Last Updated on Friday, 8 May, 2020 at 12:30 pm by Andre Camilleri
The long history of evolution has shown us that when the situation becomes difficult, you can choose to adapt, or perish.
The real estate industry was not brought to a halt due to the pandemic, but certainly plenty of our activity has dynamically changed. Within Dhalia, we found that many of our investments in technology over the past decade have allowed us to keep working and continue to offer our services digitally, eliminating risk for our clients.
Over the last few weeks, we have quickly adapted our normal business practices to become as contactless as they can be. Here are some of the solutions we can provide for each situation.
3D Property Viewings
Dhalia had seen the value of 3D technology almost a decade ago, when
we were the first to introduce the concept to the Maltese Islands. This remarkable technology comes in the form of an advanced camera which takes 360° snapshots within a property. The system combines all data points collected to form a virtual model of the property, which is available online allowing property seekers to tour the space from the comfort of their own home. The virtual model shows every detail and allows the viewer to proceed at their own pace. It can also be used to create a highly accurate plan of the property.
In a pre-pandemic world, 3D property viewings were an innovative opportunity. Now, they are a reliable choice for a risk-free property viewing. The safety of our clients is paramount. We have put together a showcase of properties that can be viewed virtually, exhibiting a variety of property types, locations, and budgets.
We have also had the pleasure of using our technology for a good cause allowing the public, who may be feeling cooped up at home, the option to explore cultural sites without risk. As part of Dhalia’s commitment to supporting local culture, we have worked side by side with Heritage Malta to produce 3D scans of some architectural treasures. These include the Mnajdra Temples, the Inquisitor’s Palace, and the old Museum of Fine Arts. More recently, we also permanently preserved Heritage Malta’s exhibitions Behind Closed Doors and Culhat Al Belt. These are all available to view for free on our website.
Contactless Property Listings
Our goal during the pandemic is primarily to keep everyone safe, and to continue providing professional real estate services. We believe that while everyone is doing their part to limit the spread of the virus, it is our responsibility as members of the business community to look ahead and work for the recovery of the Maltese economy.
With these tandem goals in mind, Dhalia has introduced contactless property listings. Sellers or landlords who wish to register their property for sale or for lease within our database can efficiently do so without the risk involved with the traditional method – since nobody will have to meet up and have contact with others. The contactless property listing is done by sending photos of each part of the property, together with a description, to Dhalia via email. We can also facilitate the process by phone. This quick and easy process can result in a property safely being listed for sale or for rent, and shared with a pool of interested clients, within a matter of hours.
A.I. Property Valuation
In 2019, Dhalia introduced an exciting new development to the Maltese real estate industry – the first property valuation system powered by artificial intelligence. The concept is simple, but it is based on a massive amount of data: price points collected by Dhalia over time, and organised into a smart system that can identify and predict a property valuation based on real information.
Now we are seeing an added value within this tool. Clients who wish to find out the value of their property might feel unsafe bringing a person into the property to conduct a valuation. Through our online tool, found at propertymalta.mt, a property owner can easily enter the relevant details and receive a valuation in minutes. This is a smart system which continues to update itself, and in the few occasions where it does not have the required data to provide a valuation, we can provide a human estimate over email or phone. No face-to-face contact is necessary, making this a safe and accurate method to get a property valuation.
Training: Virtual Classroom
In the mean time, Dhalia’s training centre has been busy. Our workforce, that is agents, managers, and staff, are at the heart of our business. We make it easier for our agents to take advantage of any extra time while self-isolating at home by learning new skills. Since COVID-19 measures have been introduced, Dhalia’s teams have been provided with training through our virtual classroom. Some of the topics covered include professionalism, using the PA website, social media, and more. We are also supporting our agents with information on how to adapt to our changing lifestyle: working from home, supporting clients in this time, and how to use our war chest of tools to keep clients safe while providing property services.
At Your Service, Online
Dhalia has a team of experienced help agents, available online during working hours on our website through the chat feature. This virtual helpdesk has proven highly useful, especially when a user has a specific property-related question which requires our expertise. The feedback we receive on this feature shows how people really appreciate knowing there is a person on the other end, happy to help, and ready to provide a quick response.
During the Second World War, the British came up with a phrase which simultaneously captured their national identity and also a strong will to overcome hardship. Keep Calm & Carry On is now a trendy catchphrase, but I think it is a valuable reminder of the resilience found in every one of us. When times are tough, we rally together. Malta is being regarded as “an example to follow”* for the remarkable way we have come together to each play our part in limiting the destructive effects of this virus. Now we look to a brighter future together.
*WHO Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge, tweet