Online retailing has everyone’s attention at the moment with retailers grappling with the implications of this on their business. But have you thought about the impact of online buying to the real estate market?
According to Paul Barratt, the Marketing Manager of CB Richard Ellis, the Internet has become the research tool of choice for savvy property buyers worldwide. Online you can research apartment offerings, compare similar and contrasting products, and read reviews with little or no pressure from agents, and make your choice to buy in your own time. There is no doubt that in the last few years we have seen residential sales measurably impacted by Internet influence.
“People come to us well informed about the market and with a greater knowledge of the product they want” he said. “It is a changing trend, but exciting to see this increased level of sophistication emerging in the industry”.
A case in point is the Commonwealth Bank’s App that allows instantaneous access to RPData’s sales database in real time standing outside a dwelling.
But how much of the sales process in new and off the plan apartments is going to be conducted online in coming years, and can developers harness this move for their own commercial benefit? Would it be possible to tailor a sales office and display to better suit the online environment? Or spend more online and less on displays to meet the needs of the changing market?
At Ellivo Architects we are seeing some developers expend hundreds of thousands of dollars on traditional sales display offices that relatively few people visit. In contrast, virtual 3D walkthroughs are now available to our clients for their websites, online promotions, and ‘virtual sales offices’ are seeing purchaser interest skyrocket.
Mirvac has had recent success in Sydney with this approach, selling $291m in 11 hours.
In recent months the Ellivo team has been investigating appropriate 3D gaming technologies to making virtual reality apartment sales more accessible to prospective purchasers.
It was just a matter of time before the property sector caught up with what is happening online,” said Scott Whiteoak, Director of Ellivo Architects. “A lot of the core research on apartments is already being done via the web, and we see this increasing on many, if not all types of residential projects in the future. So we are gearing up to help our clients showcase their products using the best mediums available.”
The recently released Fish Lane Apartments in Melbourne Street have also had their share of success, with purchasers attending 40 appointments in the first weekend of the sales campaign.