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vr and ar for real estate

How Virtual and Augmented Reality are Changing the Way Realtors Work

The relationship between technology and the real estate industry continues to evolve with a foundation built on dynamic visuals and a growing demand for the instant sharing of real estate listings in a convenient and efficient way.

Realtors are staying up to date on the latest technology trends across diverse platforms to learn the best ways to keep up with the burgeoning market of tech-savvy customers as they shop for properties from their home computers, tablets, and mobile devices.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are turning the industry on its heels. Virtual home showings, with enhanced visuals and sounds that create a multisensory experience, are inspiring clients to feel as if they’ve stepped into their dream home before physically entering the space.

The winds of technological change are shifting in the direction of virtual environments, which give customers innovative options for touring properties from almost any location instead of traveling to a showing or open house.

If you’re a Realtor looking to grow your client list, take note. Here are some of the ways virtual reality and augmented reality are impacting the real estate sector.

Realtors are seeing an increase in their foreign client base

Noted as one of the top trends in real estate, VR/AR is expected to be a $2.6 billion market in the real estate industry by 2025. By eliminating the need to travel to property viewings, virtual tours are powering the market on an international scale. Uploading professional photographs and property details into a storytelling software platform is the most practical solution when utilizing this technology because it provides automation services to agents. Realtors embracing VR/AR are noticing a substantial return on their investment into the technology as properties are made available to clients across the globe.

The 3D environment that is inclusive to the VR/AR experience is one of the primary drivers of this trend. Instead of simply viewing images, 3D modeling pulls a person into the space with visuals, immersing them in an environment naturally. Computer-aided design (CAD) works with VR/AR to create the flexibility that allows users to manipulate the setting by using software that precisely calculates the dimensions of a space and alters its properties, thus encouraging interaction.

3D cameras operate as the scanning devices for 3D models and CAD. After physically scanning the property, the images can be uploaded to the cloud where algorithms will generate additional data about the layout of the premises. Realtors can cloud host the image files and data under affordable monthly plans depending on storage needs.

Creative storytelling is becoming a main selling point

Most popular for its positive results as a learning approach, the multisensory experiences VR and AR provide increases our “sense of presence” because it engages multiple senses at the same time as we experience it in the real world. The technology that enables VR/AR to activate our senses of sight and sound simultaneously can help Realtors show properties in a modernized and profound fashion.

While we all have an imagination, clients that are new to property ownership and learning the potential of real estate projects under development may need to see it to believe it – or at least understand it from the agent’s perspective.

Realtors are adding a new clarity to the industry through visual connections, expanding on virtual visits by telling stories with mixed media VR. The 360-degree cameras that are part of this experience aren’t subject to the limitations of computer-generated views. Instead, the combination of imagery from various angles allows viewers to look around inside of the computer simulation.

New companies are steadily entering the market and offering the options for service partners to capture property images on behalf of real estate professionals. This encourages a  hands-on learning environment as Realtors understand how to work with the cameras and take advantage of the creative possibilities when using story-based computer replications.

There’s also picture-in-picture (PIP) capabilities, which is a non-linear effect combining two independent objects. PIP further adds to the viewer experience, with one window filling the screen while a smaller window is also visible and audible at a different volume.

Realtors can leverage these VR/AR features by showing content that caters to the needs and personalities of clients and displays the ways in which a property can be both attractive and functional. Taking these customizable options a step further, real estate agents can also show finished versions of real estate projects. It’s safe to assume that these simulations coupled with interactive visuals would increase the likelihood of pre-selling.

After writing descriptions and detailing the visions for properties in the building phase, agents can create development simulations with a virtual reality developer’s assistance. Before VR development projects begin, brokers and agents should contact VR companies for pricing information as most services offer cost estimates in advance.

Incorporating creative VR/AR environments into showings takes “what you see is what you get” to a new and improved level, preventing the disappointment for buyers who visit a property that looks much different than the property they expected based on their perception of still images.

Realtors must realize that adopting new technology is vital

Remember when social media was merely a passing thought for Realtors? It wasn’t long before social media was a driving force for increasing sales in the industry and building customer loyalty. Now, 84% of real estate professionals are using social media.

With the Internet at our fingertips, the majority of potential clients are online. If a Realtor has a limited Internet presence, they are far less competitive in today’s market.

As technology advances globally, VR and AR are set to become the new normal in diverse industries. It’s time to consider connecting with clients virtually. 44% of buyers bought properties they saw online, proving that adding virtual reality and augmented reality to your real estate marketing strategy is a strategic and innovative solution no Realtor should overlook.

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