VR’s Step into the Real Estate Industry

Virtual reality is just for video games, right? Many industries beg to differ, pointing to industry applications for VR that are moving their fields forward. Real estate is one of those industries. Here’s how real estate professionals are using VR to make the industry better for everyone involved.

VR Helps Everyone Save Time and Money

Anyone who’s been involved in selling or even renting a property knows that it can be a time-consuming, expensive process. Buyers must take the time to schedule and visit properties; this an especially herculean task for buyers looking for properties in another city, state, country, or continent!. And sellers must meticulously prepare their homes for visitors, often halting daily life for the sake of maximizing their home’s visual appeal during buyer visits; a blog post from FlatRate Moving provides advice on “Surviving While Your House is Being Staged.”

This grueling process can pay off for buyers and sellers when a successful home sale is made, but both halves of the deal usually have to endure plenty of time-wasting beforehand. Potential buyers may visit homes without any intention of buying soon, and sellers may attract buyers with misleading camera angles that misrepresent their property. The more frequently buyers visit properties they don’t buy, the more work each sale requires of its real estate agents–which means those agents close fewer deals per year and subsequently charge higher fees.

Virtual reality can substantially reduce the time, expense, and stress associated with buying or selling a home. Advancements in VR technology have made it possible for buyers and sellers to visit or show their homes via VR home tours. Listing agents on blockchain real estate platform Deedcoin can create VR tours of properties using only a cellphone video, which partner firm Cappasity transforms into a complete VR walkthrough accessible through desktop, cell phone, or headset. Sellers can minimize disruption to their home lives by arranging in-person visits for people who are still interested after experiencing the VR walkthrough. Buyers can screen homes through VR whenever it’s convenient for them–without having to travel to the site. Because VR can capture spatial relationships and a home’s “feel” far more accurately than photography or floorplans, buyers are less likely to experience unpleasant surprises when they visit properties in real life.

Increases Emotional Connection Via Storytelling

Storytelling and emotional engagement are critical to successful sales, whether the sale in question is a food processor or a house; this explains why staging is crucial for a successful home sale. Data from the National Association of Realtors found that staged homes sell 80% faster and for 20% more money than non-staged homes. Staging is the process of arranging decoration, furniture, and other interior design choices that convey a “lived-in,” albeit clean and appealing, sense of the home, and is a form of storytelling that is used to build emotional engagement with potential buyers.

The problem with staging is that it’s often disruptive and expensive for sellers. And a perfect “stage” can vary immensely from buyer to buyer. Empty-nesters, for example, might prefer a small extra room in an apartment staged as a study rather than a nursery. Buyers may dislike the stagers’ tastes and wonder what the home would look like with their own decor choices instead.

Virtual reality service Rooomy helps agents, sellers, buyers, and interior designers stage a room with minimal cost. Using Rooomy and similar applications, sellers can stage their VR tour without having to buy or rent new furniture or decorations. Buyers could use VR to explore how they might set up the property if they bought it, vastly increasing the potential for emotional engagement.

Makes New Builds And Remodels Easier

VR can be especially useful for depicting structures that don’t exist in real life yet. A buyer might be interested in a home but only if they can remodel the first floor. Some buyers might be interested in purchasing units in a building that isn’t even constructed yet. VR can help buyers gain a feel of potential remodels or new builds before the construction even finishes. For some buyers, gaining access to these renderings can make the difference between a sale and no sale.

Some firms are taking VR even further, helping architects and designers improve their design and building process. Atlas Bay VR lets architects review designs before they’re built and helps them understand how design changes affect the overall structure once construction is underway. VR can help builders work with clients to create homes and buildings that meet their expectations. Atlas Bay claims that VR can substantially improve design and construction efficiency and accuracy, with VR-assisted design reviews capturing three times the number of defects caught by non-VR reviews.

Building, buying, and selling property is hard, but VR has immense potential to make these processes easier and more satisfying process for everyone involved; you can expect to see more VR real estate applications in the future.