Benefits of using Virtual Reality for Real Estate

The typical workflow of buying and selling real estate has become stale and time-consuming, even in 2020. Looking at list upon list of properties, sitting through negotiations, and following through with in-person visits to countless houses and apartments can get tedious and takes up a significant amount of time for realtors and homebuyers.

Thankfully, there is a new way to work through the real estate and home buying process. Virtual reality (VR) is turning the real estate industry upside down as more firms flock to its advanced capabilities. VR helps real estate agencies grow their firms, attract new clients, and provide cutting-edge services to potential buyers.

In most use cases, virtual reality is used for gaming and entertainment purposes. However, VR tech is increasingly being used in other industries, especially real estate.

How is VR used in real estate?

  • Property showcases

In traditional real estate practices, potential buyers visit several different properties before landing on the best one for their needs. In-person visits take significant time and can have logistics issues if the property is far from where the client is located. There are also often expenses involved with property visits, for both the buyer and the agent.

With VR, buyers can virtually visit as many properties as they wish all from their couches. With VR headsets, buyers enter immersive VR models of the properties that allow them to do 3D walkthroughs. They can view the home from every angle and see all the small details that 2D images can miss. In one afternoon, buyers can visit dozens of properties and make an informed decision on which one is best for an in-person visit.

The two types of virtual tours are guided visits and interactive visits. Guided visits are tours for existing properties with fully virtual environments or 360-degree videos. Guided visits are often less expensive to put together and usually only require a panoramic camera. Clients should still wear a VR headset. In interactive tours, consumers can move around a property where they want and at will. They can click on highlighted areas in their field of view to proceed to a new section of the property. Interactive visits are more expensive and require specialized tools to create.

  • Staging

Staging can get expensive, but not staging a property can turn potential buyers away. Consumers want to see what a property will look like once they move in, not before any furniture moves in. In a virtual model of the home, developers can fully furnish the property for staging.

According to the National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Staging report, 77% of real estate agents say that adequate staging helps buyers visualize themselves in their future home.

Virtual reality lets realtors furnish an apartment with less investment and no physical furnishings.

  • Architectural visualization

It’s usually challenging to market a property that hasn’t broken ground or is only halfway through construction. To help, developers build large 3D models showing a property or neighborhood which helps buyers visualize the architecture.

However, 3D models do little for the architecture of the property interiors. Instead of small 3D models, marketers use large showrooms with full-scale models of the rooms or apartments, which is a significant investment. With the incoming of VR, it is now possible to forgo the substantial investment and instead create 3D models in virtual reality. Consumers can view the inside and outside of new properties.

VR has made architectural visualization less expensive and more immersive than it ever was before.

  • Instructions for tenants

Communication between tenants and landlords or real estate agents has always been challenging. With virtual reality, landlords can communicate with their tenants through VR headsets. Tenants can view virtual tours to understand better how their utility services work. Landlords can avoid unnecessary and time-consuming visits with their tenants. VR is also useful for vacation rentals with high turn over rates. With virtual instructions, tenants can quickly learn what they need to know about a property without having to make phone calls and wait until someone comes.

  • Commerce

VR in real estate goes hand-in-hand with commerce in terms of purchasing furnishing, paint colors, and upgrades for a new home. During a VR tour, buyers can go to a virtual store and purchase items and upgrades that they want in their new home. Users can style the property the way they want and fully customize their future home.

If the clients make no changes to the interior, they might look through virtual catalogs of furniture, curtains, and other furnishings to purchase for their home, which adds to the commerce element.

What are the benefits of VR in real estate?

  • Saves time

Virtual reality is an amazing new technology for the real estate sector. It allows agents to save significant amounts of time during the showing and buying process with clients. Agents do not have to brings potential buyers to property after property. Instead, they can set their clients up with VR headsets so that they can view dozens of sites in one sitting. Once they have their preferred properties listed, they can schedule in-person visits. This is a more economical approach that is beneficial to the agent and the buyer.

  • Global reach

It’s naturally challenging for clients to buy a property if it is located far from where they are situated. Long-distance property visits take time and cost money, which is particularly frustrating if the property is not the right one for the client. VR enables clients to view homes far away and around the world from their couches with little to no cost or time investment.

  • Saves money

Producing 3D tours sounds expensive, but it is now more affordable than ever and can save money in the long term. The technology is more mainstream, making it less expensive, and without the need to physically stage the home or take large volumes of high-quality photos, agents save money.

  • Visualization

Through realistic visualization of the property, clients can see themselves in the home and take mental ownership of the property. Clients are more likely to buy a property that they can visualize themselves living inside. VR home tours let buyer’s walk through a property and picture their furniture and their interior design. A virtual visit is one of the best and quickest ways to nudge a client to purchase a home.

Virtual Reality Real Estate Navjeet Chhina

Virtual reality (VR) is continually advancing by leaps and bounds, especially in the last several years. While different variations of the technology have been around for a while, it has become increasingly popular over the years, leading to faster advancements. VR has now moved from heavy, clumsy, and relatively unusable prototypes to affordable headsets that anyone can bring home. More mobile and headset devices are sold every day as the technology becomes increasingly immersive and realistic.

VR is not just for gaming or watching shows. The technology is finding its way into a wide array of industries, becoming more mainstream than ever before. VR is now frequently used in marketing, including in the real estate sector. Agencies across the world are showing homes and apartments in virtual reality to gain new customers and widen their client base.

As VR becomes more widely adopted in real estate, the technology is also becoming more versatile and easier to use. VR is bound to continue seeing increased use in real estate, with an estimated revenue of 2.6 billion by 2025.

There are still a lot of challenges coming for VR, but the use of high-quality virtual reality applications is too promising not to pursue.

What is the appeal of real estate VR?

One of the best perks of VR is the option to do virtual tours with clients. Buying new properties is a significant time commitment for most clients, and the process is harder the farther away a client lives. VR can save time, money, and resources by offering a virtual preview of the property right from a client’s home. Modern VR headsets can provide realistic tours of a property in 360-degree format and free-style navigation.

Another benefit is the virtual visualization of a site. Virtual reality can help an agent sell a property still under construction. It’s typically difficult for most agencies to advertise and sell construction properties because clients can’t visualize the end result. With virtual visualization, clients can see the inside and outside of a site in detail.

There is also an option for virtual staging. If a property is out of the construction phase but empty, the chance to sell it decreases. For years agents have partnered with interior designers to show the better side of a property through staging. With VR, there’s no need to fill a home or apartment physically. Instead, you can show a fully staged property in virtual reality.

Finally, there is V-commerce. Like its cousin e-commerce, v-commerce means showing a virtual property with a price tag. Clients can buy from inside the VR app, similar to an e-commerce store.

What are the benefits of real estate virtual reality?

  • Save time. VR lets agencies show clients a property without the need to go with the clients on physical tours. Search for and reviewing a property is faster than ever. Virtual tours allow the client to view multiple properties within a couple of hours instead of a couple of days.
  • Save money. Some elements of VR can get expensive because of the technology used, but your expenses allow you to increase conversion rates and your return on investment. You also save on old school advertising materials and property staging.
  • Increase engagement. Regular 2D visualization does not offer nearly as much participation as 3D virtual tours. VR lets clients get the lay of a listing, see how it looks with furniture, and better understand how the property would work for their needs. Flipping through a photo catalog pales in comparison to a VR tour.

Worldwide. VR eliminates the need to visit a property physically. Now, real estate agents can sell a site without needing the client to come to see it first. Clients can take a virtual tour and learn more about the home no matter where in the world they are.