Leading housebuilder Weston Homes has launched a series of innovative virtual tours of their show homes, enabling buyers to view available developments from the safety of their own homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In partnership with specialist tech firm Reevo 360, Weston have launched virtual tours, ideal for first-time buyers and downsizers, across three key developments; The Denham Film Studios in Buckinghamshire, Fletton Quays in Peterborough, and Watford Cross in Watford, Greater London, with prices starting from £172,000.
The guided, secure virtual tours can be joined by up to 50 people, which is ideal for Weston’s buyer demographic; for first time buyers or a young couple, parents could join the tour to give their advice; similarly, for downsizers, grown-up children or financial advisors could join to see the property. The tours also allow Weston to continue dialogue with their buyers during social distancing, and answer any questions they may have before reservation. First time buyers are able to use Weston’s own First-Time SecureBuy scheme using a 5% deposit and a reservation fee of just £500 on select homes, with a reservation fee of just £1000 on other properties.
Using innovative technology developed by Reevo 360 over the past 18 months, buyers will be sent an encrypted link to the property they want to tour, connecting to a trained Weston sales agent who can talk through the tour as they would a face-to-face viewing. For each development, dedicated sales agents have been trained in using the software, and buyers can get in touch through the website to book in their personal tour. The virtual tours are also available as links on the Weston website, allowing buyers to revisit the tours in their own leisure time or share them with friends and family who want to learn more.
The virtual tours are a combination of interior and exterior photographs, using RICS floorplans and still photos. Weston highlight that the show apartments chosen display a range of specifications available, including the latest ‘Generation 2’ bathroom design, giving customers a detailed understanding of the homes and layouts available.
Fletton Quays is a stylish development on the banks of the River Nene, part of the wider £120 million regeneration of Peterborough’s South Bank into a new destination for the city. At Fletton Quays in Peterborough, there is a virtual tour a two-bedroom apartment with a private balcony. Since its initial launch, Fletton Quays has proved incredibly popular with first time buyers, with prices for the remaining homes starting from £172,000.
At Watford Cross in Watford, Greater London, there is a virtual tour of a two-bedroom apartment with a private terrace. Watford Cross is a £44 million scheme with great transport links into London, ideal for commuters. In addition, the specification and layout of the homes are very similar to another Weston scheme in Bury St Edmunds, allowing buyers an insight into life at the Millers Quarter development also. Prices at Watford Cross start from £319,000 and select homes are available on the First-time SecureBuy scheme.
At The Denham Film Studios in Buckinghamshire, there are two virtual tours available, one of an undressed four-bedroom ‘Lucas’ house type, and one of the dressed four-bedroom ‘Lester’ house type. The dressed Lester show home is inspired by Hollywood, with the development on the site of a historic film studios, which welcomed directors including Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, and Stanley Kubrick during the twentieth-century. The home has glamorous interiors, with a fun ‘Star Wars’ themed children’s bedroom with a bespoke Stormtrooper mural. At the Denham Film Studios, the available homes start from £680,000.
Bob Weston, Chairman and CEO of Weston Homes commented: “Weston Homes has always been proud that we build high-quality homes at affordable prices, helping first time buyers, young couples and downsizers find their dream homes at each of our developments. The current COVID-19 pandemic is a very worrying time for everyone, but people are looking towards the future after this, with buying a home an important milestone in everyone’s lives. We are delighted that these virtual tours will allow buyers to learn about our developments and speak directly to a trained Weston sales agent who can answer any questions they might have.”
3/ Jonathan Lewis, Sales Director at Weston Homes commented: “Ahead of the national lockdown, we commissioned specialist firm Reevo 360 to visit and photograph our show apartments at key developments across the country, producing these fantastic, innovative virtual tours. This an investment in our future, and we are confident that after the need for social-distancing, the ability to tour a show home from the comfort of your own home will still prove a popular choice for many buyers. We look forward to having the rest of our portfolio captured by Reevo 360 once the lockdown period is over.”
Daniel Freeman, Sales Director at Reeve 360 says: “The technology and research behind Reevo 360 is designed to make this an interactive, smooth experience for buyers looking at homes remotely. We think our partnership works particularly well with Weston Homes given that so many of their buyers are first-time buyers or young couples who will appreciate having a relative on the virtual tour with them, as they would bring them to a face-to-face viewing. We are delighted to launch the virtual tours for three key developments for Weston Homes and look forward to creating more tours for their portfolio.”
Following the latest guidance from the Ministry of Housing and the Law Society, Developers with sales agents, working remotely/from home, can market properties via virtual viewings technology and remote telephone/video calls, and offers can be made and accepted. For unoccupied new build homes like those Weston Homes are marketing, once contracts are exchanged, transactions can continue without any delay since there are no existing occupier risks.