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Virtual and Augmented Reality - Tools To Upgrade The Real Estate Game

By Jamie Richardson | July 25, 2018

VR, virtual reality and AR, augmented reality are here to stay – no industry is immune. Everything from medicine, to engineering, to retail and even teaching is switching from the 2D to the 3D model. Applications are endless and constantly evolving and real estate is no exception.

Staying Ahead Of The Curve
When it comes to building a solid business footprint, VR and AR technologies offer quite the tool box to tech-savvy real estate agents. Guided virtual tours in a 360° video format, virtually staging an empty apartment (filling it with different furniture pieces, testing color shades against the wall, figuring out the preferred woodwork etc.) or overlaying a digital blueprint on an already set up physical location, all these (and much more) are enabled by VR & AR today. They are at-hand, versatile tools that are beneficial for agents and clients alike, a crucial feature in this very customer-centric industry.

The 3 ‘S’s

Sentiment boost
Viewing pictures or videos doesn't even come close to moving freely from one room to another. Actual visualization of the site, while seated comfortably elsewhere, eliminates the need to assume and imagine and makes the (new) house navigation experience effortless and, most of all, engaging. It’s what 3D walkthrough technologies such as Matterport, Roomy, MyPad3D, or Virtual Xperience were built for and other examples can be added to the list. With these types of tech you can definitely take the ‘consumer engagement’ (CX) concept to another level, by becoming even more personal and immersive in the process.

Home-buying is influenced by a number of subjective factors - emotion, frame of mind, cultural superstitions, first impressions, perceived value, social proof, ideal lifestyle constructs and so on - which is why consumer engagement is particularly important. It will offer valuable insights into the needs and expectations associated with the acquisition and will help to better align your efforts with those of your client.

Saving time and other resources
Visiting and re-visiting each site along with potential customers can become inefficient & time consuming and nothing is more valuable than time. VR tech can make the process faster and less frustrating. VR enabled virtual tours serve as accurate previews to the properties thus diminishing the ‘blind fire’ type situations. Both buyers and realtors can use a VR headset, in the office or at home, at any time, to form an initial idea about a listed propriety. That’s way more convenient and time-friendly than the alternative.

Shortening the property sale cycle
Lengthy sales cycles are notoriously commonplace in the real estate industry. If not done correctly they will end up being precarious and unpredictable and a sure way to compromise your repeat-business chances. So if there’s something out there that can help you streamline and reduce the entire cycle, why not use it?

VR and AR tech tools can be useful means to separate workflows in a way that will give you better control over key-parts of the sale cycle such as property visits, home staging and cleaning.

AR and VR technologies are not free - some are actually pretty pricey - and choosing the right one for you might not be a simple task. But, balance all that against the new, Internet-of-Thing (IoT) buying profile of your potential customers – is adding these options to your toolkit worthwhile?

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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