Thanks to vast improvements in processing powers, the use of virtual reality (VR) in some sectors is becoming more evident than ever and the property market in particular is one that can benefit.
Whether high street agents, hybrid or online, any estate agent in today’s increasingly competitive market can benefit from having an immersive and engaging sales tool which meets the needs of modern-day buyers. Step forward VR.
Adapting to what the buyer wants
Many of us will be familiar with VR by now. Offering an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment, current VR technology most commonly uses headsets, which allow the user to look around the artificial world, move around in it, and interact with virtual features or items. This is far more than an enhanced computer game, however.
VR offers estate agents a wide range of possibilities, from offering a unique insight into a property that simply cannot be conveyed in photographs and floorplans, to showing what a house could look like with new carpets, wallpaper and even the customer’s own furniture.
Having this form of innovation could be integral to an estate agent’s property portfolio, as customers can really get a feel for the different homes on offer, even if they are not in the local vicinity. Ultimately, it gives the potential to add a third consideration stage after looking at marketing materials and before viewing the property itself.
Whether offering a property for sale or rental, it is easy to see the time and cost-saving opportunities that this stage could offer a busy estate agent as staff can showcase numerous properties during a single session, thus maximising viewing capabilities and driving efficiencies for all parties.
And that’s not all. Currently only a personal experience, VR in property only allows for one person to get immersed within the environment – something that isn’t overly ideal for couples or families wanting to view the virtual space together. Yet, as innovations are taken further and with the introduction of further headsets, the opportunity of having shared group experiences within VR property technology will be achievable.
How practical is having VR in property?
All the above points make seem having VR in property a no-brainer – however the technology does come with its own challenges.
Incorporating this form of technology is all down to having the right size and volume to make it a worthwhile venture. Managing this requires varying processes, such as having the right hosting requirements and methods of displaying the environments in 3D and VR models.
The same difficulties can be found with the VR hardware, as it can be costly and rather bulky in size. Yet, as advancements are ongoing, we are seeing continuous improvements with size and prices to help make VR in property far more accessible. Developments in digital solutions, through utilising tech such as dynamic LED screens, can help develop these VR ideas into immersive environments for buyers and renters to explore.
The opportunities for the use of VR in the property sector on a much larger scale could provide the sector with a whole new sales platform – one that is more efficient and only improves the user experience. With greater competition and an increased focus on customer experience, it has to be an opportunity worth investigating.
*Tom Murray is IT manager at digital solutions provider UXG