Image courtesy of Colin and Sarah Northway on Flickr, published under CC BY- 2.0
We live in the age of constant development, an age where technological advances are made practically every day. They make our everyday life easier and more convenient, and they have made their way into many industries.
Virtual reality is one of those advances. Among its many uses in different aspects of life and various industries, it has also begun to revolutionize the real estate industry. What are the benefits and are there any downsides to it? Find out how this virtual experience is affecting or will affect real estate.
Virtual Reality in the Context of Real Estate
We are all more or less familiar with the concept of virtual reality. It is something that is not real but that you can see or experience, immerse yourself in another world or place from where you’re sitting, from the comfort of your home.
Real estate has started to employ that concept in their industry and has revolutionized the process of buying a property. Virtual reality is now being used for marketing and promotional purposes, as well as a substitution for actual house showings. Customers can see online, from their computers, a 360/3D video of a house or any other property they are interested in.
Virtual reality technologies, however, are still in the process of development and implementation into the market. They have not yet become the standard, but some companies are already using them. Experts expect that virtual reality technologies and their applications in real estate will become commonplace within a few years.
Pros of Virtual Reality in Real Estate
1. Meeting Customer’s Demands in Early Stages
Buying a house, or any other property that is perfect and meets your every criterion is not easy. There are many things you imagine and expect it to have, and it makes the search for it harder. Virtual reality can be employed to make it less complicated.
Architects can employ it in the process of design and construction, and involve the customer in the process as well. By creating virtual prototypes, architects can communicate with customers to better understand their needs and the needs of the market. Making adjustments during the process makes it easier for them to create a dream home and the perfect property.
2. Reducing Time Spent on House Showings
The search for a new home means taking some time off of your day to visit and inspect different houses. It involves going to a different house every day or even several houses in one day. And you want to be thorough with each to see if it checks everything on your list. This can be a hassle for both you and your real estate agent.
With virtual reality technologies, your agent could show you as many houses you want in his office on his computer. In a 3D video of the entire house, you can see almost anything you need to know. You can narrow down your choices, and then visit only two or three houses that stood out to you.
3. Understanding the Floor Plan Better
Virtual reality provides a clearer, more detailed picture of the floor plan of the property. With the traditional 2D plan it was possible to see the boundaries of different rooms, general layout, furniture, and an approximate ratio of the room sizes.
A 3D virtual floor plan allows you to see it much better and in a more real aspect. The sizes are easier to understand, and you can practically walk through the rooms to get an impression. It is even possible to move the furniture around, change the layout a bit, and see what fits you the best.
Cons of Virtual Reality in Real Estate
Since virtual reality technologies still haven’t taken a stronghold in the real estate market, they may turn out to be only an additional, sometimes even an unnecessary cost. Many people still want to visit the properties in person and are not trusting of new technologies, especially when it comes to big investments such as buying a house. But with time and proper implementation, virtual reality could also soon become the standard of the industry.
Can virtual reality change the real estate industry? The answer is: it definitely can! The only question is when and how will that happen. As with any new product or technological advancements, once solar panels and home gadgets, and now a virtual reality, the implementation period takes time. People need to understand it, and it takes time for them to feel comfortable with it.
With proper marketing strategies, slowly introducing it and focusing on its benefits, virtual reality will become an important part of real estate. It will modernize the way we buy houses, save a significant amount of time and, potentially, money.
Author: Mattea Jacobs
Mattea Jacobs is a freelance writer who mostly writes about both interior and exterior home design, and environmentally-friendly ways to improve homes. She is also a green activist, and a mother of two beautiful sons. You can reach her on Facebook and Instagram.