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How Virtual Reality is Reshaping the Property Industry

Did you know that it’s now possible to see a property in its entirety before it’s even built? The emergence of virtual reality (VR) is allowing for this! Housing models and simulations made possible by VR are changing the entire property inspection process.

Over the past 30 years, the real estate industry has seen digital changes from things such as online access to properties, photos and even electronic signatures. The introduction of VR is paving way for much innovation.

The new VR technology, used with goggles and headsets paired with a cellphone or computer, creates computer-generated imagery and environments. This makes viewers feel as though they are a part of a space, and not just viewing images from a far or a particular angle.

Experience properties anytime, anywhere!

Sitting in your office and touring hundreds of homes without ever leaving your chair is what the world will eventuate to. Buyers and sellers will be given a new way to experience properties – with hopes to improve the overall customer experience in real estate.

VR will be a crucial tool for those who are time poor and want instant access to a property. The advances in video and internet technology go beyond just viewing the property photos of a place.

Matt Murphy, Global Vice President of Renren and CMO of Chime Technology, said “This will enable consumers to sift through homes without the hassle of physically visiting them and allow them to only visit the homes they truly love.”

House-hunting can be a grueling, time-consuming process – attending countless open houses for inspections only to realise half of the homes weren’t what you were looking for.

Matterport offers a new technology, that utilises lively listings, to make people feel as though they are physically in the property. “We’re making a digital copy of the inside of the world,” said Marc Rehberger, Matterport Director of Commercial Real Estate.

Virtual Xperience, creates VR content for real estate, and is important in helping users to access the full walkthrough experience in a property that is in development or under construction.

Developers are using real time options, which customises colour palettes, materials, furnishing and lighting conditions, to help buyers personalise and visualise the unbuilt spaces as well as analytics to understand market trends.

This is predicted to be something that will be tapped into to ensure that properties sell as quickly as possible. Laing + Simmons Projects’ Project Marketing Director, Jason Salter said, “It’s great that buyers now have the benefit of knowing that what they see is what they’ll get.” It’s an exciting time for real estate!

When it comes to interiors of these new constructions, real estate agents create large showrooms with full-scale models of apartments. Virtual reality can effectively solve this problem and allows for potential homebuyers to check out both the exterior and interior of properties that are yet-to-be-built.

Start VR CEO, Kain Tietzel said, “We wanted to create an experience that allows people to feel like they are in a finished apartment, feel the true dimensions and space and also enjoy the actual views they would see from either the 8th of 11th floor or the rooftop.”

Off-the-plan apartment buyers will be able to get a realistic view of what they are purchasing, with the display translating well across those using apps, and virtual reality headsets.

“Virtual reality is a really powerful tool and when applied to the real estate industry gives consumers greater confidence to part with their hard earned dollar and purchase off-the-plan,” said Tietzel.

The beauty of experiencing virtual reality of properties that haven’t even been built yet is that it’s emotional, and allows for future projects to be seen before they are even underway.

Virtual reality may be considered a disruptive technology in how it changes the experience for investors, buyers and sellers. With these changes, we must think about how these changes affect the role of a real estate agent, and how such tools positively impact their working ways.


Callum Forbes

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