Augmented Reality Can Make Selling Real Estate Easier
Immersive virtual reality has made tremendous strides regarding entering the consumer market in just the past year. Sales of headsets from the high-end Oculus Rift to the affordable Google cardboard and other headsets have increased. Today, any big box store carries at least one VR headset along with other related gear.
VR has also spun off other related technologies that are beginning to take hold in the marketplace. One augmented reality is having an impact on the real estate community and is finding more and more uses as adopters begin to truly explore the potential of this exciting, innovative sales tool!
Augmented reality first achieved mainstream status through of all things, a gaming phone app called “Pokemon Go!” You probably remember articles last year about the craze as it was sweeping the country. It was a game in which participants were shown a map with icons indicating the location of virtual characters in a “real world” setting. Using your smartphone, you were able to “see” the characters in the real world landscape around you, and the goal of the game was to capture them using the app and your phone.
Forward-thinking developers, interior designers, design-build firms and real estate agents saw the potential of this technology as a viable tool for real estate and today; this innovative technology is changing the way real estate professionals across all industries approach their jobs.
Here are some examples of the changing face of real estate thanks to augmented reality!
What Exactly Is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality uses many of the same technologies as immersive VR, but unlike VR is designed to enhance or augment actual real environments, rather than creating entirely new worlds. With augmented reality, digital information is placed over the real environment. For example, using your smartphone, tablet, laptop camera to detect a target image, software is used to figure out distance, angle, and proportion of the “real” image from the device. Then using sensors, GPS, and other technology, it projects digital information onto the target image.
This is technology that was first used by the military in head-up displays that allowed a pilot to see information projected in front of them. Today, augmented reality is finding applications in luxury automobile windshield displays, and designers and developers are using it to allow clients to see what their favorite chair will look like in their new living room, or what a marble countertop will look like in their existing kitchen.
Augmented Reality and Real Estate Marketing - Working Together
Today, AR is finding more and more uses in real estate marketing and sales. Whether it's a smartphone app and a Google cardboard headset, or a tablet app, AR is offering developers, designers, and agents a number of technology-enhanced tools to create a better process. Whether it's the ability to enhance traditional advertising, or being able to showcase a property from a 3D perspective – a process which would have required drawings in the past, AR is changing the way homes are built, marketed and sold.
For interior designers, clients can easily visualize changes to their property by simply hitting a button to change the wall color, or move the sofa to incorporate feng shui in their design, or even to add a new piece of furniture from an in-app database!
Developers can use AR to equip their on-site sales team with a tablet that allows them to take potential buyers to an empty lot, walk them to the curb, and using the tablet and an AR overlay, show them their new home before it's even built! It will offer a full 3D rendering showing the home's exact placement on the lot; it's proportion to the surrounding environment, even the landscaping. This can give buyers an accurate visual representation of the home before it even exists.
AR can even be embedded into traditional advertising, much like QR codes. It can be included in an existing Agency app, or as a stand-alone feature. Unlike QR codes, which have a single function, embedded AR can offer users multiple functionalities within a single ad like:
• Enable the viewer to dial the agent directly
• Enable email functionality so a buyer can email the agent with a pre-written description of the property their interested in
• Book viewings from the ad
• Deliver the buyer to a site with more information on the property of interest
• Embed video walkthroughs of the property into images
• Embed 3D visuals into off-plan properties
Industry experts are predicting that in the next few years, AR will have an even more tremendous impact on how properties are marketed, built, sold, designed and developed. Whether it's showing a potential buyer a custom home, an interior designer showing likely custom finishes, or a contractor visualizing construction changes to existing blueprints, augmented reality is set to completely change the playing field! It will have a lasting, long-term impact on how business in the real estate industry gets done!
If you'd like to learn more, give Jacob Hale at Village Features a call! We've been providing VR technology, and marketing tools including VR augmented reality, 2D and 3D 360-degree video for our real estate clients helping them to increase sales and changing the way they build, market and sell their properties. Let us show you how we can do the same for you!