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Are Virtual Viewings the Future of Student Lettings?

Technology is integrated into almost every aspect of our lives, so why should finding a student property be any different?

With in-person viewings unable to take place during the pandemic, virtual viewings became commonplace when it came to searching and securing a student property in time for the new academic year.

Post-pandemic, the convenience and simplicity of virtual viewings continue to prove popular amongst students and so many letting agents have begun to invest in specialist technology to improve this virtual experience.

Discover the benefits of virtual viewings and our predictions for the future of House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) lettings in our latest blog post.

What is a Virtual Viewing?

 A virtual viewing is a 3D tour of a property which allows prospective tenants to get an accurate sense of the size and layout of individual rooms; aspects which cannot always be gauged through traditional 2D photography.

The depth and distance of each room is captured by specialist 3D software which enables viewers to virtually ‘walk through’ the property, exploring the various spaces of the home with a 360 view, as if they were there in person.

As well as the traditional floorplan, a virtual viewing also includes a dollhouse view of the property and allows students to utilise a native measuring tool to determine distances within individual rooms.

The Benefits of Virtual Viewings for HMOs

 There are many benefits to viewing a property virtually. Not only does it reduce the overall time spent on viewings but can help students get an initial feel for the property before committing to the application process. Other benefits of virtual viewings include:

Remote Viewing

 Virtual viewings make the process more accessible to students as many will be relocating from other areas and looking to secure a property first. Viewing the property virtually reduces the need for travel, making it a more convenient approach overall.

24/7 Viewing

 Unlike in-person viewings which are often limited to 15 minutes per tenant, a virtual viewing can be viewed for an unlimited period of time and is accessible at any time of day or night, even from a mobile device.


For students with disabilities or those who must limit social contact with other people, virtual viewings allow them the same opportunities as everyone else, making it a more inclusive approach.


Traditionally, student properties are quite competitive yet there are only a limited number of viewings permitted per day. By introducing virtual viewings, the number of students who can view the property is increased alongside the potential for finding the best tenants.


2D images alone aren’t enough for individuals to gain an accurate feel for the property and so tenants will often wish to view the HMO in-person before deciding whether it is right for them.

The issue with this is that in instances when a group of students decide the property isn’t a good fit for them, time and money has already been wasted on both the part of the tenants and landlord.

Virtual viewings allow students to quickly dismiss a potential property should they feel it isn’t right for them, without investing time and money into in-person viewings. This means that only interested parties move forward and the process is completed quickly and efficiently.


With virtual viewings, prospective tenants can utilise an in-built measuring tool which allows them to gauge the size of rooms and determine whether any extra furniture will fit.

Take a look at an example of a virtual viewing from Digs and experience for yourself the convenience of online viewing.

Are Virtual Viewings the Future for HMOs?

The popularity of virtual viewings poses the question as to whether they will become the standard for all student lettings in the future.

Here’s what our Managing Director Steve had to say on the subject:

“Whilst virtual viewings are a fantastic development in the lettings industry and are extremely beneficial for students who often do not live In the cities they are going to study In, we expect there will always be demand for in-person viewings.

Visiting a student home in person allows prospective tenants to envision actually living there and this extends beyond the walls of the property.

Whilst new technologies like virtual viewings create a more inclusive approach to viewings and offer benefits to landlords and students alike, they do not (yet) allow students to check out the neighbourhood they are going to be living In.

At Digs we're continuing to remain at the forefront of new technologies to ensure that we can offer both virtual and in-person viewings to students."

Virtual Viewings with Digs

At Bristol Digs, we have a number of virtual viewings available on our website and use advanced technology to develop a convenient and smooth virtual viewing experience for landlords and students alike.

Any landlord using our property management service can choose to have a 3D tour of their property using the latest technology and benefit from the many advantages of virtual viewings.

To find out more about virtual viewings, or to arrange one for your property, get in touch with a member of our team on 0117 930 8750 or fill out our online enquiry form.

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