Traditionally, the last bit of buying resistance has been overcome by the model home. But almost as often, the model home is a source of buying resistance. Maybe the colors, furnishings, or decor are not quite right for a customer. Virtual reality renderings are much more easily updated, allowing you to avoid these kinds of buying resistance. Or maybe those physical items are a few years out of date, shutting down that “I love it!” response you need to create in order to close the sale.

Even better, really embracing 3D VR tours can at least reduce the number of model homes you need to build in each new community.

High-quality virtual reality tours can help you overcome buying resistance.

Questions about what the buyer's actual home will look and feel like after it’s built can’t quite be addressed by the model home, which is in a different lot with a different view. Even though it’s there in the real world, a physical model home can’t answer the questions a fully photorealistic VR tour can about the views, the light, and the feel and flow of floorplan customizations your customer might want to make.

The 3D VR assets on your website can be loaded onto mobile devices, combined with inexpensive VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR, and used by your sales staff to create an immersive, powerful… emotional experience that helps them close more sales in person by overcoming buying resistance in ways the model home just can’t.

I want to point out that 3D virtual reality tools usually don’t replace sales staff, but they do equip them with powerful tools that make your existing sales staff more effective. They also help your marketing generate more leads so your sales staff has higher quality leads to work with, and as a result they produce a higher close rate.

Unless you’re #1 in your market segment, you have competition from both directions: above and below you. And if you are #1, you have everybody trying to eat your lunch. Either way, if you can reduce your capital requirements through 3D VR modeling.

One area where virtual reality excels is presenting scale in a way that feels true to life. Things that are small actually feel small, and things that are large or huge also feel that way.

In most cases, really embracing 3D VR tours can at least reduce the number of model homes you need to build in each new community. Why?

It really comes down to the emotional power of a really good VR tour presented on a virtual reality headset like the Samsung Gear VR. Prospective customers aren’t seeing floorplans and flat 2D images of a particular model, they’re really experiencing an immersive 3D experience of being outside or inside the actual home on the actual lot in the actual landscape.

Roughly 30 percent of neurons in the brain's cortex are devoted to vision, compared with 8 percent for touch, and 2 percent for hearing. In other words, our sense of vision is hugely important. On top of that, our brains process visual information almost instantaneously whereas spoken verbal information takes a lot longer to process. That’s a big part of why VR tours are so impressive to buyers.

One area where virtual reality excels is presenting scale in a way that feels true to life. Things that are small actually feel small, and things that are large or huge also feel that way. So a VR tour helps people understand how a home will feel after it’s built in a way that floor plans or 2D drawings just can’t.

Even the seemingly small differences between a model home and the home a customer is buying can be a big deal to that customer. Our clients who build fewer model homes and instead get one VR tour per lot or per model come out way ahead on total cost and create a better experience for their customers.

When you reduce the capital requirements of your developments, you can punch above your weight. The companies that out-innovate their competition tend to do better over the long haul, and this course is all about helping you do that. What could you do with the cash you would otherwise spend on building and staging model homes?

In the next chapter, you’ll learn about how really great 3D tours reduce project costs, enhance communication, and help you become more flexible.

Next Chapter: Reducing project costs and enhancing communication with buyers

Previous Chapter

Goldman Sachs estimates that by 2025, virtual reality software for real estate applications will be a $2.6bn market. Real estate agencies from Sotheby’s to Corcoran to Douglas Elliman have used the technology to entice clients... Zillow will get on the virtual reality bandwagon as the technology becomes more ubiquitous and hardware gets cheaper, allowing it to eventually trickle down to the non-luxury real estate market.
— Olga Oksman, The Guardian