As the property industry adjusts to a ‘new normal’, the way prospective purchasers now want to view homes has changed for the foreseeable future and it has never been more important to be able to offer high-quality virtual property viewings. A recent poll has revealed that more than half of buyers (56%) would be happy to offer on a property from an online viewing as long as they could see every room, get a good concept of space and what room there is available for existing furniture[1].  Determined to offer their customers continuity in their home buying journey, London’s largest housing provider Peabody, has launched a series of virtual tours across all of its new developments, resulting in more than a fifth (21%) of virtual viewers reserving a new home from an online viewing.


Young couple Tess (26) and Aaron (27) were keen to buy a home of their own after having been renting in London for a while. They had previously viewed other developments, but hadn’t found anything that lived up to Peabody’s new collection of apartments at Williamson Heights in Wembley. Tess and Aaron knew they wanted a two-bedroom property with outside space, in a central location that gave them the option to work from home – after arranging their online tour of Williamson Heights, they knew the development would tick every box on their wish-list and more.


Tess explains: 


“We spotted Peabody’s Williamson Heights via the Share to Buy website – we loved how the apartments looked, as well as the brilliant Wembley location right by the stadium! It was incredibly straightforward, we contacted Peabody and a sales representative then got back to us to arrange a virtual viewing. The viewing itself was excellent quality, no technical hiccups whatsoever, the lady from Peabody was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions with confidence. We got a really good idea of how lovely the apartments are and were really impressed about all the other facilities too – we were sold on the rooftop garden, and the co-working spaces alone! We love the area and the professional finish gave us the confidence to reserve a property.”

More Than a Fifth of Peabody Purchasers are                            Buying Homes Online

Another impressed virtual viewer is 30-year-old London IT Consultant Mo. Having been renting in London with his partner for the past six years, the recent Covid Pandemic accelerated their property search in more ways than one. Mo’s partner works for the NHS, and under the Covid-19 self-isolation rules it became paramount to find a home with more space for his partner to isolate should he need to, and for Mo to be able to work from home.  Their property search led them to Peabody’s Shared Ownership development Makers Dock in the popular East London district of Limehouse. Mo found the technology and use of 3D imagery very impressive, and even allowed him to easily share his online viewing experience with his friends too.


Explaining further about his online tour at Makers Dock with Peabody, Mo comments: 


“Once the UK entered lockdown, my company very quickly announced we would be working from home for the foreseeable future. This situation accelerated our decision to find a property as we quickly realised we needed a second bedroom that could be used as an office, which would also provide extra space for my partner to be able to self-isolate from me if he was to come into contact with any patients with Covid. Once we decided to view Makers Dock, we contacted Peabody who made all the arrangements for us, all we had to do was click on the link they sent - we viewed the show apartment, it was so easy and Marie was really helpful and informative.”


“Whilst not in-person, we were both still able to get a realistic feel for the size of the apartment, as you can measure the coordinates in each room and we could also share the viewing link with friends and family to get their opinion on the property. It is a very convenient and easy way to get a complete 3D view of the entire space and allowed us to make a decision on purchasing the property without actually having to visit! I shared the viewing with one of my friends after I told her that buying a Shared Ownership property could be perfect for her. The whole experience was simple and easy and Peabody helped us with everything.” 


Keen to get on the property ladder in London, Nicholas (41) had already viewed a number of Shared Ownership properties before the UK lockdown was announced in March. Finding himself spending more time behind his laptop than in the office, Nicholas had a unique opportunity to dedicate more time to finding a home of his own. After taking his property search online, Nicholas found Peabody’s striking new development, The Reach in Thamesmead, Greenwich - and having never experienced a virtual viewing before, was very impressed by how easy the process was and the overall quality of the viewing itself.


Nicholas comments:


“Booking my virtual tour at The Reach was really easy - the sales team from Peabody organised everything for me. Being at home during lockdown meant I could easily switch from taking a Teams call for a work meeting, to being able to move to the sofa within a few minutes and be able to view my dream property! Having never done anything like this before, I felt the quality of the viewing and knowledge of the agent was excellent. I had a good feel for the place both in terms of size, space and layout and the combination of the quality of the virtual viewing, coupled with the location and knowing I could afford the property, gave me the confidence to reserve a property at The Reach.” 


As online viewings become an important tool in the homebuying process, Peabody has positively responded to this new normality, ensuring that prospective purchasers can enjoy the same high-quality viewing experience across every Peabody home. 


David Slade, Head of Digital marketing at Peabody comments:


“Given the current external climate and restrictions on social mobility, Peabody has adopted an agile approach toward developing new ways of connecting with our audiences, and allow prospective purchasers to continue their home buying journey. Thankfully technology has enabled us to showcase our impressive homes in a truly engaging way that has been positively embraced by our customers. Through Virtual Reality (VR) and a mix of digital assets, customers can effortlessly connect with our team via video call, all in the comfort of their own home, and get a very ‘real’ sense of what a Peabody home is like.”


For more information about any developments by Peabody, to register your details or to book a virtual tour please visit

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