Virtual Reality and the Real Estate Industry
Virtual reality in practice is still very new and it will likely take some time before it becomes common-use for businesses. As technologies like this develop and efficiencies arise, prices eventually come down and they become adopted more frequently. This is relevant to the real estate industry as it will take some time for consumers to even possess the required technology for viewing life through virtual reality. However, this may not be far off as Google Cardboard already offers kits to view virtual reality photos. That being said, it never hurts to be prepared for what’s in store.
Are you wondering how virtual reality could change the real estate business?
Well, the biggest and most obvious effect would be that people would no longer have to visit the physical house itself to view the property. This has a huge impact, particularly on hosting open houses. Even though there are options today where people can post images of the property, a virtual reality image would provide a much more thorough experience and perspective of the home. The closest we see to this today is the use of Facebook’s 360 degree photos that are interactive on mobile devices.
Secondly, more people will be able to view these homes. This directly correlates to reducing time constraints related to actually setting time out of your day to go and visit the property. Again, people can already do this by viewing standard photos of the property, but it’s sometimes hard to conceptualize the layout of the home. Virtual reality would solve this problem.
Of course, there will still be people who will want to visit the houses themselves, but virtual reality could help to filter out people who may not really be interested. That way, those who come to the open house may be more qualified and interested based on what they have already experienced through the virtual reality perspective.
What does this new technology mean for real estate agents?
By adopting this technology, real estate agents can expect some elements of the way in which they do business to change. Some possible outcomes include:
Increased Efficiency. Real estate agents can now provide an in-depth view into the home and property without actually being present at an open house. As we mentioned, this may lead to an increasing number of better qualified leads of those who actually take the time to visit the property in person.
Futuristic Experience. As the practice of virtual reality is still quite new, this could add an intriguing element to your services. Particularly, the perception of the house may be viewed as more futuristic and help to build excitement through this new consumer experience. Of course, if it becomes the norm then the thrill may eventually wear off. Source of Differentiation. The futuristic user experience just mentioned can help to separate you from other real estate agents. Imagine being known as the real estate agent who uses virtual reality to show property listings. As of right now, there aren’t many people who do this. Let alone, there aren’t even many people that take advantage of Facebook’s augmented reality capabilities through 360 degree photos.
Keep in mind that at this point virtual reality is still a very young industry. While prices remain high, this may make it more suitable for the luxury market and high price tag properties. Ideally, the overall price level will decrease with further innovation in the virtual reality industry. In the meantime, there are cheaper alternatives that provide an experience halfway between reality and virtual reality. You can check out our article about how to use Facebook for your real estate business to achieve a similar effect – I should mention that it also comes at a fraction of the cost.
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