Vendor and landlord lead generation network the ValPal Network has launched a photo uploader tool to help estate and letting agents provide prospective client with detailed market appraisals during lockdown.
When requesting an instant online valuation from ValPal, consumers can now upload images of their property, meaning prospective sellers and landlords can receive a more accurate virtual valuation from their chosen agent.
Users can upload up to 10 images of their property, which the agent can download from their ValPal dashboard, to get a better idea of the property’s features and condition.
The new feature aims to help agents prioritise leads, as those who upload photos are likely to be the most serious prospects.
Consumers are also invited to upload images after they have received an online valuation if they want the agent to provide a more detailed overview of their property and the context of current local market trends.
Alongside instant online valuations and the photo uploader tool, agents can target prospects who do not fill in the valuation form in full, using ‘before you go’ sliders as additional touchpoints to help maintain their databases and generate more leads.
ValPal also provides a chatbot via its website, which adds to its tools to help agents create a ‘virtual office’.
These virtual tools also aim to help those estate agencies that have had to furlough members of staff, by automating as many back office services as possible.
Craig Vile, director of The ValPal Network, said: “In the current market, the more information agents can get from prospective clients, the more accurate and useful their virtual valuations will be.
“This could encourage consumers to push ahead with selling or letting their property in the coming months.
“It’s important for agents to show consumers that they are still operating and tech-enabled.
“And, when the lockdown period ends, there is a high possibility that innovations such as virtual viewings and valuations will remain popular as some form of social distancing seems likely to remain in place until at least the end of the year.
“Our tool, ChatPal, uses predesigned scripts to cover any given scenario, converting prospective vendor and landlord traffic into leads.
“Although we specifically target vendors and landlords, we still speak to buyers as we know many of them may also be looking to sell a property.
“The knock-on effects of COVID-19 have shown that agents need to be equipped with the technology to operate remotely and have the processes in place to continue generating leads even when the market is paused.
“We don’t know when things will truly return to ‘normal’, so having lead magnets such as chatbots and instant online valuations [is] crucial for agents at the moment and moving forward when they’ll need to make up for lost time and get transactions moving.
“Even after staff return from furlough, automating parts of the back office allows agents to have the best people front of house.
“Making these changes now is important to future-proof the industry and could have a huge positive impact when the full agent workforce returns.”