Everyone who ever had to deal with a real estate agent knows how the process works: an agent makes a selection of properties that could feed our needs. Afterward come the explanations, negotiations, and finally the real-life visits to houses and apartments. A long and tedious process that has remained the same for decades.
However, today VR technology appears as a real game changer and could transform the way the real estate industry functions. The power of VR technology can help real estate agents grow their business, get more clients, and deliver top-level services. It’s particularly important to adopt this new technology today when – according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors – 95% of clients search for properties on the internet. VR offers plenty of uses that could improve the buying experience. We have decrypted them for you and explain in what way they are applied in the business.
Uses of VR in the Real Estate Business
For many people, virtual reality is associated with video games and entertainment. This technology, however, has huge potential in the real estate industry. We have selected the most common uses of VR in this sphere.
Virtual property showcases
Typically, clients visit multiple properties before deciding on the one they want. This requires a lot of time and things can get complicated if a property is far from where a client lives which is often the case for luxury properties. In this case, visiting a property is not only time-consuming but can be expensive.
VR solves this problem giving the possibility to every potential client to visit all properties referenced by the agency without leaving their homes. From a smartphone, laptop or through a VR headset, customers can live an immersive walkthrough into their dreamed property. Within one hour you can visit a bunch of locations that could match your demands and decide which are worth visiting in person. This could be done guided tours in 360-video format or by using interactive tours with free navigation throughout sites.
VR can also assist the sales of property under construction. Marketers and real estate agents always struggle in advertising such housings because of lack of actual objects to see. And architectural 3D visualization allows seeing the future look of exterior or even interior designs.
By providing customers with a tool to fully view and experience a given property, realtors can boost customer confidence in the what the property can be when finished and make the sale.
77% of real estate agents say staging helps buyers associate a property with their future home, according to the National Association of Realtors.
It is obvious that a furnished property is way more attractive than an empty space. Therefore, staging constitutes a real added-value in negotiations. Traditional staging, used since 1980, represents an important investment, especially for newly built properties. Virtual reality technology is a great way for realtors to market staged properties with very little investment. Some companies became specialists in Virtual Staging such as Virtual staging solutions.
Benefits of VR technology in Real Estate
#1 Save time
For both clients and realtors, VR is a time-saving solution. Something we all know to be a major issue for a lot of active people. Moreover, the use of virtual reality in real estate means that all listed properties are open around the clock. With the help of VR headsets, homebuyers can visit houses and apartments literally any time, without realtors needing to spend a second of their time.
#2 Enrich the consumer experience
Customer expectations are evolving and we know that new technologies concepts constitute a real force. Full immersiveness of virtual house tours creates an emotional connection and engages clients a lot more efficiently than conventional 2D images, which may look quite a bit different from how a property looks in person.
#3 Save Money
Developing feature-rich 3D virtual tours may seem expensive and it is definitely true that it represents a certain amount of cost. Nevertheless, the ROI can be very favorable and the impact on brand image very positive. Virtual reality helps you save a lot of money by using the power of 360-degree videos and computer graphics. Today, making a guided video tour around a property requires just a panoramic camera and basic rendering.
#4 Create feeling of ownership
Nudging clients toward making a purchase or signing a rental agreement is the most challenging and sensitive task for most real estate agents. And that’s when VR home tours come in handy: they allow clients to virtually visit properties whenever they want and for as long as they want. This establishes a sense of personal connection and ownership without any feeling of pressure.
Virtual reality technology has already started to transform the real estate industry. However, so far it’s mostly just been large real estate agencies such as Sotheby’s that are providing virtual tours for some of their premium and luxury properties. More real estate agents are likely to follow suit and use the benefits of VR to make their work more efficient. The use of VR in this domain is expected to generalize further in the next years.