Just buy a virtual house and we’ll throw in a real one just for the fun of it, that’s the summary of what VR/AR brings to the Real Estate space.
Traditionally, you have two options when it comes to buying a house, building or plot of land, either go take a walk on the property with the realtor or visit the website (if they have one) and take a look at all the pictures available for each listing.
But any sensible buyer will, more likely than not, do both. This is time-consuming and can be expensive if the locations are far apart. But buyers still go through the effort because “seeing, as they say, is believing”.
Real Estate shopping made easy
With the advent of VR technology, a third option is made available: just go and visit the virtual house. Some real estate agency now offers the ability to see and walk through their listings in a virtual simulation or recreation. In some cases, you don’t even have to leave your home to do this.
Imagine moving to a new city and trying to find a new apartment but you have no idea what is available and how that neighborhood is like, but then you are given the choice of taking a walkthrough of both the house and surrounding environment.
In most cases using a combination of images, videos and sound recording from the actual location, giving you an immersive experience. Not as good as the real thing but close enough to facilitate a purchase choice or at the very least, narrow down your options.
This is the promise of VR in the Real Estate industry, and if you are compelled enough by what you see, then a purchase is the next logical step. Hence why we started this article with the “buy a virtual house, get a real one” statement.
Virtual house: what realtors gain?
This works out even better for the realtors, first, they don’t have to show multiple houses repeatedly which sales overhead cost. Secondly, clients that request to see the physical location after viewing the virtual house is more likely to make a purchase as they are mostly just confirming their choice.
And lastly, the VR experience is re-useable so it can be shown simultaneously to multiple potential buyers at the same time.
Now, let’s add in some AR functionality to the mix. Services like realtor.com enable you to see information on the listing simply by using their app and pointing your phone camera at the building.
Price, the number of rooms and other details then appear and simply clicking on it show you all the details you would need on the listing. You don’t even need the realtor present.
There is still more, like the ability to navigate to the listing using AR technology, get a visual representation to municipal facilities close by and in some cases, furnish the house with their party apps like Ikea.
An enhanced experience
Like any other implementation of VR/Ar technologies, the aim is to enhance user experience and generate profit for that industry and we have seen this being done masterfully in the real estate industry with more companies adopting the technology, and in the future we might even be able to use the tech when paired with Artificial Intelligence to go much further.
Like getting an estimate on your home before you place it on the market to seeing what a particular home design would look like on a piece of land in front of you in real-time.
This reality is already here.