Virtual reality has finally come of age as inexpensive headsets, faster computers, and more programmers and VR artists begin to focus on the possibilities of this exciting technology. It is being used by top builders and developers to presell more real estate at a quicker pace before a model has been constructed. And virtual reality is being used in unexpected ways like virtual tourism.
Buckingham Palace Virtual Tours
Imagine being able to fix yourself a cup of tea, put on your slippers, and your VR headset, get comfortable on the couch and take a trip to Buckingham Palace. Well, today, thanks to Google Expeditions, you can turn on your headset and take a virtual guided tour of the Queen’s residence! Start at the grand staircase, stop in a few staterooms and then make your way to the throne room where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had their wedding photos taken. It’s an immersive experience that can transport you directly to London.
Taking Business Into The Future
While virtual reality has allowed us to see places we may never physically be able to visit, this is only one application for this new technology. As the VR technology evolves, business has begun to embrace virtual reality as an immersive sales tool.
The real estate industry, in particular, has found that virtual reality sells homes. Tenants are purchasing apartments and office spaces that haven’t yet broke ground thanks to the immersive experience virtual reality offers. According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the biggest early adopters has been the commercial real estate industry.
As the price of entry has come down, residential builders are beginning to embrace the technology as well. VR allows agents and builders to move the purchase phase before the building phase by giving clients an immersive, more compelling experience than simply showing a floor plan and some artist renderings. Potential customers can don a headset and walk through their new home. It’s transformative, and can help close deals by transporting clients into the future of the development with 3D renderings of home models.Using Virtual Reality In The “Real World.”
Even as virtual reality has made inroads into the pre-build high-end luxury real estate market, there are opportunities for developers selling properties that are priced lower than the $7 million dollar home. Samsung has released the $99 Samsung Gear VR headset that along with your Samsung phone, will give real estate agents the ability to transport prospective clients to any home in the world.
One recent user at a home show in Denver described his experience as "transformative". "I toured a home from thousands of miles away. I still remember the master bedroom and how it was connected to the kid’s rooms down the hall. I remember the ensuite bathroom fixtures and even today; it still feels like I walked through that home.”
Emotional connection is the key to why VR works as a sales and marketing tool. This user formed memories, lucid, recallable recollections of a home he had never physically been inside of. That’s a reaction buyers will never get while sitting in their real estate agent’s office looking through the MLS.
As the technology develops and drops further in price, it will become the sales method of the future for real estate agents. Buyer’s agents will be able to bring a client into the office and virtually walk through fifty homes in an afternoon rather than spending the weekend driving all over town. in the near future, buyers will be able to modify the environment, change wall colors, countertops and floors to personalize the experience. Relocating workers can buy or rent their new home before they’ve even made the move.
The future is here. Virtual reality will forever alter the way business and sales happen in the coming years.