Virtual Reality Will Change Real Estate: Here's How
Posted: February 28, 2017 by Anna Jotham
Imagine a classic Midwestern blizzard is whipping through the region, followed by some bone-chilling Canadian air that lasts for a week. Meanwhile, you’re house hunting; driving on slick roads that haven’t yet been plowed, stomping through drifts of snow and bracing yourself as you walk into the icy headwind in the backyard of a home you’re considering.
Now imagine this instead: slipping on a virtual reality headset and walking through properties from the comfort of your own home, while sitting in an easy chair in your slippers, with a cup of warm cocoa on the table beside you. It may seem like science fiction, but the truth is, this stunning capability is within reach through virtual reality (VR). And some experts say VR is on track to revolutionize real estate.
Early this year, Matterport launched a VR app aimed at providing VR home tours. And Fortune Magazine has reported that Sotheby’s International Realty has already started working with VR to showcase luxury homes in New York City and Los Angeles. The technology is still emerging, and as such, the cost is high, putting it out of reach for most area properties. But as pricing comes down, real estate customers will see immersive VR real estate tours offered at all property price points. And some experts say very soon we’ll wonder how we ever got along without it.
Here’s how it will help you.
- You will be able to move around within a home or building and have an immersive experience with the property, without scheduling an appointment. How will it happen? You can simply use your smartphone in combination with VR goggles, available for a nominal price, and perhaps even available through your Realtor. With the right real estate VR app, touring homes will be easy and effortless, and you’ll feel like you’re right there in the room.
- Looking at homes is time-consuming, and in today’s hot market, it’s important to act fast. Drag your feet and you could miss an opportunity. With VR, your time will be used far more efficiently. You’ll be able to visit several homes in VR in the time it takes to visit one property in person.
- It will take the worry out of relocating. With VR, you’ll be able to get a realistic tour of a property, even if you’re in another country. Forget lifeless, still photographs and the deception of fisheye lenses; VR will allow you to look more closely at a countertop, walk through hallways, experience the true size and scale of a space, and someday even feel the texture of the walls.
- You’ll be able to see and experience buildings that don’t yet exist. Interested in investing in a property that isn’t yet built, or renting an apartment in a building that is under construction? Set aside those uninspiring floor plans and renderings. What if you could take a walk-through in the virtually finished building before the first spade of dirt is turned. With VR, you can do it. Mind blown, right?
- If you’re selling your property, showings will become far less trouble. Anyone who has tried to keep their home in show-shape knows the effort of keeping the house spotless is a huge commitment, albeit worth it. Imagine shaving those in-person showings down to a fraction of the total, or eliminating them altogether.
That’s a quick look at the future of real estate, as seen through the virtual reality lens. Simply put, this emerging technology is likely to change the real estate buying and selling experience in lasting and amazing ways.
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