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Technology is set to cause a paradigm shift in the traditional property business, believes chief brand manager Toni Enderli and top-selling real estate agent Sean Britt, both of Realtors International in Cape Town.

As an example of this, last week saw Realtors International conduct a first for South Africa and possibly the real estate world internationally – the first live, virtual showhouse using Skype and an iPad.

The past few years have seen a sharp decline in traditional showhouses, placing as it does everything at risk from the safety of the agent on show, to the security of the home being shown. “However,” explains Britt, “with a virtual showing in real time you not only deal with these challenges but you also open an avenue for people from all over the country and even globally to see a home over the web – and to see exactly what they want as they can literally call the shots – before they spend time and money to travel to Cape Town for viewings.”

The proof of the system is that the particular property that was on show via Skype has been sold to a buyer from Johannesburg based on what they saw live online.

For the meantime, all properties advertised as being on show via the live, virtual viewing system, will also continue to be advertised as open houses with on-site physical showings. “We acknowledge that it may take some time for a mindshift to happen with both clients and buyers. As with any innovation, particularly one that involves technology, it takes a while for people to get used to the idea of doing things differently. But all the clients that we have taken the idea to thus far are very excited by the live, online showhouse concept. It also increases our levels of efficiency, as we can deal with multiple enquires from different clients during one showhouse session,” Enderli concludes.

By Dieter Deppisch

Property Sector Analyst

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