Virtual Reality and the Real Estate Industry

Posted on February 16, 2018

Anyone in the real estate industry knows one thing is certain: nothing is certain in the real estate industry. The truth is, it’s a fast changing market with plenty of ups and downs. Luckily, enhanced inter-connectivity and technology is making a significant impact in the way customers find, and even view, a property. Research from the National Association of Realtors suggests that 95% of customers search for real estate online and over half of them find their dream home that way.

While there’s no doubt that the internet remains the top choice in resources for home buyers, there is proof that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are becoming very popular when it comes to house hunting. This technology allows prospective buyers to get a good idea of any particular piece of real estate – anywhere in the world – without stepping foot in the door.

Home buyers aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits from these technologies – realtors’ lives become easier as well. In an article from from Follow Up Boss, Brittany Ryan writes, “VR and AR tech can help agents make a stellar first impression with both home buyers and sellers, solve common communication challenges with prospects, and even help agents spend their time more wisely by not taking buyers to view properties you know they won’t like.”

Real estate professionals offering this unique shopping experience are helping their clients find their dream home faster, while considerably shaving time off the buying process. Virtual reality and augmented reality are so beneficial, in fact, that recent Goldman Sachs research predicts that the use of such technology will reach at least $80 billion by 2025.

The following are just a few of the benefits augmented reality and virtual reality can offer to the real estate industry.

1. It’s a Great Time Saver 

It’s no secret that shopping for a house can be a long and tedious adventure. Luckily, AR and VR help make the home showing process a little more seamless for agents and clients alike. Technology is a real game changer because potential buyers can experience walking through the home without actually doing it. They don’t have to be in the same state or even in the same country to do so.

2. AR & VR Real Estate Tours

This technology has the potential to unlock international investment possibilities within the world’s real estate markets. Buyers can now experience a real estate tour on a global scale with VR and AR, which means an increase in foreign investments. This means that buyers in China can take a real look at a property in Los Angeles without a plane ticket.

3. Technology adds Reality in an Industry that Previously Seemed Intangible

Developers often have a difficult time convincing prospective buyers to visualize the final product. Because of this, it reduces pre-sell projects, decreases funds, and overall causes longer sales times. But with AR/VR agents can easily show prospective buyers the end product with a realistic visualization. This adds tangibility and helps to increase pre-sell projects.

4. Less Showings

One of the hardest parts about selling a house is dealing with multiple appointments for house showings. Now, prospective buyers can save time in their search, and sellers can do more showings, without actually setting up appointments. While AR/VR will never completely remove the showing process, it is significantly becoming a valid option for many sellers and buyers.

5. Realtors Will Have to Embrace It

New and veteran realtors will have to embrace the transition to AV/AR technology or get replaced. It will be standard practice for digital marketing in real estate within the decade, so agents are going to have to get used to using it in all avenues of their business.

6. Virtual Tours Will Help Renters Too

Tenants will be able to experience a property as technology advances. The virtual reality platform will allow renters to tour an apartment or home, make notes, and even share their experience with others via social media, text, or email.

7. Fluff Products Will Also Hit the Market

With the success of AR/VR, the real estate industry will soon find that there are many products and services coming at them they simply don’t need. As a professional agent it’s important to stay ahead of the game and know what’s happening in the industry.

8. Luxury Sales Means More Immersive Viewing Experiences

According to Forbes, one in every three home buyers makes an offer on a property sight unseen. With VR and AR globalizing the home buying experience, we will start to see sales of unseen properties increase. Immersive viewing experiences significantly opens up the market for international luxury sales.

Clearly, AR/VR is here to stay. The real estate industry has never seen anything like this before, and the possibilities are endless. As it becomes more prevalent in the industry, it will soon become the norm. Both buyers and sellers will significantly benefit from the increased use of technology.