Technology has assumed a pivotal role in the real estate industry. It streamlines transactions, enabling virtual property exploration, data-driven decision-making, and faster construction. It’s the key to unlocking a more efficient, innovative, and accessible industry.
When we think about disruptive technologies for real estate, two stand out for their potential to elevate the services in this market: virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
In this article, we will explore how VR and AR are revolutionizing property transactions, enhancing visualizations, and changing the way spaces are designed and built in this dynamic industry.
How VR/AR technologies are a game change for real estate
Searching, choosing, visiting and buying a property is a long, time-consuming and expensive process. If there was a technology capable of streamlining it somehow, would you invest in it?
Luckily there is. VR/AR offers immersive, interactive experiences that transcend geographical boundaries.
By wearing VR headsets, buyers and investors can walk through realistic representations of properties in which they are interested. This is a huge time saver as they can check several properties in a short period of time, and in the end, make a more informed decision about which ones they would like to visit.
On the other hand, AR technologies allow buyers to visualize different decoration options for the property they are visiting. All they need is to point their mobile devices to the desired space and choose a virtual representation of the decoration that most pleases them.
How popular is VR/AR in real estate?
The use of VR/AR came in handy during the pandemic. Amidst social distancing rules, agents used it to show properties to clients in a safe way.
The pandemic is over, but this period helped to boost the popularity of virtual home tours. A recent survey by Perkins Coie LLP positioned Real Estate fourth in a list of sectors expected to attract the most VR/AR-related investment over the next 12 months.
Although real estate can hugely benefit from this technology, there are still some obstacles before VR and AR become the norm. One obstacle is the devices, VR headsets for example are not comfortable to use and too expensive for small companies to afford.
VR/AR applications in the real estate industry
VR and AR technologies are disrupting the real estate industry. From remote open houses to virtual interior design, they have many applications that can change the way we buy and develop houses.
In this article, we will focus on three of them.
Immersive virtual property tours
VR opens up new possibilities by allowing buyers to immerse themselves in selected properties from the comfort of their own homes or an estate agent’s office.
This immersive experience provides a stronger sense of a property’s dimensions, space, and potential compared to traditional brochures, photos, or videos.
Buyers can explore every nook and cranny, getting a comprehensive feel for the property without physically being present. This not only saves time and effort but also widens the scope for potential buyers who might be unable to attend open houses in person.
From the seller’s perspective, VR-powered open houses can also streamline the sales process.
Conducting physical open houses involves time, effort, and expenses related to property preparation and hosting events. VR reduces these costs, allowing sellers to showcase properties virtually to a wider audience.
Moreover, it can help filter potential buyers, as those who have experienced a virtual tour and still express interest are more likely to be genuinely interested, reducing the number of unproductive site visits.
Virtual tours for New York properties
Way before the pandemic, Halstead Property, a real estate firm from New York, was using VR to showcase properties to their clients.
The company acquired VR headsets to let its customers visualize buildings before construction. For that purpose, they partnered with an IT company to create 3D models of the properties.
According to Halstead, the more realistic the experience, the more likely a client might be willing to pay.
Enhanced customization and redesign possibilities
VR technology can also be applied to properties that are under construction. In this case, buyers can customize the property on the fly, adjusting lighting, experimenting with paint colors, and placing furnishings.
It becomes a tool for prospective homeowners to not only see the property’s potential but also actively participate in the design and layout, making the decision-making process more engaging and empowering.
On the other hand, VR can be used as a tool for engineers and architects to anticipate design and construction flaws, as they can visualize them on a virtual mockup representing the finished project.
This way they can make modifications to the project in its early life. For example, remove walls, relocate stairs, and tailor design features as the project develops.
Bringing an exhibition center into live
The developing company Onix has created a 3D model based on the blueprints of the Messe Berlin exhibition complex to help the engineering team find any misconceptions early in the project.
The animation was decorated with complex effects and scenes to help in the visualization of the final project.
Property development visualization
As AR works better on-site, it can be applied during visitations to show buyers different possibilities of decorations.
All realtors need is a mobile device in order to render a virtual stage of an empty property or even a developing property. They can even make personalized stagings depending on the buyer’s preferences in order to make the property more appealing.
The same principle can be applied to owners who want to renovate or modify something on their property. Architects can use AR to help them visualize the final project and align it according to their expectations.
It’s also possible to use this technology to create 3D models from a construction plan or a plot of land in order to anticipate the outcome.
Virtual glasses for better projects
ThirdEye X2 is one AR glass created to help design teams improve their projects by making real-time changes as they visualize a 3D model through the glass.
The glasses also allow collaborative remote work, which means that the glass user can stream what they see and receive feedback from clients or supervisors while working hands-free.
VR and AR are rapidly reshaping the real estate industry. These innovative tools streamline transactions, offering virtual property exploration and data-driven decision-making.
VR enhances property tours, making them immersive and efficient, while AR allows buyers to visualize and customize properties.
Although adoption barriers remain, these technologies are poised to redefine how we buy, design, and develop real estate, with VR headsets, mobile devices, and AR glasses revolutionizing various aspects of the industry, from open houses to interior design and project visualization.
Do you need help with the digital transformation of your real estate business? Feel free to contact our team of tech experts and we will be happy to assist you in taking this important step.