Virtual reality will change the luxury real estate market. Are you ready?
Technology has changed the game in so many industries. From publishing to music, from investing to shopping, technology has been a disruptor to the traditionalists, and a boon to early adopters. Tablets and smartphones have brought whatever we want, right into our hands wherever we are!
The next technological wave is here, and we are just in the beginning stages of its growth. This technology is virtual reality, and it is going to change the way we do almost everything. VR is already penetrating the consumer market with the release of dedicated VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Both the Samsung Galaxy7 phone and the Samsung Gear headset, and cross-compatible Google “cardboard” headsets are currently available bringing VR to almost anyone with a smartphone. Google is taking things a step further than Samsung and has introduced Daydream, VR specific technology built into the next generation of phones with their namesake phone, the Pixel XL, being the first.
Virtual reality is poised to be a game-changer in the luxury real estate market. With VR gaining more mainstream acceptance this year and it's adoption numbers already in the millions, many technology professionals and real estate developers see VR becoming an essential sales tool. Here's a quick look at how early adopters of this technology can win big!
The Benefits of VR in Luxury RE Sales
The luxury real estate market is driven by customer experience and emotional connection.
Traditionally for developers, this means building a furnished sales model and encouraging potential buyers to travel to the homesite to tour and experience the model home. For consumers in the luxury market, these homes are usually second homes or vacation properties. Getting them to visit your site is a labor and cost intensive prospect when you take into consideration the expense of travel, lodging, time invested and the site visit.
Virtual reality offers developers the ability to give buyers the experience and emotional energy of a physical tour of a property by using immersive technology. This can be a game changer. Rather than incurring the cash drain of investing in a sales model, developers can invest a fraction of the cost by creating 360-degree photorealistic renderings and delivering them through various channels including headsets, smartphones, tablets or laptops. Buyers can experience the virtual sales models, without leaving their boardroom, office, or living room.
Your buyer can don a headset which fills their entire field of vision and walk through the home looking up, down and from side to side as they virtually experience the designer chef's kitchen, the exercise room, and the outdoor spa. The beauty lies in the details. Realistic computer generated imagery, or CGI, allows the buyer to experience details like the fabulous crystal chandelier in the dining room or the French limestone floors and Italian marble countertops in the kitchen. Virtual reality can also incorporate the real world environment that the home is placed in by using actual images that the buyer would see when looking out the window. Realistic details like that 100yr old oak in the backyard or the view overlooking the ocean.
Supercharge Pre-Sales With VR
Where virtual reality really impacts a luxury development is during the pre-sales process. Traditionally, pre-sales have relied on blueprints and architectural renderings to try to give buyers a sense of what the finished home would look like.
Virtual reality allows developers to create completely immersive interactive simulations for properties before they break ground. Blueprints and renderings do not permit buyers to experience a property. Why look at a picture, when you can walk through a home, even if it does not yet exist!
With VR you can take your buyer and place them in the middle of the spacious living room with French doors looking out over the beautifully landscaped backyard. The can walk down the hallway into the master suite and into the master bath where they can admire the glass-walled, marble tiled rain shower and the double sink vanity. While an image or rendering may be beautiful, a VR tour can create an emotional connection with the buyer, and that is how sales get closed.
Virtual reality is still a relatively new technology but with a very bright future. As the technology makes its way into the mainstream, it will begin to affect every aspect of our lives. For home buyers and developers, right now it offers an effective pre-sales alternative to expensive trips, floor plans, and a handful of site photos. Using VR, you can flip the script! Instead of bringing buyers to the home, you can bring your home directly to buyers whether they live in New York City or Dubai. Early adopters can really get ahead of the competition with VR Technology. Virtual reality can open up your market to a worldwide audience and create the same experience and emotional connection to a property that they would have while walking through a model home. It is the future of luxury real estate sales, and the future is here!