By now you have seen the virtual reality headsets that allow the wearer to virtually be a part of a game, travel around the globe, and visit history. What better way to teach kids about what it was like with the dinosaurs than to put them in the world with them and see for themselves just how big a T-rex was?
Virtual and Augmented reality are being used for new explorations and ideas every day, and the real estate market is no exception. Imagine being able to go on an immersive walkthrough of the home you like – at 3am.
Going from property to property searching for the right house can be time-consuming both for you and your realtor. One reason that the internet has become so popular for looking for and at (to some degree) homes, is that it is a bit of a time saver. You can see flat images of the home and property you are considering and determine if it is one you would like to see in person.
But with technology taking such leaps forward the sky’s the limit for realtors who partner with you and your busy schedule, to find the home that you are looking for. Virtual reality (VR) is an effective way to show you the homes available to you and save a huge amount of time for everyone involved. Augmented Reality takes it further to overlay elements of a real world with a digital element.
The value of VR and AR is not some futuristic “George Jetson” idea, it’s something available to you right now. Imagine if you could walk through a property and see the full scope of a home without stepping foot outside the real estate office. You could take the time to view some properties that you think might possibly be suited to you, but you do not want to take the time to go check out. Websites and apps such as Matterport, VR Global, and YouVisit have made a way for you to do just that.
Walkthrough new builds before they are started
Another fantastic opportunity with VR is to see a home before it is even completed. A firm in Seattle used VR instead of a full-sized model to show units in a condominium development. Their sales center housed a kitchenette and bathroom and a seating area with a VR headset. Hard-hat tours were just beginning when prospective buyers could virtually walk through different layouts and even look out windows to see what the view would look like from a particular unit. (Drones had been used to simulate what the view would look like floor by floor of the structure.) Previously, without a completed unit, prospective buyers had to look at blueprints and envision what their new condo or home would look like, VR changes that in a very practical way.
While some people are gifted with envisioning how something will look, often people need to see it to fully understand it. Virtual and augmented reality takes you that extra step from envisioning to seeing and feeling a part of what the home will be like when you are in it.
Change it up
Software now allows users to walk through the home but also to change flooring, paint walls and even place furniture and see how it will all come together when you are physically making these choices.
There is no end in sight to what can be done with VR from attending live events, preparing the military for action, medical training, the list goes on and on. But the future of real estate in VR is equally exciting as consumers, builders and agents take advantage of all that being ‘virtually’ involved can offer to enhance market experience.