Virtual Realty: 5 Reasons to View Properties with VR
CC image courtesy of Maurizio Pesce on Flickr
by Chris Long
VR isn’t a far-off future in real estate — it’s happening now. Our top five reasons to choose a brokerage that offers VR listings:
First time homebuyers don’t often associate real estate transactions with speed or efficiency. Dozens of steps — from research to showings to financial evaluations — separate a prospective buyer from their offer.
Buying a home will always take time, but new technology is beginning to condense the overwhelming property vetting process. Virtual reality, or VR, can play an important role in the early stages of research, helping buyers narrow down their list of properties and eliminating unnecessary in-person visits. A brokerage that uses VR can also spend less time at showings and more time with their clients.
Need more reasons to love VR? We have five:
1. View properties anytime, anywhere.
Finding the right home or investment property can be exhausting. Weeks of showings — often at far-flung corners of a city or state — can easily wear even the most enthusiastic buyer down. Virtual reality provides an attractive alternative to this grueling process. With 3D walkthroughs, you can view properties from the comfort of your home or office, on your own terms. You can even view homes or apartments from your mobile phone or tablet.
2. An efficient buying — and selling — experience
There’s nothing quite like viewing a home in person, but some tours just feel like a waste of time. VR drastically reduces the amount of legwork by helping you spot immediate deal-breakers in the properties you’re considering. When you don’t have to visit every single house on your list, you can quickly identify a few top choices. VR also helps your broker by reducing the number of properties they have to physically show, giving them more time to find you the perfect property.
3. Get the full picture.
In the early stages of any real estate transaction, buyers and renters come across spaces that don’t quite live up to the beautiful wide-angle photographs posted online. Certain attributes of a space — like the depth of a room or the layout of an apartment — can be hard to convey through still images. VR provides a dynamic tour experience where true-to-life renderings or panoramic photographs are woven into a cohesive floor plan. Better yet, you can zoom in and out of the 3D images to get a sense of what a unit really looks like. Some VR platforms even allow you to view a 3D floor plan from above.
4. Make a house feel like a home
An empty room is a blank canvas, but the right virtual staging technology — and an eye for design — can completely recontextualize a space. Realtors can either pre-stage a virtual rendering of a home or apartment, or you can do it yourself by taking photos and using apps to overlay furniture. You may discover during staging that the living room you loved so much falls flat when you add furniture, or that the questionable breakfast nook is actually the highlight of a home. Virtual staging can also replace staging in the actual unit; even if you tour an empty apartment, you’ll have a mental picture of its furnished state.
5. The potential for greatness
The best reason to view properties with VR? The technology will only get better with time. Some companies now create 3D “model homes” of units that haven’t been finished yet, allowing investors to get a taste of what a finished property will look like before construction even begins.
The industry is also excited about the potential for virtual commerce. Those handy staging applications? They may soon become furniture stores where you can choose custom pieces for your new home. Buyers can also look forward to choosing upgrades — like granite counters or hardwood floors — within a virtual tour before they break ground on their new home.
In an industry that’s slow to adopt new technology, VR is a giant leap forward for real estate. A brokerage that offers 3D renderings of their listings can lead you to your dream home or apartment while saving you time, money, and energy during the buying process.