Everyone knows that Skype brings people together. But we recently found out that our technology also helps bring people closer to their dream properties. Coming face to face with your ideal property, whether it’s a family home or a shrewd investment, is something we all dream about. But what about falling in love with your dream condo over a video call?
We met up with Leighton Herdson, Senior Real Estate Broker from Essex, UK based company, Real Estate Worldwide.
Real Estate Worldwide was founded in 2012 with the emphasis on bringing investors and developers together with safe and secure off plan developments across the United Kingdom. And recently, the business has found that Skype is helping enhance and expand their client base, as Leighton explains:
“As a company we started using Skype early on as an easy way to communicate with anyone overseas or whilst being out of the office. I had used it a lot previously with friends in Canada and the U.S as a way to keep in touch.”
From hotel rooms to family homes, Real Estate Worldwide often deal with developers who build from scratch. So how does Skype help them sell something that doesn’t even exist? Leighton explains how the company uses, not just video calling, but file sharing and IM to share brochures and investments plans, as well as maintaining contact throughout the process:
“It is an easy way for us to share docs with each other, to communicate with overseas clients, and do viewings with clients that can’t get up to development sites. It has become a big part of our day.” Leighton continues, “we do this with developers when sending documents and if a developer is presenting a new project to us, they may screen share the brochure or website along with other important bits of info, floor plans and renderings etc.”
So do developers also use Skype?
“Not all the time, but everyone is embracing technology more and more. Skype does allow developers and project managers to show clients around developments without the client having to physically be there. There’s a lot of scope for developers to utilize technology like Skype more. Again it’s an easy way to maintain contact with the IM feature.”
In the past, we’ve come across interior stylists and decorators who advise on color palette, décor themes and even feng shui tips while using Skype. Leighton tells us how their viewing process is also similar:
“We have developments all over the UK and some people simply can’t get from London to Manchester, for example. It’s a great way to show them the site and to meet the developer or project manager and get comfort that there is something tangible there.”
We realize that property is a very personal, “touchy feely” experience that often depends on a vibe or a gut instinct that a particular house or apartment is “the one”. We wanted to know if viewing a property over Skype actually felt as if you were there in person:
“Definitely, it helps show dimensions and gives a feel for the place when clients can’t physically attend. Skype makes the process a lot more personal and in a world where everyone is constantly getting marketing email and cold calls, if you can move a business relationship away from those mediums and on to Skype or face to face, then it builds longer lasting relationships.”
Any funny stories while you or a client have used video calling?
“My colleague Chris Britto used Skype to call a client at an agreed time and the client was in bed half asleep when he answered. He dealt with it well but was a bit surprised to say the least.”
With Skype being a recent addition to Real Estate Worldwide’s business repertoire, we wondered what the company would do if our technology didn’t exist. Leighton rolls his eyes as he ponders the thought:
“In the past I’ve worked with people in Canada, the States and a lot from the UAE. Our clients are global and know that UK property is a great investment. But without Skype, we would have to do a lot more face to face meet ups and it would require people that haven’t got the time to travel from London up to Manchester, Liverpool or Sheffield.”
We love hearing stories about Skype users like Leighton and his colleagues at Real Estate Worldwide. If you have a Skype story you’d like to share, just tag us #Skype on social media.