A new report by estate agents EastHaus has revealed that WhatsApp – the popular cross-platform messaging service – is increasingly becoming the communication method of choice for buyers and sellers.
Approximately 80% of offers made in 2017 were made through WhatsApp rather than a traditional phone call, the report claims.
Previously, it would have been unheard of for an offer to be made without a telephone, or face to face, conversation between buyer and seller, but that is changing as the millennial generation play a bigger role in the property market than ever before.
Critics say making offers via WhatsApp has too many downsides. Tone of voice, for example, can easily get lost in the written word – whether it’s an email, a text or a WhatsApp message – and this could lead ‘to things being misconstrued’. Equally, there are those who argue that a face to face conversation is vital when it comes to gauging emotion and sincerity – two of the main factors towards building trust between buyer and seller.
Those in favour of the approach, however, say it is more time-efficient and much quicker than arranging things over the phone. Words are also recorded rather than spoken, which means the prospects of any confusion over what or what hasn’t been said isn’t a factor. Supporters of the WhatsApp approach also state that many people prefer to be contacted by email or message nowadays, rather than receiving a call.
EastHaus says it has experienced circumstances where a whole group WhatsApp has been set up between the head of sales and the clients' entire family to be able to liaise on viewing times and ensure everyone is clear on what is going on. “One client even set up a Google calendar so that the family could enter their movements and we could add in viewings,” EastHaus added.
“We find its always useful to text or WhatsApp viewing reminder appointments, as on the occasion where someone needs to cancel, they are must more likely to respond to our message and let us know as it's quick and easy to reply.”