Is VR the future of real estate?
Quality photography and video tours can be powerful elements of a great listing. But realtors and tech analysts believe that the next major advancement in the way we shop for homes is the incorporation of Virtual Reality (VR) technology.
With a device as simple as a smartphone and Google Cardboard glasses, clients can take a panoramic 3D video tour of a property for sale. Unlike still photography or video footage, VR provides a truly immersive experience that puts the user in control of their view. With a VR tour, prospective buyers can gain a sense of layout, size and decor before actually stepping foot into a home. Advanced VR tours even allow viewers to see how the natural light changes in a property from morning to evening. Digital editing can display homes with upgrades that the client requests – swapping carpet for hardwood or creating an open concept kitchen, for example.
Virtual Reality doesn’t just impact resale homes. This technology is also being harnessed for new development projects using sophisticated computer generated renderings. VR can give prospective buyers of a condo building or new construction home a realistic experience of the property before the first shovel hits the ground. And by incorporating 3D footage from drones, VR for pre-construction developments can even show buyers the stunning views of a city from different floors of a building or even the rooftop. One6NineJones, a townhome development in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood, partnered with local tech startup Invent Dev to offer prospective buyers 3D walkthroughs through their townhomes while they were still under construction.
VR is an extremely promising technology for real estate. Not only does it enhance the experience of those shopping for new homes but it also has the potential to replace the costly and environmentally-unfriendly step of constructing model homes or suites. It’s also a game-changer for foreign homebuyers that are shopping for properties out of town. While VR is mostly seen in luxury home sales with larger marketing budgets, you can expect VR tours to become an integral tool in mainstream real estate as the software and technology improves, decreasing costs for capturing footage.