With the various travel restrictions stopping us visiting France to view properties, many Brits have been depending on virtual viewings to give them an idea of gites. Some have even made buying decisions based only on these virtual viewings.
While we would never recommend buying without visiting, virtual viewings do have a place in buying French gites.
With that in mind, let’s outline a few pros and cons of virtual viewings for property purchases.
The pros of virtual viewings
There are definite upsides to virtual gite viewings
Shortlist before you visit – Virtual viewings enable you to effectively shortlist viable gites to visit during your stay. Traditionally, you will end up visiting a number of properties that won’t be suitable. Viewing them online first gives you a much better idea than images do.
Video tells more of a story than images – Images can tell you a lot but video can show a whole lot more. Done well, a video is almost as good as a walkthrough and can show you more accurate room sizes, areas of dark and light and the whole picture rather than the select images the agent wants you to see.
Harder to hide in video – We all know that agents can be very selective about what they show of a property. A properly done video should show a 360 view of every room, something images don’t.
The cons of virtual gite viewings
There are downsides to using virtual viewings though.
They paint the picture of a lifestyle – An agent’s job is to sell the property. Using images does a good job of that but video takes that a lot further. It’s much easier to be drawn in and seduced by a video than it is for images!
A poor video can lose the sale – The same as poor quality images won’t do anything to clinch the sale, a poor video can actually put people off. Strange lenses, fisheye views, poor lighting, ill-prepared properties and shaking camerawork can all cause you to lose the sale.
No replacement for a property visit – Technically, this isn’t a con of virtual viewings themselves but how people view them. They should not replace a real life visit, they should supplement it. Used alongside your usual property selection methods they work, used as a replacement for an in-person visit, they don’t.
Virtual gite viewings
We think virtual viewings offer excellent opportunities for Brits to explore what’s on the market and make more realistic shortlists of properties to inspect during a visit.
They work much better than images alone and cover a lot more of each property.
They are not a replacement for in-person property inspections though. So much of property purchasing is emotional and something that video cannot handle. You certainly don’t get ‘the feeling’ from a video!