There’s no question that our world has been drastically changed by the digital evolution over the past twenty years. Your everyday tasks in 2017 may look a lot different from how you handled them in 1997. Think about it.
For instance, if you were on the hunt for a desktop computer (that’s right, with the massive tower and tube screen!) you needed for your business you most likely left your office and spent a few hours or even days hitting various electronic stores looking for it. Today, you likely search a few blogs or consumer review websites to help you make your decision and with one click on Amazon your item can be at your front door the next morning – all without changing out of your pajamas. In the time you saved handling these tasks from your couch you may have even logged into your social media or email and landed a few new clients. What a time to be alive!
Yet, aside from viewing real estate listings online, the way real estate is bought or sold hasn’t really taken a proactive approach to adapting new technologies. But that may be about to change.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality (VR), by definition, is the computer-generated simulation of a 3D image or environment that can be interacted with, by a person using electronic equipment such as a helmet or glasses with a screen inside.
It’s likely you’ve seen videos or advertisements of people fighting ninjas or riding roller coasters from the comfort of their own living room. It’s the future, right?
Why VR & Why Now?
While photo and video included in online listings currently dominate the real estate market, when introducing a property to a potential buyer, an in-person home visit is the only way for your buyers to really get a feel for a property.
But with VR your potential buyers are no longer required to be in the same zip code as your listing. From the privacy of their own home or office, buyers can now feel like they’ve been virtually dropped into your listing for a private viewing. Long gone may be the days where an out-of-town buyer or international investor needs to hop on a plane to check out the home or commercial property they’re interested in purchasing.
Unique Advantages in Real Estate
It’s easy to understand how using VR for real estate could save time for agents fulfilling the demands of clients requesting dozens of showings, or accommodating those that don’t live in the area and want to preview homes before seeing one in person. But using Virtual Reality in residential or commercial real estate can also help potential buyers simulate a view of their own furniture built out in a space, or see remodel opportunities in an outdated home or retail space. We’re not just talking a 360° photo here - we’re talking about experiencing the property with a virtual reality real estate tour.
Imagine if sellers could use VR technology to bring the vision of their buyers to life literally right before their eyes, and on-demand? Sellers could partner with contractors or interior designers to brainstorm ideas for a buyer. And using computer build-outs, buyers could see the finished product and potential in this new space. Creative visualization not necessary! Isn’t one of the biggest challenges for buyers is that they can’t see the potential in an older or outdated property?
Changing the Industry
Virtual reality is a truly unique and interesting technology that we believe will have a major impact on the real estate industry, but the question is when and to what degree? Sure, this type of technology will mean more time in front of the screen instead of on the road, but buyers seeing the finished product of their space allows them to make more educated and confident buying decisions. Agents fear not, most buyers will still want to see a property in person, but if you can capture interest more effectively why not embrace VR as technology changes?
So, next time you want to sell that great piece of property you have, think about your client’s vision for it and bring that distant dream to, well… reality.
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