Virtual reality is one of those innovations that has cut across industries: from video games to online news, everyone is on board with VR. As such, it was only a matter of time that the real estate industry got shaken up. Although still in its infancy, virtual reality for real estate is making a big impact, with more and more industry professionals being swept in. Read on to find out how agents can fully take advantage of real estate virtual reality.
How Virtual Reality Is Transforming the Real Estate Industry
The meeting point between real estate and technology has led to some incredible outcomes. Here are some of the most clever ways virtual reality for real estate is shaking up the industry.
Many real estate agents are adopting virtual reality as a way to stage properties — and clients love it. By utilizing VR experiences (which typically come in the form of smartphone apps or embedded into websites), potential buyers can take an immersive tour of the property without the hassle of going there. By using a specialized headset, the viewpoint will change depending on the user’s movement, directly mimicking what they would see in the property. Virtual reality for real estate is the best new way to stage a property.
Related: 5 Digital Real Estate Marketing Ideas for Agents
VR Guides for Short-Term Rental Properties
Managing short-term rental properties can be draining. New tenants need to be walked through the facilities of their temporary home, in full detail. When tenant turnover is high, this process can become taxing. That’s why the newest trend in virtual reality for real estate is instructional guides for short-term rentals. Leave behind a pair of VR goggles, and tenants can conveniently watch an immersive tour of the property’s facilities and have all of their questions answered preemptively. Not to mention that they will be left speechless by the unique experience!
Selling a property that is still under construction is notoriously difficult. Even the most seasoned investors can be put off at the thought of relying on rendered photos. As such, one of the most exciting aspects of virtual reality for real estate is the ability to tour properties that are still under construction. Rendered mock-ups of real estate developments can become interactive experiences, allowing buyers to do virtual walkthroughs. This can be a fantastic way to spur excitement and make sales before the development is ready. When a showing isn’t possible, VR real estate can be just as good!
How Virtual Reality Can Transform Your Real Estate Agent Business
Successful real estate agents stay ahead of the pack and innovate wherever possible. Here are some reasons why virtual reality for real estate agents can provide a major boost to business.
More Showings in Less Time
There’s a lot of back-and-forth between agents and clients. Discussions can be long, and viewings can be time-consuming. By adopting this cutting-edge real estate technology, you can streamline the process to an incredible degree. Your clients would have the ability to virtually tour any of the listings within your offering, providing an experience that pictures alone can’t parallel.
Virtual reality for real estate can be hugely persuasive to homebuyers and investors. If you decide to pursue a VR app, clients can take their time to walk through the property as many times as they’d like, and focus on every detail. A leisurely stroll from the comfort of their own homes can have a major effect on their eventual connection with the property for sale.
Connect with Long Distance Investors
One of the best ways to get more real estate leads is to open yourself up to investors and buyers across the country. Developing a VR experience allows real estate agents to effectively conduct showings and sell property to any client, regardless of their location. All they need is the link! This is hands-down one of the best real estate lead generation strategies you could take on.
Related: 10 Easy Ways to Generate Real Estate Buyer Leads
Market Your Properties — and Yourself
Virtual reality real estate marketing has proven to be very effective. Buyers are in love with the interactive mode of viewing properties, and the novelty can really draw people in. Offering an easily-accessible virtual reality experience can go a long way to finding the right buyer.
This can also go a long way to developing a brand for yourself as a trailblazing real estate agent. The best real estate agents are the ones who provide unique experiences and innovative approaches that appeal to both sellers and buyers. As far as real estate marketing strategies go, virtual reality ticks a lot of the right boxes.
Related: Online Lead Generation for Agents: 7 Ways to Beat the Competition
How to Develop Your Own VR Experience
Virtual reality seems very intimidating, doesn’t it? Although you might expect that it needs expensive equipment and advanced programming experience, this is definitely not the case. Use this guide to get started with virtual reality for real estate.
Find the Right Camera
VR cameras are small tools with two camera lenses; one on each side. Each camera captures a photo that covers a 180-degree viewpoint. Software tools then stitch the two photos together to create a seamless image that can respond to your movement.
You’ll also need a specialized tripod, one which is slim enough to evade the vantage of both 180-degree cameras. These should be readily available in any shop that stocks VR cameras.
Many people are surprised to find out that these cameras can be quite affordable, with some selling for as low as 200 dollars. Who knew virtual reality for real estate wouldn’t break the bank?
Take the Right Photos
With the VR camera in hand, it’s time to start photographing the staged property. You’ll want to take a 360 photo in each room individually, as well as some strategically-placed photos from the exterior. To do this, attach the camera to its specialized tripod and place it in the room’s most central point. Most cameras can operate on a timer, or otherwise be controlled remotely by a smartphone. Exit the room, and take a 360 photo that will provide a clear view of the whole area. Then it’s a matter of repeating this process for all parts of the real estate property which you wish to showcase. In areas which are extensive — such as a long hallway, for example — you may also want to take multiple photos, with the camera placed meters apart along a straight line. This would allow users to seamlessly move throughout large spaces, and provide more realistic virtual reality real estate tours. Virtual reality for real estate isn’t actually a very difficult product to create, and the skills can be picked up quite quickly.
Subscribe to a VR Experience Service
Wherever there is demand in the tech industry, you can rest assured that someone is doing something about it! There’s a number of very user-friendly virtual reality real estate tools out there that can be used to develop your VR experience.
These services will give you the ability to apply “hotspots” into your 360 photos. Hotspots are essentially buttons within the 360 environments that allow users to move throughout the space. For example, if the user is viewing a hallway with two visible doors, hotspots can be placed on each of doors. Pressing either one of them would then transport the user into the corresponding room. This provides the illusion of moving through space and offers users a lot of autonomy in choosing how they would like to tour the property.
If you would like to avoid this hassle, you can also consider contracting a company or freelancer to develop this VR experience on your behalf.
Being a real estate agent requires you to stay up-to-date with everything going on in the industry. If you haven’t gotten on board with virtual reality in real estate yet, you should definitely consider it. It can provide a great edge to your real estate business, and keep you firmly ahead of the pack. The real estate leads will start flowing in no time!
Looking for other ways to incorporate technology into your real estate business? Learn about AI Lead Qualification.