PHOTO: Alert Level 4 NZ lockdown 2021- Jacinda Adern. FILE

“The quality of a property’s online marketing presentation is now more important than ever before, with real estate interest and activity still strong,” says Tim Kearins, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand.

“Century 21’s website and listings have so far enjoyed some great traffic during the nationwide lockdown. Our agents are keeping busy, giving prospective sellers the likes of virtual appraisals via video calls under Level 4,” he says.

He says nearly 18 months after our first lockdown, the industry and public are a lot more familiar with just how much can be achieved remotely and online. Most importantly, people have more time.

The Century 21 leader says past lockdowns revealed strong online activity statistics. It makes sense given prospective home buyers have got more time to surf the net.

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“That’s why we’ve been encouraging vendors in the past year or so to invest in their online marketing. The likes of drone footage, video walk throughs, virtual tours, floor plans, and stunning photographs are more important than ever if buyers can only view online.  A strong social media presence is now also critical,” he says.

What’s more, he says, with interest rates still very low and overseas travel unlikely, a new property will be attractive to many now – particularly if they’re tiring of their old house in lockdown.

“As well as lockdown seeing many Kiwis getting itchy feet to move, it’s the perfect time for prospective sellers to sort out the house inside and out,” he says.

Realistically, however, Level 3 is when the rubber will start hitting the road again.

“We’ve operated safely and effectively in Level 3 before. We’re looking forward to doing so again when the country, or at least parts of it, go down a level,” he says.

Mr Kearins says going into spring is always a good time to sell property, particularly given the current chronic shortage of competing listings nationwide and soaring rents.

Trade Me Property’s latest Rental Price Index puts the national median weekly rent at $550 – up by 10 percent year-on-year, hitting a new high in July.

“Kiwis contemplating listing should not be put off by this latest lockdown. While it restricts people’s activity, it also gives buyers more time to look from their laptop and contemplate their options,” he says.

He says despite the latest lockdown, there remain plenty of families keen to move, empty nesters wanting to downsize, first-home buyers keen to secure low interest rates, and investors hungry for a better return on their money.

“Under Level 4 Century 21’s offices have been closed but our salespeople and property management teams continue to work remotely. We remain readily available to assist buyers and sellers alike – and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” says Tim Kearins.