Augmented reality becoming a bigger part of real estate

November 17, 2017

To the uninitiated, augmented reality still sounds like a science fiction concept. However, it's very much a real-world technology that many in the real estate industry are starting to use as part of their marketing efforts.

Most people would be familiar with AR technology through the Pokemon GO! game that was such a hit a few years ago, and the basic concept is that it uses a smart device's camera to superimpose computer-generated graphics over real-world footage. The practical application in real estate is simple: At an open house, users could use a smartphone or tablet to virtually design the layout of a living room with digital objects like coffee tables, couches and shelves, according to Multi-Housing News.

It's not hard to use
Because these platforms live on devices people already use every day, they're often intuitive and easy to use for even people who have never heard of AR. Moreover, that ubiquity makes it easy for agents to incorporate into their existing jobs without taking on significant additional costs. At most, a new tablet to highlight the power of these platforms will only cost only a few hundred dollars.

It's catching on
Real estate professionals who haven't yet familiarized themselves with this technology should keep in mind it's likely to become quite common in the industry in the near future, according to Inman. Earlier this year, an AR platform that shows specific, accurate real estate data when pointed at various parts of a room won the Real Estate Board of New York's hackathon.

There are many practical applications for AR in the real estate sales process, and agents may be able to use the tech to boost their local profiles.