Virtual Reality (VR) for Real Estate: The Ultimate Guide
In 2021, the virtual and augmented reality market was valued at $27.96 billion, and this number continues to grow. When the companies noticed how VR helps them to accomplish more efficiently, it started to expand and consume every industry.
Real estate is no exception. 3D, virtual tours and home staging and visualization — all were reported to help real estate agents increase sales. After attending the 3D virtual tours, customers feel more inclined to agree and view the house. However, there is more to real estate VR than it seems.
What Is VR in Real Estate?
Real estate virtual reality tours became an essential part of property hunting that can influence customers’ decision of buying a house. When earlier real estate agents had much more work, now customers start their property search on the Internet. 44% of potential buyers start searching for property on online boards or platforms.
Considering the trend in technology, real estate agents had to come up with a way to attract clients and increase sales. During the search, the companies invented various ways to make their clients sure of their purchase — virtual tours, visualization, home staging and VR instructions for tenants.
How to Use Virtual Reality in Real Estate
There are various ways of using VR in the property business, but the most popular are the 5 described below.
Before choosing their perfect house, people usually look through many ones to make the decision more considerate and serious. Virtual reality tours in real estate are a popular way to make the process easier and quicker.
There are two kinds of virtual 3D tours:
- Guided tours are either fully virtual or in a form of 360-degree video, providing a view of the house or flat.
- Interactive tours are more complex, but they add more life to the picture and allow customers to interact with the picture.
When you first see a house, you have no idea how it will look once you move in and start decorating. It complicates the whole search and makes the decision even harder. Virtual staging solves this problem by giving customers a chance to see the interior and exterior design of their future homes.
Virtual reality homes seemed a dream of the future, but now it is a reality that makes an architectural designer’s job much easier. Nowadays, architects can create 3D models of their creations and both see any imperfections before the start of construction and more efficiently showcase the project for buyers.
Virtual Instructions for Tenants
Another smart solution VR provides to real estate agents and landlords is a virtual reality tour. Tenants can use 3D headsets to take a look around the property and find answers to their pressing questions without having to lead long communication with the landlords. It simplifies the job for the agent but also makes people more sure of their decision.
VR provides benefits from a commercial point of view by allowing customers to make changes in their VR homes and order their design additions straight into the virtual store. Again, this invention simplifies and reinvents real estate sales.
How VR Benefits Real Estate Business
There is numerous advantages to using virtual reality in real estate.
Visualization and Understanding of the Project
Architectural design demands attention to detail and a pristine understanding of the future project. 3D models made both of these things so much easier as the designers have an opportunity to see the project before it is given to construction.
Saving Time and Resources
Continuing the previous passage, 3D modeling allows seeing all the possible imperfections of the project and, in consequence, saves time on redoing them on the ready project. Not to mention, showing customers virtual realty properties with a virtual store can save time and resources and start construction having a clear idea in mind.
Emotional Connection and Instant Sense of Ownership
Virtual reality makes every experience more real and close to the customer. That works as much for property business. Virtual reality real estate companies can get a competitive benefit by using VR because the potential buyers will feel more inclined to buy something they could feel and see with their own eyes as if they already have it.
Customization of Interior Design for Different Audience Segments
Virtual stores solve the time problem of construction, but also they give space for creativity and audience targeting. Given that every audience has different preferences in interior design, you can offer them separate furniture options and design ideas.
User Behaviour Data Analysis
Apart from using virtual tours for acquiring clients and increasing sales, they can also be used as a great source of data analysis. By reviewing how customers behave during virtual tours – where they pay attention and what they notice first – you will be able to provide them with better service in the future.
Optimization of Project Marketing Costs
The VR can be used to help with the internal processes of architecture development. For instance, virtual reality models of the property can aid in calculating the cost of the development of the house and the resources required.
Lack of Georeferencing
It doesn’t matter where the customers live, the virtual tours will be available for them at any place. The only condition is having access to technology and arranging the flat tour will be easy and quick, saving both money and time for the agents and clients.
There Is No Rush for the Buyer
As property purchase is one of the most important decisions in most people’s lives, they appreciate having more time to make the decision. VR in real estate allows the customer to take time to revisit the 3D model of the house and choose their next steps with no rush.
Tours Available 24/7
Real estate agents spend most of their time attending property tours and often have to lose clients because they simply don’t have more than 24 hours in a day. Virtual reality tours can help real estate use their time more efficiently.
Virtual tours influence sales enormously. In fact, 54% of buyers won’t even look at the property advertising if it doesn’t have a 3D tour. This, in consequence, links to a better chance of getting clients and closing deals.
VR’s Contribution to Real Estate During Development Stage
VR in property doesn’t only connect to the sales but is extremely useful during the development stage. As construction is the most costly and time-consuming process in the real estate business, every mistake can cost a lot of future efforts to reconstruct.
Employee training in VR has proved to be efficient in many ways, including 24/7 access to the training material, better accountability and memorization of the theory. The gamification of VR training allows employees to project themselves in work situations where they need training.
Remote access to material is effective not only in employee training but also in collaboration between different departments. Especially in the construction industry, every employee has to have access to the latest project design — VR makes it possible and shows every smallest detail.
Nuances of Developing VR Solutions for PE Business
Developing VR is accompanied by different nuances and principles, unique to every technological advancement. Virtual reality for real estate comes with a set of nuances worth knowing about the developer.
Guided or Interactive Visits
Virtual reality tour of real estate starts with taking pictures or videos of the property that you plan to showcase. These elements will compile the 3D environment of the guided tour along with the audio or text elements that you will want to include. The complexity of the solution depends on how complex and realistic you want the tour to become — this nuance will decide the time and cost of the development. After the 3D environment is created, it has to be put on the development platform.
Choosing the development platform is an important decision because it will hold all the elements together and perform as the basis of the solution. There are two types of platforms: the ones that work independently and the ones that require additional software. SteamVR, Oculus Home and XboxVR don’t require the other software to be installed, but you have to keep in mind that the solution will be created specifically for the platform.
Building Information Models involve transferring the physical spaces to the digital environment and managing them in virtual reality. In the case of real estate and construction, it involves the building of multidimensional projects of property construction in the digital world. BIM elements require the chain of development that starts with the planning of the building to the smallest details – the number of rooms and the position of doors.
If your chosen VR platform requires additional software, you need to decide on the one you want to use. There are different types of software for the VR solutions, such as virtual reality training simulators and visualisation of the physical environment in the virtual world. What software you need depends on the VR property project you want to create.
Animation and LOD
The last thing to consider is the animation and LOD (Level of Detail) of the 3D environment. Animation is what makes virtual reality solutions realistic. There are different types of animation that can be used in the development of virtual reality real estate company solutions. Animation in virtual reality offers more detailed pictures and more opportunities for communication with the client.
Best Real Estate VR Examples
There are multiple ways how companies use VR for boosting their projects. We included the best examples that already make the lives of real estate agents and their clients better.
Sotheby Virtual Property Tours
Sotheby’s International Realty offers virtual reality real estate tours for its clients. You can access the tour of the different luxury virtual reality houses of the company’s making and walk around assuming that you already live here with an iOS or Android mobile device and VR headset. The tour involves detailed high-resolution photography and video, as well as text descriptions.
RoOomy VR Room Design Tool
Designing your dream room is no longer a dream with RoOmy. The company offers virtual staging solutions for real estate listings, as well as a 3D room decor library that can transform a virtual house in a flash. RoOmy has a big list of interior design solutions, but can also create a custom one.
Halstead Property Virtual Office Displays
While explaining why they decided to add virtual reality tours to their company marketing campaign, Halstead Property said that they sell based on emotion attached to vision. This thought explains the immense value the virtual reality for property gives to the real estate business – experiencing living and working in the building can influence the choice of purchase tremendously. That is why the company offers virtual reality property tours.
Matterport Tool for Real Estate Agents
Basing their development on the fact that 95% of people are more likely to buy the property after attending a virtual tour, Matterport offers 3D VR tours for real estate agents. The company offers different types of solutions, including the VR real estate app for mobile users.
Implementing VR in an Existing Real Estate Business Step-By-Step
Creating a VR solution for your business becomes easy when you have an exact plan on hand. Now that you know what VR platform and software you can use and have the examples for reference, you can start developing a step-by-step plan.
- Decide what you want to achieve with the VR solution. A virtual reality solution that you plan to create will be useless if you don’t know what results from using it you want to see. Think about how you want your real estate VR app to influence your clients — whether it is a reputational or financial gain, it will be achievable with the right tailored strategy.
- Prepare everything. After you have your goal and the vision of the solution, think of the elements that you need to make it possible. Determine the VR properties you want to add, the software required, or how many animated layers you want it to include. That will help you determine VR pricing for real estate and the deadline and make changes if needed.
- Develop a solution. When everything is prepared, developing becomes an easy task. You just have to go by the plan you have and make sure that there are no mistakes in the process.
- Test and analyze. Analyzing the results from the solution is just as important as development, or even more. You can decide if the application was successful when you have numbers on hand.
WE/AR has experience in helping many companies from various industries to develop unique VR solutions customized for specific projects. Taking the project from the stage of determining goals and brainstorming ideas to developing the solution and analyzing the results — we can go through everything hand in hand. To start, contact us at email@example.com, and we will connect you to one of our experts for the consultation.