What is a Contactless Property Transaction?
Contactless property transactions are real estate transactions without a physical meeting between the seller, buyer, or real estate agent. The property transactions and inspections are done remotely using pictures and videos - especially during the early stages of the transaction.
The contactless method was always there but not so popular. However, it became popular in Malaysia due to the Covid-19 situation
; to promote social distancing and stop the spread of the virus.
Contactless Property Transactions in Malaysia
It's true what they say that "each darkish cloud has a silver lining." The bright side in the case of the Covid-19 pandemic is the digitalisation of various sectors has been significantly accelerated.
Different industries have adapted to going digital in their ways, with some industries benefiting more than others. They had a head start well before the pandemic, such as food and beverage and retail (for example, Foodpanda
and Grab Food
For others, such as the real estate industry, digital excursions seem to be pointing in the right direction. Real estate negotiators and brokers have gone automated, completing all types of land deals digitally.
For newly launched property, digital tours are replacing sales galleries. Coupled with the help of e-brochures, it is completely doable.
When it comes to supporting sub-sales assets, a high-quality digital camera is a must. Since pictures and videos are the only examples that prospective buyers have, it's important to capture as many details as possible so that they do not feel misled when they see the property
How It Is Done
Real estate agents must be as meticulous as possible, from the exterior to the front door and any personal space in the house.
Right now, every real estate agent has someone snapping pictures and making videos of a property they intend to sell. Some agents have a video doing a walk-through across different parts of the property, while others stand in the middle of a space and record a 360-degree video
using a drone camera. It all depends on what they want and their level of creativity.
However, the most important thing is that prospective buyers should see a clear picture of the property's layout. Aside from the home's interiors, agents can film the surrounding areas within a two-kilometre radius to give potential buyers a full view of the surrounding.
In some cases, potential buyers may already be familiar with the neighbourhood, so a virtual tour
of the whole neighbourhood may not be required. If the potential buyer is interested in the property, he can visit the neighbourhood and drive around to see what amenities and facilities are nearby.
An agent may also produce an in-depth display for sub-sale properties, including the home's layout, exact measurements, and recent transactions in the region.
To compensate for the fact that the customer cannot physically be present on the premises, no stone should be left unturned.
Absolute transparency is crucial when it comes to closing a deal via a contactless transaction. When transparency is in place, virtual presentation is satisfactory and all the necessary paperwork is complete, that should be enough to seal the deal.
One of the advantages of digital streaming is that it saves time. Property developers can save money by not installing a mannequin unit (showhouse) for new property projects. Agents can deal with more customers in a single day as less travel is required. Of course, if a customer wants to visit the property in person, it can be arranged easily.
In that case, the buyer should be given a proposal letter which he can use to process inter-district and also inter-state travels. Even during the MCO, potential property buyers were authorized to travel and inspect properties on their own.
No matter how clear and sharp a picture or video is, nothing beats seeing the property with your physical eyes, especially if it's a sub-sale house.
This modern standard in real estate transactions also serves as an electronic filter for determining a buyer's interest. Since the MCO finds it somewhat more challenging to walk around, a buyer's willingness to go to the trouble to see the property with their own eyes is a good indicator of how serious they are about purchasing it.
With editing in all places – from airbrushed fashions to food ads – it's no surprise that certain buyers question the authenticity of photos and videos sent to them.
Additionally, a simple change of lighting can make a real difference. There are times when the actual property can seem different from the photos and videos, confusing potential buyer's minds. Until the buyer sees the property physically, then he can see that it's what he wants.
Other Deciding Factors
Digital excursions are just another means of property inspection. Closing a sale depends on the property itself and the client's intentions and financial strength.
However, property type, location, amenities, and other standards
on the buyer's criteria also play a significant role in buying. You can't convince customers to buy a property if it doesn't meet their needs, regardless of how it's done or what skills you deploy.
The pandemic has accelerated the property market's evolution and digitization. This is likely to continue well through the worst of the pandemic has passed. We are now living in a different normal, and we must adjust accordingly.
In a Nutshell
From the look of things, contactless property transactions have come to stay in Malaysia. With all the advantages, it may remain long after Covid-19.
Therefore, industry players, including property developers
, real estate agents, buyers
and sellers, must get used to the new normal. Renters too can do so by inspecting residential properties
virtually and find one that meets their requirements.