Enterprise property management platform provider AssetOwl (ASX: AO1) has field-tested its virtual solution to the crippling social distancing measures instituted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company launched a supplementary virtual tour module for its inspector360 platform and announced the new feature has been used commercially for the first time.
Virtual tours are a means of maintaining property viewings and to encourage buyers and sellers to continue making transactions despite the strict social distancing and quarantine measures being implemented in Australia.
Property market transactions for both rentals and outright purchases have fallen significantly as both buyers and sellers have stepped back awaiting the ease of lockdown measures.
Furthermore, property auctions – a long-held property market tradition in Australia – have been curtailed leading to significant declines in sales.
Earlier this month, AssetOwl vowed it would create a remote inspection solution, citing “unprecedented demand” from its clients within the property market and aiming to deliver a “true remote real estate management” tool that could add value in the form of remote viewings.
AssetOwl already operates a “photo-centric property management platform” called inspector360, used by real estate owners, managers, tenants and agents, that can generate a complete photographic record of property upkeep during the entirety of the lease.
According to the platform provider, Perth-based property company RE/MAX WA, the Western Australia branch of US-listed real estate agency group RE/MAX Holdings (NYSE: RMAX), has begun using AssetOwl’s virtual tour app to market its properties for both sale and rent.
Moreover, the company declared its virtual tour feature is being used for the first time by “all major real estate websites including realestate.com.au, Domain and REIWA”.
RE/MAX WA is currently introducing the virtual tour app to all of its WA offices and is expected to roll out the tool across its offices around Australia in the near future.
“Our team, led by [chief technology officer] Giuseppe Di Franco, has moved very quickly to respond to the new industry requirements to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 lockdowns,” AssetOwl chairman Simon Trevisan said.
“RE/MAX WA was one of the first companies to sign up for inspector360. They had requested the virtual tour function as a priority and are now the first to use it.”
“We were driven by the qualitative and efficiency gains that come from managing real estate remotely via a cloud-based comprehensive photographic record, and although we didn’t imagine the current circumstances, inspector360 is perfectly suited to add value in this time of mandatory social distancing,” Mr Trevisan added.
With the newly launched feature now live and fully operational, AssetOwl also declared it intends to expand the range of features within its app by adding more functionality “in the near future” to make remote inspections even easier to conduct.
Mr Trevisan said AssetOwl plans to launch an in-app video conferencing facility that will allow property managers to guide tenants, using tenant’s mobile devices through the inspection process by video conference within inspector360.
“This will allow routine inspections to be conducted to the requisite standard under the direction of the property manager, even while a property is in isolation,” Mr Trevisan said.