Turkish real estate companies have launched online property sales to foreigners as the coronavirus pandemic prevents potential homebuyers traveling to the country.
“The online sales began in March. Local companies meet with customers on digital platforms such as Zoom, Facetime, Skype and WhatsApp. This is an innovative approach,” said Faruk Akbal, the head of the Real Estate Overseas Promotion Agency (GİGDER).
He added that real estate companies have managed to collect pre-sales and made actual sales through online meetings with homebuyers.
GİGDER member companies have sold some 120 properties in March, collecting more than 100 million Turkish Liras in revenues.
“The online sales performance shows how fast local companies adopts to changing environment,” Akbal said.
He explained that in the wake of the outbreak, real estate companies are arranging virtual tours for their potential customers to display the properties on sale.
“The outbreak has changed the way how marketing, sales and management process are handled. The real estate industry is changing fast as it utilizes new technologies such as augmented reality and blockchain,” Akbal said.
According to the latest data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK), home sales to foreigners decreased by 3 percent in March compared to the same month last year, totaling 3,036 units.
In March, the figures revealed Iranians topped the list of buyers with 465 houses, followed by Iraqis (426), Russians (227), Afghans (184) and Palestinians (119).
In the month, around 109,000 houses were sold in the country, marking a 3.4 percent increase on an annual basis.
In the first quarter of the year, property sales rose by 33 percent year-on-year to stand at 341,000.
In January-March, mortgage-financed home sales surged by nearly 239 percent on an annual basis to reach 129,000 units.