Usually, a real estate agent provides the client with a long list of properties. Then come the explanations, the negotiations and finally the actual visits to the houses and apartments. This workflow has remained the same for decades, but it’s inconvenient and time-consuming, not only for realtors but for homebuyers as well.
Virtual Property Shows
Typically, customers visit several properties before deciding on the one they want. It takes time and things get more complicated if a property is far from where a client lives. In this case, visiting a property is not only time-consuming but can also be expensive.
VR technology is helping to solve these problems, allowing millions of people to virtually visit properties without leaving their homes. Just put on a VR headset and you can experience immersive three-dimensional tours of the property. Within minutes, potential buyers or renters can visit virtually dozens of locations and decide which ones are worth visiting in person.
Two categories of 3D virtual tours exist:
Guided tours look like regular promotional videos, but are completely virtual or in the form of 360-degree videos (considered a type of VR). Guided tours are perfect for existing properties as they are quite simple to do – you just need a panoramic camera to record 360-degree video.
For 360-degree videos, no fancy programming or processing is required. Of course, your clients should be wearing a VR headset (although a simple device like Google Cardboard will suffice) to get the most immersive experience.
Imagine showing an empty property with little or no furniture. Now imagine the same house or apartment, but filled with furniture and looking cozy and inviting. Which of these would be easier to sell? The answer is obvious.
And the statistics prove it: according to a report by the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Transportation, 77% of real estate agents say staging helps buyers associate a property with their future home.
Marketing a yet-to-be-built property has always been a challenge for real estate developers and agents. You’ve probably seen large three-dimensional models showing a new property or neighborhood. These models help potential buyers to imagine the architecture.
As for the interiors of these new buildings, real estate agents are creating large showrooms with life-size apartment models. These marketing methods require significant investment. Virtual reality can effectively solve this problem and allow potential buyers to get a closer look at the exterior and interior of properties to be built.
Virtual Instructions for Tenants
Real estate agents and landlords have to communicate a lot with tenants. It sounds like a simple task, but what if your customers keep calling you asking how to use a thermostat or where a certain switch is? This can be a problem for companies that offer short-term vacation rentals.
Virtual reality technology helps landlords communicate effectively with tenants. Tenants can simply put on a VR headset and experience virtual tours in 3D. It takes a bit of time, but due to the immersion, it can be extremely useful.
It is impossible to imagine the future of virtual reality for real estate without commerce. We’ve already talked about home tours and 3D staging, but now imagine that customers can make changes to what they see.
For example, suppose a buyer takes a 3D walkthrough but wants to make changes. They could go to an online store, select another piece of furniture and add it to their three-dimensional tour. By making these changes, they can design a property according to their preferences.
Benefits of VR technology in real estate
#1 saves time
This is probably the biggest advantage: virtual reality solutions save time for clients and real estate agents. Thanks to virtual reality, it is no longer necessary to move from one property to another and stay in traffic jams. Instead, customers can simply put on VR headsets and enjoy thrilling three-dimensional tours.
#2 Make emotional connections
Virtual tours of homes and apartments help your customers visualize each property. Unlike traditional tours where everyone is in a rush, potential buyers can take VR home tours at a convenient time and focus their attention on the details.
#3 offers global reach
Real estate agents know very well how much time each client needs. Arranging viewings, showing properties, negotiating terms and prices – these are all time-consuming tasks, so it’s no surprise that the average broker works with a relatively small number of clients.
#4 Save money
Developing feature-rich 3D virtual tours may seem expensive, but consider the investment in traditional real estate marketing. Not only do you need to organize properties, but you also need to provide high-quality images and lots of printed materials (especially for new properties).
#5 Immediate sense of belonging
Pressuring clients to buy or sign a lease is the most difficult task for most real estate agents. And that’s where virtual reality home tours come in handy: they allow clients to virtually visit properties whenever and for as long as they want. creates a feeling of ownership and personal connection.
Virtual reality technology has already begun to transform the real estate industry. However, so far it’s mostly been big real estate agencies like Sotheby’s that are offering virtual tours of some of their properties. More real estate agents are likely to follow suit and use the benefits of virtual reality to make their work more efficient.