Outsourced viewings industry looks set to stay – and grow

The outsourced viewings industry looks to have established itself beyond doubt.

One provider, Access2View, has announced its 50,000th accompanied viewing in just under five years.

Ed Mead’s high-profile Viewber, now one year old, has already notched up 6,500 viewings.

Jim Johnston, managing director of Access2View, said: “We’re proud to have hit this milestone. We’re an independent business with no outside investment. We’re completely focused on quality of service and have reinvested all our profits into creating a system that integrates with our customers’ IT platforms.

“Based on the last few months, we expect to hit 100,000 viewings by the end of next year.”

He said customers include letting agents, traditional estate agents, housing associations and landlords, as well as online agents.

Mead said that in the first three months of Viewber going live, there were just 50 viewings undertaken for a handful of clients.

The businesss now has over 500 customers, including lettings, sales and auction businesses, plus property and asset managers.

There are now over 2,200 ‘Viewbers’, with the number growing at around 20 a day.

Highlights of the last year include a request for 188 block viewings in one go; the 30 minutes that was the shortest time between a requested and actual viewing; and the 5.45am request for a viewing at 8.30am the same day, which was duly carried out.

Mead said: “I always knew this service was part of the future and increasingly useful to busy agents and other industry players who face squeezed margins and increased competition.

“Agents, buyers and tenants can now expect service on demand, which is often late, at short notice or at weekends.

“Viewber can help support a business, freeing up teams to spend more time putting deals together and less out on the road.

“It has been a phenomenal year and it’s hard to believe we’ve achieved so much in such a short space of time.”

Below, the two co-founders of Viewber, Marcus de Ferranti, left, and Ed Mead

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9 Comments

  1. PeeBee

    “Viewber, now one year old, has already notched up 6,500 viewings… There are now over 2,200 ‘Viewbers’…”

    Please tell me that one of those figures is wildly, massively, incorrect?

    Or are all these people sitting round waiting for the phone to ring maybe once every 3 months or so?

    Mr Omar must have been extremely lucky to get five appointments on his maiden – and only – Viewber voyage..

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    1. Ed Mead

      Thanks for your comment Paul. Growing a viewings business means you need the Viewbers in place, and due to the fact we are using the sharing economy these are people going about their daily lives happy to do Viewings as and when they come up. In the same way that if an agent says they’ve got 30 properties for sale and 300 applicants on their books it doesn’t mean there are ten buyers trying to buy each property. Some Viewbers are busy and, as yet, some are not. But building the network is vital and means we are ready for growth.

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      1. PeeBee

        I was more hoping for the sake of your business that your reply would be to favourably correct the numbers – but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

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        1. ARC

          Makes perfect sense to me Ed some viewbers want to be busy and are and those that don’t want to be aren’t as they are not relying on being a viewber as their main income stream. PeeBee is unlikely to your need your service as based on his opinions on most things business will never be booming enough to need additional viewing capacity!

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          1. PeeBee

            OOOHHH… your #fanboy has a sharp edge to his/her post today, Mr Mead.   Funny – in a cutting sort of way.

            But then there are those that can’t help but love a shining wit.

            As the Reverend Spooner would say, that is…

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            1. ARC

              Very good, Blowers would be proud of that reference in this week of all weeks well worth the goading on my part. Normally get a decent reposte from you and you didn’t fail. Though the point still stands that you’re not a fan of new fangled ideas!

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              1. PeeBee

                Actually, ARC, that is not strictly true.  When “my team” went from its’ permanent 4-4-2 formation to a flat back 11, I was over the moon, as it slightly stemmed a nine-year veritable haemorrhage of goals.

                We didn’t score many at the other end, though – as there was no-one would dare outside of OUR 18-yard box.

                Some might think that’s a problem – that it’s somehow a bad thing.  But being the ‘cup half full’ kinda guy I am I see the positive side of that – and as the old saying goes… ‘If you don’t shoot – you’ll never serve life for it’.

                In fact, ARC – I’m actually a ‘cup full to the brim’ person.  Every cup is always full of something – often, however, the trouble is what it’s full of.

                This ‘viewing service’ is just something else in the cup.  Some of it will be good stuff; some bad – and some just filling it up.

                You are correct in that I see no use for this service as far as my company is concerned.  I have stated this before.  But as the article states, some 500 subscribers see differently with Mr Mead’s offering alone – and a whole bunch more with the other one (which I did not actually know existed by the way never mind that it had been running four years more than Viewber so this article has been an education).

                Horses for courses, as they say.  Who knows – one day I might feel my business booming enough to change my opinion.

                Or Hell could freeze over.  We’ll see.

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  2. Estate_Agent_Memes

    Loving their “highlights for the year” – what….. someone has been using them…? LOL

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  3. P-Daddy

    In a boom market, I see where this will work admirably, unless 100’s of viewings are not resulting in any outcomes other than 3rd party costs. Out of hours…I get it, although there is still a little discomfort about those not needing to sell acting what in essence as a keyholder, door keeper and representing a sales or lettings business. But in a harder market with less viewings and lettings agents fees being squeezed and actual sale fees also falling…this starts to look like another idea to feed off a shrinking cake! Agents mustn’t lose control of their buyers or tenants. This look like cash hungry businesses, charging £30 to the agent and I gather around £20 goes to the Viewber rep and travel expenses on top, this will only work properly in urban situations, where travel time and appointments can be kept tight. But, Viewber taking £10 a case after costs, with an expensive website and back office needed to co ordinate the appointments, we will see how long Mr de Ferranti stays patient with his investment. I’m not sure the industry will expand to 100,000 appointments, although that makes the biz turnover look lore flattering…notwithstanding their competition. Maybe someone should set up Purpleviewings!

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