It’s always fun to look at the beautiful spreads in Architectural Digest or spend hours scrolling through Houzz viewing luxury real estate. Both are enormously popular with people looking to buy or redesign their homes. But technology, specifically virtual reality (VR), has gained massive acceptance in the luxury realty sector as a way to let interested buyers take tours of properties before visiting in person. With over 80% of all home buyers searching for homes online and demanding online images and tours, realtors know that VR is set to emerge as one of their most powerful selling tools.
Virtual Reality Reduces Sales Costs
New advancements in 3D render technologies make VR tours for homebuyers more realistic, and most realtors understand that high-quality VR tours need to be at the forefront of any marketing strategy. There are many advantages to this relatively new marketing tool, including;
It helps both the realtor and the homebuyers pre-qualify properties prior to visiting, saving everyone time. It also reduces the cost of sale by making model homes obsolete.
A virtual tour is liking having a permanent open house. Homebuyers have access to instant information, not only about the home itself, but also about schools, neighborhoods, and even mortgage options. Most importantly, homebuyers prefer virtual tours and value how it gives them control over what they want to view as they "walk" through the building.
Virtual Reality Tools for Real Estate Sales
Being able to see and experience a space before physically visiting it is huge in today’s market, and it only looks to get bigger. In fact, research conducted by Goldman Sachs indicates VR will be an $80 billion industry by the year 2025. And the recent release of Oculus Rift headsets for consumers will help propel VR forward as a critical real estate sales tool. Companies like RTV offer virtual technology software specifically designed to home walk-throughs.
VR software allows Realtors to:
- Create visually stunning presentations using life-like 3D illustrations, panoramas, and video with accompanying narration.
- Post virtual tours directly onto social media and other online platforms.
- Use virtual tours off site at buyer events.
What makes VR technology different from the 360-degree interactive video tours of the past? It offers fully immersive, photo-realistic experiences that represent a big leap forward for the ultimate home buyer experience, with buyers more confident than ever that what they see is what they’ll get. It also results in a more emotional experience, with homebuyers virtually able to step through the doorway and put themselves in a “real” environment.
It's Still Personal With VR
Virtual reality – and its cousin, augmented reality (AR) – are powerful tools that provide homebuyers with the innovative experience of seeing the unique attributes of a home’s interior. What’s the difference between the two technologies? VR allows buyers to see and navigate a space, even one that may not exist. AR takes buyers to a space that does exist but allows them to superimpose what could be over what already is.
Exciting as it may be, none of this technology eliminates the need for the human touch. Realtors will continue to play a vital role in exposing homebuyers to the right properties. Best of all, not running around from property to property allows agents to spend more time focusing on a buyer’s needs, really honing in on the ideal home. And adding VR and AR elements to a traditional listing lets realtors more effectively connect with and sell to potential clients. That translates into a win-win for everyone involved. With realtors now able to offer more, virtual reality as part of an overall sales strategy is a true market advantage for those realtors savvy enough to get on board.