Imagine sitting in your real estate office with a potential client. They’re in the market for a second home on the beach, and you have the perfect opportunity. It’s exactly what they’re looking for; chef’s kitchen, ocean views from the great room, stone fireplace, but there’s just one problem, the builder hasn’t broken ground. Right now it’s just a blueprint, some artist renderings and a lot on the ocean.
Now imagine the same scenario, but when your client comes in, you hand them a virtual reality headset. They put it on and they’re standing next to the six-burner Wolfe stove surrounded by honed granite countertops, as they turn to look out the panoramic floor to ceiling windows at the ocean view, you’ve already made the sale!
The Age Of Virtual Reality
Since around 2000, contractors and realtors have been able to offer a “virtual walk-through” of properties using a desktop PC to travel through a computerized rendering. While it was a compelling sales tool, options were limited by the technology, for example, it was not possible to change the wall color or carpet. While the concept was advanced for the time, the technology just wasn’t ready.
Fast-forward to today, and the package is much more advanced. Virtual reality headsets and faster more powerful computers allow potential buyers to partake of an immersive experience where prospects feel as though they’re standing in the home even though it hasn’t yet been built! This has become a valuable tool, especially for consumers who may have a hard time visualizing what space might look like.
Currently, Villages Features is using virtual reality technology, and the results are being used to sell luxury real estate in places like Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Imagine donning a headset and stepping into the home of your dreams. You can experience everything, from the viewpoint of physically standing inside each room and seeing the architectural elements and design, to taking in the actual views from each window. VR technology allows potential homebuyers the ability to picture themselves in the home and get a real feel for the room sizes and finishes.
In Los Angeles, VR technology is making the home buying process much faster, and more enriching. In a city where, due to traffic, it can take two days to visit ten houses, busy executives can don a headset and tour ten properties in a fraction of the time, and still get a “real experience.” Agents can have potential buyers tour 50 homes through the VR headset, and narrow the choices down to several favorites for a personal visit, saving time and shortening the entire process.
The Possibilities Are Endless
The media often reports that virtuality reality takes considerable time to implement and that it is costly, which is why it’s mostly being used to promote and sell high-end luxury real estate. But as the technology matures, the cost of entry has come down; VR tours are more detailed, and more properties will become available for virtual tours. It is our experience that a single sale will recoup the cost of most projects. Imagine the competitive edge you can achieve by being able to take potential buyers on walk through their new neighborhood while standing in an office 2000 miles away! The future of luxury real estate sales is here.
If you haven't already, I strongly encourage you to go through our FREE Real Estate Virtual Reality Crash Course. It's packed full of useful information and it's applicable to anyone involved with the design, development, and marketing of the built environment.