Technology advancements are disrupting every industry, and real estate is no exception. The latest innovations in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology are changing the processes of designing, buying, selling and managing properties.
AR and VR are immersive technologies that allow users to interact with a digital environment. While VR separates the users from physical reality and immerses them into a new world, AR enhances the current reality. The combination of the two is called mixed reality. These technologies help users visualize properties and better imagine what it would be like to live there.
Why AR and VR Work for Real Estate
Traditionally, a prospective buyer would have to go through a lengthy, complicated process to research and visit homes. Similarly, the seller would have to constantly adjust to new requirements and visiting schedules.
By embracing the Digital Transformation, real estate professionals can shorten the buying journey and help both buyers and sellers navigate the process more efficiently and easily. The main advantages of adopting AR and VR in real estate include:
- Cost-Effectiveness: AR and VR transform and replace some of the traditional marketing initiatives – providing better ROI, while also eliminating the costs of staging a property.
- Save Time: With these technologies, there’s no need to organize your schedule and travel to a property to see it; you can take a virtual tour from wherever you are at any hour of the day.
- Global Reach: Because users can virtually view properties from anywhere in the world, real estate professionals are no longer limited to a local audience.
- Enhanced Customer Experience: Unlike scheduled physical visits, AR and VR provide entertainment, personalization and time to experience home.
- In-depth Analytics: These immersive technologies also provide realtors with key insights into user behavior and preferences, allowing them to improve future interactions.
Applications of AR and VR in the Real Estate Industry
AR and VR are helping real estate professionals at every stage. Whether it’s buying a property, selling, renting, building or even commerce, there’s an application to simplify and improve the process.
Often, buyers find it difficult to picture a home that hasn’t been built yet, and realtors may have a hard time marketing the property. Compared to costly showrooms with full-scale models of interiors, VR allows customers to visualize the interior and the exterior of the future property – reducing the time and cost factors.
Buyers usually look at several properties before deciding on a home. Therefore, by simply putting on a headset, clients can virtually experience the interior of a house whenever they want and without having to travel. Instead of going through a long buyer journey, they can conveniently visit multiple properties.
In particular, there are two types of 3D virtual tours. First, guided visits are more interactive than conventional promotional videos and can be either fully virtual or captured as 360-degree videos. What’s more, they don’t require advanced rendering or programming – just a headset to fully immerse in the experience. Secondly, interactive visits are more complex to create and allow users to move within the property by clicking on specifically designed spots.
Staging a home is effective, but it does require time and financial investments, particularly for new properties. Consequently, by virtually staging a property, you can significantly reduce the costs. Moreover, you can personalize the staging according to the customer’s preferences and lifestyle. Clients can even virtually decorate the property by changing wall colors or adding furniture and art.
Virtual Advice for Tenants
Immersive technologies can also improve communication between landlords and tenants, especially when it comes to vacation rentals that usually can’t be visited in person. With 3D tours, tenants can learn everything about the property before arriving, thus avoiding the need to constantly contact the landlord.
When buyers take a virtual property tour and make changes to the interior, they can also visit online stores, choose the items they want and see how they fit. Additionally, they can shop for the items presented in the virtual staging of the home with a simple click.
Immersive technology in real estate is on the rise due to its convenience and return on investment. While certain applications of AR and VR are more accessible to real estate professionals, others require more sophisticated planning and execution. However, neither appears to be going anywhere anytime soon.
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