The real estate industry is changing fast, with technology and enhanced inter-connectivity already making a massive impact in the sector in terms of how customers find a property and how they view it. The internet remains one of the most popular resources for home buyers, with 95% of customers searching for real estate online, and a record 51% actually finding their ideal home that way
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in particular are becoming increasingly popular technologies in the industry, as they allow real estate professionals to offer a unique experience and perspective to potential buyers by digitally touring properties from anywhere in the world. Helping both agents and customers save time, and considerably speeding up the buying process, this technology is only expected to grow further, as indicated by a recent Goldman Sachs report. The research predicts that the VR and AR market in real estate will reach at least $80 billion by 2025.
How Virtual Reality is Transforming the Real Estate Industry
Virtual reality has been making waves since 2010 when the first prototype of the pioneering Oculus Rift was introduced. Since then, technology giants like Google, Samsung and Microsoft have recognised the potential of simulated environments and have jumped onto the VR bandwagon.
Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities told Fortune that he believes Facebook purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion in 2014 for “VR’s real estate potential”.
“You could do real estate open houses with 360-degree views and have a client come to your office and check out 50 homes through a head-mounted display and then pick the top ones to visit in person,” said Pachter.
However, it wasn’t until 2016 that virtual reality really gained momentum in the real estate industry. VR “will change the way people experience and interact with property” and that virtual reality will “create a brand new experience for a whole new generation of property seekers”.
One of the biggest advantages of using virtual reality in the real estate industry is the amount of time it saves for everyone, “whether that’s property seekers, agents or property managers.”
Additionally, it saves potential buyers and tenants a lot of time attending open for inspections. With virtual reality, you can literally walk through multiple homes in a matter of minutes. This not only allows more potential buyers and tenants to view different properties remotely but also increases efficiency for real estate agents.
So not only can you save time and money, but virtual reality lets you perceive what your life can be in that particular space and even allows you to interact with that virtual environment to experience different amenities, layouts and designs. This allows for better marketing of off-plan properties and reduces the fear of the unknown for potential buyers, leading to decreased barriers to sale.
Virtual reality is transforming the real estate industry by saving agents and clients time and money, increasing efficiency and engagement, shortening property cycles, helping agents win more listings and decreasing barriers to sale for off-plan properties.
Moreover, with tech analyst firm Telsyte predicting VR penetration reaching 25.5% of households by 2021, it’s evident that virtual reality real estate is here to stay. Those who do not adopt VR will go only lose out in market share as more and more real estate agencies embrace virtual reality technologies to their advantage.
Eight Ways Virtual And Augmented Reality Are Changing The Real Estate Industry
1. It Will Save Real Estate Agents And Clients Time
2. VR/AR Tours Will Put The “Real” In Real Estate
3. It Adds Reality To What Seems Otherwise Intangible
4. Buyers Will Narrow Their Options With Fewer Showings
5. Realtors Will Have To Adapt Or Get Replaced
6. You’ll Be Able to ‘Visit’ An Apartment Via Virtual Tours
7. A Lot Of Fluff Products Will Hit The Market
8. Luxury Sales Will Depend More On Immersive Viewing Experiences