A Look at Virtual Reality Headsets For Real Estate Marketing

A Look at Virtual Reality Headsets For VR Real Estate Marketing

Selling high-end luxury properties using VR? Check out these must have virtual reality headsets.

Virtual reality has finally entered the mainstream. In 2016 sales of virtual reality headsets reached $895 million dollars with sales expected to well exceed one billion dollars in 2017. Originally centered around gaming, VR technology has found a home in commercial applications.

As real estate brokerages and developers begin to get a real feel for the technology, some believe that as more consumers jump in, it will become a must have device for brokerages and begin to drive sales across all price points. Today, it is predominantly used by sellers of high-end properties.

If you're ready to venture into virtual reality, it's a smart business move to invest in your own virtual reality headsets. The potential for your brokerage and your clients is enormous. From the time savings of viewing multiple homes without leaving the office, to expanding into international markets without having buyers get on a plane, VR is changing the way real estate is sold.

Here's a guide to the best virtual reality headsets available today.

A Guide To Virtual Reality Headsets

From the Google Cardboard to the Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets are readily available. Their prices range dramatically but all allow users to experience an immersive experience that's a perfect way to showcase properties. Brokerages are even branding and providing inexpensive headsets like the Cardboard to buyers along with a web address so they can experience properties from the comfort of their living rooms, anywhere in the world with an internet connection!

Here are some of the top virtual reality headsets on the market today!

Oculus Rift 

Launched as a Kickstarter project, then bought by Facebook, the Rift is one of the most exciting virtual reality headsets on the market. It's completely immersive, loaded with sensors, offering a display for each eye to deliver a true 3D experience, and complete with integrated headphones.

The Oculus will need a high-spec computer to operate which isn't included in the price, but if you're seeking to provide your buyers with the ultimate VR home tours, Oculus Rift is the premium choice.

The main benefit to using the Rift (and the Vive) is 6DOF (6 Degrees of Freedom) or the ability to have all six degress of head movement rotation and translation(moving) plus hand controllers that let you interact with the virtual space.

HTC Vive 

The Vive is another entry in the premium category that will need a powerful PC to operate.

It's an interesting system when it comes to VR real estate tours. Other systems allow for some movement, but the HTC Vive uses IR sensors placed around the room to map your location in the physical space, integrating it into the virtual world. The downside, you'll need to dedicate a fair amount of space (your extra conference room perhaps?) for this feature.  Like the Oculus Rift, the Vive needs a separate high-spec computer to run.

The headset features a range of integrated sensors but it does not include integrated headphones (coming soon though). Setting the device up can be tricky with the placement of the sensors paramount. It's a perfect virtual reality headset for experiencing VR property tours. 

Samsung Gear VR 

Samsung was an early distributor of virtual reality headsets with the Gear VR. Co-developed with Oculus, the Gear was designed to support their smartphone instead of needing a high-powered PC.

There have been several generations of the Gear designed to support a number of different Samsung phones. Internally the lenses are split to provide a left/right display and with Samsung's latest phones offering high-resolution displays, this means great visuals. The latest generation comes with an adapter so any Samsung Galaxy phone will work with the device.

Google Daydream View

The Daydream View is the next-generation Google viewer. While the Cardboard was cross compatible with any iOS and Android smartphone, the Daydream View is designed to work with any Daydream compatible phone including the Google Pixel and PixelXL. More manufacturers are adding support for the platform.

The Daydream view offers more comfort as it's built from soft plastics rather than hard plastics like its competitors. It's a great affordable way to provide clients with a branded VR experience!

The advantage of the Daydream system is Daydream enabled phones have the necessary hardware to properly do rotational tracking.  That means they will work much better than a traditional smartphone at tracking your head movements without lag.

Google Cardboard

First introduced in 2014, the Cardboard is literally a folding cardboard headset into which any smartphone can be placed to provide an instant VR experience. It's a great product to imprint with your brand logo and provide to potential buyers as a free item they can then use to view your inventory from your website as an immersive VR experience!  The downside to the cardboard is most smartphones do not do well enough with head tracking to eliminate all discomfort, so my suggestion is to limit head movement and time spent using them.

The Microsoft HoloLens

This last entry isn't strictly a virtual reality headset. It's a headset that offers both virtual and augmented reality experiences by working with Windows Holographic to add 3D images to the world around us. The HoloLens overlays virtual 3D holographic images into the real world. For developers, this can be a tremendous tool when it comes time to customize a home. The headset allows you to view and interact with digitized objects as if they were in the room with you. A full Windows 10 system is built directly into the headset which is battery operated and completely untethered.

All of these virtual reality headsets can help you to take your real estate sales to the next level. A recent quote from Strategy Analytics said it best, “it is envisioned that increasingly capable 3D cameras and apps will allow users to relive and share experiences to virtual reality headsets with compelling realism.” It makes a compelling argument for jumping into virtual reality as a 21st-century sales tool to grow your brokerage business. These headsets are an affordable way to get started!

If you would like to learn more, contact Jacob Hale at Village Features. We have been providing virtual reality technology marketing tools including immersive VR, augmented reality, 2D and 3D 360-degree video for our real estate clients.

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