Virtual tours and security

Private Property South Africa
Simon Bray

An estate agent recently asked ...

“As I understand it presently, a listing that includes the address and a virtual tour is allocated a stronger ranking on the Private Property website. Although this may appear to be a fair way of ensuring great quality listings, one aspect that seems to be neglected is the issue of security.

“By doing a virtual tour, supplying the address and providing quality photographs, we are enabling the criminal element of society. Although great for buyers, this opens the owner up to possible exploitation by criminals. I have had a couple of clients refuse virtual tours because of this, and have personally removed an address from another property that has a virtual tour on it because of the exposure to our clients.

“I do believe that this issue needs to be re-addressed, and should be removed from the ranking score.”

_ Here’s our answer ..._

“I think security is certainly a point to consider.

“The issue is that buyers want to see this important property information, and if they want to see it then we should rank properties where those details are present. Our primary role is to market properties in a way that gets the seller and their agent the best possible results. We have shown that virtual tours increase a property’s exposure on our site by 50% on average. This serves our main goal of property marketing. If security is a major concern, we don't require these elements to list.

“It must be said that photographs do almost as much to show the contents of a home and for sale boards on the lawn indicate where those properties are located. Further to these, show days probably offer a greater security threat than any other property marketing activity.

“Security is a concern for all South African homeowners and we respect that. However our role, the task expected of Private Property and other websites like us, is to market property effectively. We strive to minimise the risks wherever we can while still offering a premium property marketing service.”

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