Virtual reality is a transformational technology that has already been adopted by some developers and luxury homebuilders as a way to increase pre-sales of custom built luxury properties. Traditionally an industry that has been seen as lagging in terms of technological adoption, this time it's different. VR technology is powerful, immersive and transformational.
In fact, VR is completely changing the business model for luxury property sales. Because it is an immersive experience and thanks to photorealistic rendering, potential buyers can don a headset and be in the living room of a home that does not yet exist! This allows builders to begin the sales process earlier, generating revenue without the need or expense of building a model home, or model center.
Let's explore you can use virtual reality to sell luxury custom-built homes without a model center and how this new technology can accelerate the growth of your business.
Freedom of location
The luxury home market has several interesting challenges that the use of VR can help builders to overcome. First, real estate is fixed in space. Traditionally, builders reach out to potential buyers who then come to the property location and take a model home tour or visit the model center. VR flips the traditional script. Using VR, you can now bring the home directly to your buyer.
This means you can sell to buyers in New York, Shanghai, or London widening your potential market from a thousand mile radius to the entire world. Anyone with a tablet, laptop, smartphone or VR headset can realistically “physically” experience your property from anywhere in the world.
Photorealistic rendering is so life-like that finishes and fixtures can be accurately depicted and experienced. Windows can show buyers the exact view. Your buyer can “walk through” the kitchen and see the French limestone floors and Carrara marble countertops, walk up the stairs to the master suite and walk up to the double French doors leading to the private balcony to see the waves crashing in the distance and the palm trees swaying in the wind. Exactly as if they were physically standing there.
No more models homes, or model centers
VR can be delivered via a link in an email, a website on the internet, or directly through a headset. This can help buyers save time and money by reducing the number of physical trips to view potential homes. VR gives builders the ability to “show” homes not yet built. It gives them an extra route to show buyers exactly what the home is all about down to the finishes, floors, and fixtures.
A virtual rendering of a property costs around $10,000 dollars which is not a lot of investment if you consider the cost of a model home or model center. Developers are using virtual reality to accelerate the pre-sales process and even eliminate the traditional model center. Agents can take a prospective buyer to the empty lot, and using a headset provide a fully immersive VR experience, or hold up a tablet and deliver an augmented reality 2D-360 degree rendering, allowing buyers to view the exterior of the finished home complete with landscaping. Then walk up to the front door and enter the home.
The future of real estate sales
Today, even in the beginning stages of the technology, virtual reality already has the ability to create immersive realistic experiences. Immersive VR real estate tours give the buyer the experience of physically being in the space. They can freely move through the home, see details like the crystal chandelier in the dining room, and the stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. VR allows buyers to develop the emotional experience needed to sell a luxury custom home.
VR allows builders to develop deeper conversations about a property with potential buyers. It can increase sales by building rapport, trust, and emotional ties with buyers. It truly hits home and emotionally connects a buyer with a property (even one that isn't yet built!) more than the traditional methods of a model center with 2-dimensional renderings, blueprints, and sample finishes.
As the technology continues to mature and engage more of our senses, virtual spaces will have more and more of the “physical” attributes of brick and mortar buildings. Imagine in the not too distant future when buyers can don a headset, step on a walking pad and “physically” walk through the home turning their head to see it from every angle, while smell sensors emit the smell of baking cookies and fresh flowers.
Right now, the technology exists to expand your market reach, significantly lower your costs and begin pre-sales much earlier in the development process. Early adopters can set themselves apart from the competition and establish ownership in the space. Our clients like Kiawah Island are experiencing double-digit increases in pre-sales of multi-million dollar luxury spec homes since adopting VR into their marketing strategy. Give us a call and let us show you how we can help you grow your business with virtual reality.