How Virtual & Augmented Reality Will Revolutionize Real Estate
Ronald Monte | April 5, 2018
The implementation of mixed realities technology (like virtual and augmented reality) in real estate will fundamentally change the way people buy homes. It currently has the potential to accelerate turnover, reduce discrimination, and price homes more efficiently. This is only the beginning.
Real estate has a reputation for being slow to adapt to new technology and for being in the control of an out-of-touch old guard. Tech like VR/AR, though, is something that the industry doesn’t have the choice to ignore. It will save realtors and homebuyers time and money, and make real estate markets more efficient.
3D Home Tours in VR
The biggest change that virtual reality will make to real estate is the home showcasing process. Consider the last time you went house or apartment shopping. It probably took an entire day to view just a few houses. Between driving from house to house, and coordinating with your realtor, home showcasing is wildly inefficient for realtors and homebuyers alike.
The current method of house tours is inefficient. What if the majority of home listings had a VR tour, from which you can walk through the house much in the same way as if you were at the property? You can probably view a few dozen in an hour’s time, in contrast to less than 10 in a day’s time. Of course, once you’ve narrowed your choices down to your favorite few, you can always go to the properties in person.
In addition to saving the average home shoppers time, this feature perhaps has even more value to real estate investors, who will often fly across the country just to view one property. According to a Redfin study, one in five homebuyers made a bid on a house without seeing the home in person.
Companies like Matterport are currently deploying VR home viewing technology on Redfin using 3D cameras.
Visualize Room Furnishings with AR
When looking at an empty house, it can be difficult to visualize how your interior designs would look in the rooms, and how large the rooms really are. Many empty rooms can look deceptively large until furniture is placed inside. This reality is especially true for renters.
This is where virtual staging tools like RoOomy come in. Tools like this allow potential homebuyers to use augmented reality to visualize how that empty room would look with antique furniture. RoOomy’s catalog offers over 100,000 3D products from dozens of retailers, and is integrated with international brokerage Sotheby’s.
Real estate is an industry that has been prime for disruption for a long time. While we’ve seen other asset markets like stock markets become progressively more efficient in the 21st century, real estate has been lagging behind.
While it can be easy for one to shrug at these technological developments, when looking at the big picture, this type of progress can revolutionize the real estate industry. The large nationwide brokerages that adopt this tech first will likely rule the next generation of real estate.
The ability for home buyers and renters to look at dozens of properties in a short period of time through VR will lead to faster turnover, which leads to more efficient pricing. The ability for wealthy real estate investors to make bids on properties without getting on a plane will save them lots of time.
All of these benefits compounded will trickle down the economy at large, boosting productivity and eliminating inefficiencies.