WE/AR Blog How Does VR/MR/AR Change Real Estate?
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How Does VR/MR/AR Change Real Estate?

By Veronika Petrenko
9 min read

Buyer’s journey in real estate takes 11-27 months.

To buy or even to lease an apartment, a prospective client has to spend weeks researching, reading, talking to realtors, friends, and visiting places. Doubting, making decisions, considering (tearing documents and swearing). Because it is a Big Decision for each client. For real estate developers and agencies, long buyer’s journey means few pre-sell projects, delays, and problems with funds.

VR/AR/MR can break this vicious circle by shortening buyer’s journey and making real estate much more tangible for clients.

Speaking of VR/AR/MR, Forbes experts claim that realtors can either learn how to use these technologies or get replaced. Because using VR/AR/MR means optimization of costs and time.

At the first glance buyer’s journey in real estate sector must be pretty simple: a potential client wants to buy/lease an apartment- he/she finds a real estate agent to show him/her this apartment- he/she decides to buy. You’ve got the contract signed.  It’s never like this. It’s much much more complicated.

Buyer’s Journey in Real Estate

Awareness stage – at this stage the customer determines that he/she needs a new apartment or a bigger house. This decision also takes long unless a client has major changes in life like a new baby or relocation.

Consideration stage – the stage during which a potential customer collects all the information about the property and looks for answers to his/her questions. It takes months. Or years. This is the period which is dedicated to researching, reading,  and visiting. This stage can last for months until a potential buyer or investor is ready to spend hard-earned money.

But AR/VR/MR can become the catalyst for this stage thanks to the incredible level of visualization.  To show  AR/MR/VR technologies is to add tangibility to real estate: agents and real estate developers just demonstrate what they talk about leaving clients speechless.

AR /VR/MR  help clients understand  the phrase “Seeing is believing.”

So How to Make a Client Choose You at the Consideration Stage?

Make a solid argument with the help of AR/VR/MR.

These technologies basically hijack clients’ brain with intensive visual and audio information creating a strong emotional experience.

Decision making. That’s the final stage when a potential buyer makes a final decision ” to buy – or not to buy”  comparing offers.  At this stage using AR/VR/MR can be that elusive competitive advantage for your business. You will lead a potential client to his/her future house when other real estate agents will just board him/her with colorful lefalets and presentations.

So using VR/AR/MR in real estate is transforming buyer’s journey making it shorter and more comfortable.

Example of AR for Real Estate.

VR in Real Estate

Using virtual reality in real estate is not only trendy, it’s absolutely compulsory. We all live online, we don’t live in cities or countries. We are becoming digital nomads.

When we want to buy or to lease an apartment, we also prefer doing it remotely in many cases.  Virtual reality tours can make real estate selling and leasing really comfortable for demanding customers. Today most perspective and innovative real estate agencies offer their customers virtual reality tours to their future apartments. It solves the problem of transportation and poor imagination.

Augmented Reality Real Estate at Toronto.

Many agencies showcase the apartment you are about to buy or take for lease in 360. Like this Toronto agency that leads you through all the apartments of your choice and helps you to see all the rooms in detail. Check the view from the window and try to understand how you would feel inside the place. Virtual reality tours ( or 360 tours or even 3D tours, names are often used interchangeably ) are the most persuasive and reliable methods of persuading clients to make a final decision.

AR in Real Estate

Airbnb aims to make leasing as comfortable as possible. How? Airbnb is worried that people who go to the foreign countries get lost in translation and in their own apartments.

Airbnb will add augmented reality to help potential customers navigate the apartment.  For instance, a person traveling from LA to Beijing for the first time will feel much more comfortable using home appliances which have Chinese guidelines. With augmented reality in real estate, a user won’t have any problems dealing with objects in Chinese.

Airbnb Augmented Reality APP.

Augmented reality can be a magic tool for architects as well. Instead of boring presentations and brochures architects can use augmented reality for a persuasive visual demonstration of projects. Users will just need to point their devices at the surface and scan it to see buildings in all the details.

MR in Real Estate

Mixed reality is what gives a Taipei-based company a competitive advantage. It’s actually the first real estate agency that using mixed reality in real estate. The company leverages MR ( that is the mix of VR and AR from their perspective) giving their clients a unique opportunity to get immersed into the atmosphere of the future apartment.

Microsoft’s HoloLens is a favorite tool of real estate developers because it allows guiding people through holographic landscapes. Investors and potential clients get the chance to see the project in reality  ( well, in mixed reality), interact with it being rooted in the present moment. So despite the fact that the objects are irreal, emotions people experience are real. And you, as an experienced sales person, know that emotions drive sales.

Because people don’t buy walls and ceiling, they don’t even buy furniture. They buy ambiance inside the place and they want to know how they will feel inside a future house.

6 Benefits VR/AR/MR for Real Estate

1.VR/AR/MR in real estate is experiential. It is making real estate more real in other words. Do they want to hear to real estate agents’ cliches like “spacious apartment” “beautiful view”? Of course, they don’t because you don’t want to hear it as well. Modern customers want to experience things, interact with them on a deeper emotional level. Are you giving your customers a chance to see the design of their future apartment in all the details?

2. Even simple augmented reality apps for real estate can change everything by stimulating emotions in your clients. Virtual reality real estate content stimulates emotions and creates the sense of presence. What does it mean? It means that because of a holistic sensory impact VR content contributes to lasting memory formation. The real estate virtual tour is what can leave your customer speechless.

3. Saving time. An average real estate agency can show 5 houses a day to a potential customer. At the end of the day, both a potential buyer and a real estate agents are both exhausted. With the help of VR tours, this number can be increased to 30. Why not? The sky is the limit if you showcase your homes with the help of virtual reality applications.

4. AR/VR/MR use in real estate can be that final argument that will tip the balance. Because it offers a high level of visualization.  Imagine a real estate agent walking an empty home with bare grey walls with a tablette in his/her hands and actually showing how this cozy flat will look in just a couple of months if leased or bought. Using augmented reality in real estate is being proactive towards a customer.

5. Globalizing real estate market. Those real estate objects that were once accessible to a limited number of people due to geographical location are already available to anyone. VR/AR/MR brings shopping experience to your home and all you need to do is to wear HMD or to take iPad.

6. Giving the hotel industry a real boost. It’s hard to persuade your clients to book a room especially if Presidents didn’t stop at your hotel and you can’t offer any persuasive benefits. Virtual reality hotel tours are the chance to check how you actually feel inside the hotel and see the view from the window. Do you actually see the ocean?

Virtual reality tour to the apartment and 3D model of the future house created in augmented reality are not gimmicks like you might think. It’s something real estate can’t survive right now.

To make a VR/AR/MR app for real estate doesn’t take long if you have videos and photos that show the apartment, hotel room or even a lab ( you can show a lab, why not?)  in 360. The developer transforms the information into a 360 sphere using Unity.

What Will You Show at B2B Meeting: a Sketch or 3D Model Animated in AR?

You won’t visit a business meeting with a notebook and pencils to draw schemes, right? You will bring you shining MacBook and launch a cool presentation. But you can do more. Do you know that?

Those real estate developers and agents who want to provoke emotions in their customers and stimulate the formation of long-term memories use AR/MR/VR. They show 30 houses to potential clients instead of 5. They make leasing an apartment in a foreign country less challenging by overlaying information in augmented reality. Hotel owners make sure that they customers previewed their rooms before booking them. Real estate developers just show future houses to potential clients letting them interact and experience.

So what would you take on a business meeting: a laptop with a noisy presentation or iPad (or HoloLens, why not?) to show a 3D model of your building? Or maybe HTC Vive to lead your customer to the future house?