | By using the sharing or gig economy Viewber makes a huge – more than 3,000 and growing at 20/day – network of vetted local people available to agents to carry out simple tasks like viewings and inspections via a simple piece of software. Anywhere in the UK at any time. We can fit keysafes to facilitate access or have a local Viewber as a keyholder. Viewbers get info on property when they’re booked via your dashboard and give immediate feedback, on which they’re rated by the agent, as soon as a viewing finished.
We’ve opened up weekends, particularly Sundays, to do more viewings as well as giving support at busy times whilst keeping its use incredibly simple. We allow agents to cover much larger geographical areas and achieve much more with what they have.
OUTCOMES | To date clients have found a very useful ROI, getting offers on lettings and sales properties they wouldn’t have got before because they can do viewings anytime, especially at weekends. Some have emailed their database of buyers and tenants to tell them they can view any of their instructions on a Saturday or Sunday and have not only seen big uplifts in their turnover but also got more listings as these buyers and tenants are suitably impressed. Many agents find second/third/fourth/surveyor visits a pain and Viewber makes better use of expensive staff time by allowing them to agree and negotiate offers rather than wasting time on the road travelling to viewings. Other tasks can be performed, like open houses or booking a Viewber for a whole day, walk-by inspections, checkouts, and meet-and-greets.
Some customers, like MyLondonHome in London, are achieving a significant ROI, as much as 10:1. For some of our auction clients like Barnard Marcus the efficiencies have been significant and enables them to give their clients an even better service.
We have found that Viewber is a particular help to busy agents, and whether you want to do more, or simply save on some fixed costs, we can help you do it.