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Demand for Real Estate VR and AR Soaring in 2023

By Mihaela Lica Butler | March 1, 2023

Among the major trends disrupting real estate technology in 2023, you can expect real estate VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) to soar.

The demand for VR and AR aligns with the customer demand for quality images, floor plans, virtual tours, or live video during the pandemic lockdown when physical open house practices were on hold for months and realtors had to turn to technology and the Internet to present their properties. 

Realtors who ignore new tech will fall behind. For example, per Matterport, 95% of people are likelier to call about properties with 3D virtual tours. 

The demand is evident. Last July, Statista reported that the global augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR)/and mixed reality (MR) market reached 28 billion US dollars in 2021, predicting it will rise to over 250 billion US dollars by 2028. 

VR and AR technologies already shape how real estate companies approach marketing to reach a new generation of tech-savvy buyers. And there are many players on the market offering realtors the tools they need, some at a fraction of the cost, others with exorbitant prices for their software, hardware, and services. 

Real Estate VR and AR Providers

Many VR and AR software and hardware providers are already on the market. However, comparing plans, quality, convenience, flexibility, and value for money could be helpful when choosing. Here are a few of the best-rated providers for real estate:

  • Giraffe360 offers a combo package including a robotic camera with built-in laser LIDAR technology capable of scanning rooms automatically and creating floor plans with 98%+ accuracy. In addition, the camera scans virtual tours simultaneously (click to see a sample). The package also includes AI-based image processing software and cloud storage, enabling real estate agents and brokers to generate virtual tours, floor plans, guided virtual viewings, and HD property photography. In December last year, the company secured $16 million in funding. 
  • Matterport Digital Pro is an all-in-one marketing solution for real estate agents in the US who want professional-grade HDR photos, 2D floor plans, video previews, and 3D tours at a low flat rate - starting at $299. It is not a DIY solution, as it will require the presence of a Matterport professional to create a 3D scan of the property.
  • iStaging offers a capture kit and a VR Maker app that will work with any smartphone or tablet to create high-quality 360° panoramas and virtual tours, which can be enhanced with 3D objects through AR technology. Real estate agents can customize virtual tours with logos, contact details, and corporate colors. 
  • My360 Virtual Tour Software lets real estate agents and brokers capture and create their 3D virtual tours and makes them accessible online or via any VR headset from anywhere in the world. The software works with any 360º smart camera. It does not create floor plans automatically, but it will allow the user to upload a floor plan. Customers can view the tours in a browser or with any VR headset. 
  • EyeSpy360 offers a suite of tools ranging from virtual tours to virtual staging. Their solution enables realtors to upload 360º panoramas and convert them into virtual tours, 3D models, or floor plans. They also have a network of professional photographers available to provide a complete package of services, including 360º photos, a virtual tour, a 3D model, a basic floorplan, and a teaser video starting as low as $275.00. They also have DIY solutions if you prefer.
  • Shapespark is an excellent communication and marketing tool for real estate. It turns 3D architectural models into interactive presentations, easily accessible on desktop, mobile, and VR. Viewers can control the 3D renderings with a mouse, keyboard in a browser, or VR teleport. Unlike 360 panoramas, the presentation is not limited to a few selected viewpoints, and there is no distortion in the corners of the screen. Every 3D rendering can also become a 3D meeting place for video calls in 3D. 

Realtors already use VR and AR for property showcases for long-term and short-term rental properties, homes for sale, home staging, architectural visualization, virtual guides, virtual meetings, etc. The technologies save time and resources for real estate professionals and their customers. As an added benefit for agents, VR and AR software also uses data analytics to reveal what clients like or dislike during a walkthrough. This leads to better marketing and refined advertising opportunities. In the long-term, although investing in AR and VR may seem pricey now, they save time and money, eliminating the need for trips from the office to the open house, for example. 

Sure, these technologies are hard to learn or to adapt to when you are not tech-savvy. Still, there are always solutions to any problem, and the benefits outweigh the cons when it comes to VR and AR. 

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Mihaela Lica Butler is senior partner at Pamil Visions PR. She is a widely cited authority on public relations issues, with an experience of over 25 years in online PR, marketing, and SEO.She covers startups, online marketing, social media, SEO, and other topics of interest for Realty Biz News.
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