8 Key Benefits of VR Technology in Real Estate
VR technology and Virtual reality products refer to the utilisation of technology as a solution to challenges in the real estate sector. So what are the key benefits of virtual reality in real estate industry and many others?

What are the benefits of VR technology in Real Estate?

Many new VR films or early stage companies have been developed, providing people a feel of the immersive experience. Following up some of the main advantages of virtual reality below.

Efficiency

Arranging visits, showing properties, negotiating terms and prices – all of these tasks are extremely time-consuming, so it's no wonder that the average realtor works with a relatively small number of clients. Since most properties can be shown through virtual tours, realtors can work more productively. VR technology saves time for both clients and realtors. Thanks to VR, there's no need to travel from one property to another. Instead, potential property buyers can use VR headsets and enjoy immersive three-dimensional tours.

As the technology currently stands, many people don't have their own VR headsets. But a real estate agent can get one and conduct virtual tours in their office. As virtual reality devices become more widespread, the majority of people will be able to take VR property tours without leaving their homes.

And adoption of this technology is on the rise,

The use of VR technology in real estate enables all listed properties to be open around the clock. With the help of VR headsets, property buyers can visit houses and apartments at any time, without realtors needing to be there.

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.

Michael Pachter, Analyst at Wedbush Securities told Fortune that he believes Facebook purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion in 2014 for "VR's real estate potential".

"You could do real estate open houses with 360-degree views and have a client come to your office and check out 50 homes through a head-mounted display and then pick the top ones to visit in person," said Pachter.

Money

Developing feature-rich 3D virtual tours may seem expensive at first glance, but when compared to the investment in traditional real estate marketing, it actually allows for considerable cost savings. In tradition real estate marketing processes, not only do you need to stage properties, you also need to provide high-quality pictures and lots of print materials, particularly for new properties. VR helps you save a lot of money by using the power of 360-degree videos and computer graphics. Making a guided video tour around a property requires just a panoramic camera and basic rendering.

Breaks down geographical barriers

With VR technology, it doesn't matter where potential property buyers live. VR helps real estate agents showcase properties even to long-distance, or international buyers.

Through VR, potential buyers and renters are free to explore properties in an incredibly realistic way, not simply scrolling through photos but actually getting a feel for space, size, and layout. And they can do it in a matter of minutes without ever getting up from their own desks. This won't eliminate the need for in-person visits, which are still best before closing a deal - but it does make the early stages of exploration far more convenient, and it likely means broader potential client bases for real estate providers.

User Access to VR Technology: Headset, Smartphone, Desktop

Technology is already a crucial element of the real estate industry. The 2016 National Association of Realtors annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, indicates that mobile devices and tablets are increasingly becoming a resource for home buyers. Their usage lifted to 72% in the 2016 survey, which is up from 61% in 2015 and 45% in 2013. Furthermore, 58% of buyers indicated they found the home they purchased on a mobile app.

An important consideration in VR is how customers are accessing virtual content.

Headset

VR Headsets provide customers with a fully immersive experience and is the most effective means of providing a complete feel of what a property is like. Wearing a VR headset guarantees engagement and an ability to transport someone into another room. At this stage, though, not every customer has a headset.

Desktop

Where the VR headset eliminates the need for a screen and enables a full sphere of vision, sometimes customers do research using the tools they know best: their computers/laptops and phones. VR content can be viewed on desktop computers as a 360° experience, in which the user clicks/drags through the content. A desktop provides a bigger screen (than a phone), which can help better illustrate the finer details of a given property

Smartphone

Smartphones are ubiquitous and with users consuming content like news, email, and even movies on them, VR real estate content can be accessed in the same way. Smartphones also enable dynamic exploration of 360° VR content through rotating and swivelling the phone to uncover more content. The smartphone screen operates as a portal window. However, phone screens are small and may not give the proper justice to a finely virtually staged property.

Final thoughts

The 2016 National Association of Realtors annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, indicates the two most popular resources for home buyers remain the internet (95%) and real estate agents (92%). Despite a record-high 51% of buyers saying they found the home they purchased online, most buyers who used the internet still ended up purchasing their home through an agent (90%).

Virtual reality has become so accessible that it's on track to becoming a $29.7 billion dollar industry in 2020 and is already transforming the real estate industry by saving agents and clients time and money, increasing efficiency and engagement, shortening property cycles, helping agents win more listings and decreasing barriers to sale for off-plan properties.

Moreover, with tech analyst firm Telsyte predicting VR penetration reaching 25.5% of households by 2021, it's evident that virtual reality real estate is here to stay. Those who do not adopt VR will only lose out in market share as more and more real estate agencies embrace virtual reality technologies to their advantage.

Future of VR technology in Real estate

Over the next few years, the real estate industry will continue to merge and be supported by innovative technologies and it seems virtual reality has one of the front row seats. Property Developers are already seeing value in creating virtual showrooms, especially as international sales increase.
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