The economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak have changed the way businesses work, and the property industry should be able to adapt in order to thrive, said an expert.

Scott Jessop, sales and marketing director of OSK Property, said the outbreak has given the property industry the opportunity to embrace technology, especially given the social restrictions and ban on public gatherings.

"As an industry, we need to innovate the customer experience at a scale we haven't previously — particularly in relation to digital and content. Buyers will continue to turn to digital first and expect the kind of access to projects they're getting now through virtual tours and live streams," he told Your Investment Property. 

Also read: COVID-19 and the property market

Jessop said OSK Property, which is currently developing the Melbourne Square, adopted strategies such as conducting virtual tours and digitising the sales process to continue carrying out its business.

"As the government extends our isolation period, we are all going to become digital-first citizens, and our appetite for things like digitised sales and live streams will continue long after COVID-19," Jessop said.

Furthermore, Jessop believes that Australian consumers will emerge from this outbreak with "new habits", making it vital for property industry players to keep up.

"The property industry has been quite traditional for a long time, so this time presents a great opportunity for everyone to move a bit more with the times."

While the outbreak has already affected activity in the housing market, it has also provided buyers with an opportunity to explore their options, particularly in areas that are typically competitive like Melbourne.

"Melbourne's property market has always emerged strongly out of challenging times. Many buyers are looking at these factors and continuing to act," Jessop said.