How VR for real estate could work

January 24, 2017

In the past few years, more real estate professionals have turned to technology as a means of gaining an edge on the local competition and more effectively engaging and connecting with both buyers and sellers. More recently, the growing access and ease of use for virtual reality in particular seems to be pushing this type of platform into use in the real estate sector, and some experts say it could be the next big thing in terms of boosting interest and potentially making agents' lives easier.

Right now, VR tends to be used primarily for higher-end real estate developments, which is understandable because the technology isn't totally affordable at this point, according to Curbed. However, the principles that can attract shoppers using VR for high-priced homes may also be able to be applied more modest properties as a means of connecting with everyday buyers and sellers. After all, VR is designed to easily show off a property in much the same way an open house would, but without the legwork of shepherding dozens of people through a property.

Ease of use
One of the big selling points of VR - for both agents and clients - is that it can be used almost anywhere to give people a good look at a property, the report said. Whether it's a real estate office, coffee shop or park, all people need to be transported to the home for sale is the VR headset. At that point, they will be taken on a sort of high-tech video tour, filmed with a special camera that records in at least 180 degrees.

While those cameras may be a little pricey for agents now, as with most other types of technology, that cost will likely come down as time goes on, and the sooner agents can get out in front of this developing trend, the better off they will be in terms of offering an attractive array of high-tech marketing approaches.

What other benefits exist?
Experts further believe that VR will catch on in real estate not just because it makes agents' lives easier, but also because it may save time and money, according to a report from the Jerusalem Post. Moreover, as the platforms become more sophisticated, VR may also be able to help would-be buyers feel more "at home" in properties by allowing them to virtually paint walls, re-tile floors, or move furniture in these virtual environments.

"Now a client can come to our offices and sit with our interior designer who shows him right there and then all the design options he wants, which floor, which kitchen, what furniture, and the client can test these in real time and see what his place will actually look like," Michael Reznik, founder and CEO of the Israel-based real estate VR developer Metanoia, told the newspaper.

These are certainly marketing options that are new to many agents, but the more they can do to work with and understand a litany of techniques, the more likely they may be to boost their real estate sales numbers, especially as VR technology becomes more ubiquitous.