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  • Writer's pictureRakshita Soni

How to use VR in the Real Estate industry?


vr in real estate

Snapshot

The real estate industry has traditionally relied on physical visits, printed brochures, and 2D floor plans to showcase properties to potential buyers. These methods, while effective to some extent, often fail to provide a comprehensive and immersive understanding of a property. Prospective buyers frequently need help with the ability to visualize the true scale of a space, the inconvenience of scheduling multiple property visits, and the lack of interactivity with property features.


Fast forward to the VR age, according to study by Goldman Sachs, AR/VR in real estate is expected to have a market of approximately $2.6bn with around 1.4 million realtors adopting this technology by 2025. With VR technology, real estate professionals can offer immersive, 360 virtual tours of properties, allowing potential buyers to explore every detail of the site from the comfort of their homes. VR eliminates the need for physical visits, reduces time and effort for both buyers and sellers, and enhances the overall experience with the ability to interact with elements. This technology not only bridges the gap between expectations and reality but also opens up new possibilities for showcasing properties in innovative and engaging ways.


In this blog, we will explore how VR is revolutionizing the real estate industry, providing a modern alternative to traditional methods, and offering numerous benefits for professionals and clients


Key pain points faced by professionals in the Real estate industry

Firstly, let us understand the key pain points faced by professionals or realtors in the real estate industry


1. Limited client engagement due to difficulty in visualization

Traditional methods like 2D floor plans and static images often fail to provide a comprehensive understanding of a property's layout and spatial dynamics. This limitation makes it challenging for potential buyers to visualize the true scale and flow of a space.


“Earlier when we introduced a product in city council meetings, it’d typically start as a series of images, a slideshow, and no interactive media. That was our main marketing piece. We had physical model homes but no one got the full understanding of streetscape beforehand” 

-Augustine, BIM specialist from Harris Doyle Homes


2. Time-Consuming Property Visits

Scheduling and conducting physical property visits can be time-consuming and logistically complex. Real estate agents and clients must coordinate their schedules, leading to delays and inefficiencies, especially when multiple properties need to be viewed.


3. Staging Costs

Physically staging a property to showcase its potential can be expensive and time-consuming. This involves furnishing and decorating spaces to make them more appealing to buyers, which can add considerable costs to the selling process.


4. Lack of interactivity leading to miscommunication

Traditional property listings and brochures lack interactivity. Potential buyers cannot fully engage with the property features or customize views based on their preferences with often leads to miscommunication resulting in rework and less engaging experience for buyers thus inability to make decision.


How to use VR in real estate?

According to a Coldwell Bank Real Estate survey, 77 percent of buyers like the ability to take VR house tours before visiting prospective homes. Over two-thirds, Approximately 68% of buyers love the ability to utilize VR to see how their current furniture would fit in a prospective home.


Virtual Reality (VR) technology is transforming the real estate industry from the ground up, utilized throughout every project stage. From the initial design phase to reviewing, building, and marketing properties, VR offers innovative solutions that enhance efficiency and engagement.

 

Here's how VR can be effectively integrated into each step of the real estate process:

1. Design and Review


a) Architectural Visualization and presentation: Use VR to create detailed 3D models of proposed developments using Revit or SketchUp and create lightweight client presentations and high-quality photorealistic walkthroughs using rendering software like Lumion, Enscape, Twinmotion, and Vray, allowing architects and planners to explore and refine designs before construction begins. This helps clients and buyers visualize the final product in a real-world application, providing a level of detail and immersion that 2D renders cannot.


b) Real-time collaborative reviews: Sentio VR enables real-time feedback during design reviews with stakeholders. Conduct virtual 3D or 360 walkthroughs to capture immediate feedback using a suite of design review tools such as annotations and comments. This collaborative approach ensures that all feedback is documented and addressed promptly, streamlining the approval process without the need for physical meetings.


2. Marketing and Sales


Marketing real estate using vr


a) Enhancing Buyer’s Experience: VR allows for creating immersive 360 virtual tours, providing potential buyers with an interactive and engaging way to explore homes and communities. Utilize VR in sales showrooms or remote meetings to give buyers a virtual experience of the property, including interactive elements where buyers can customize aspects of the home, such as furniture layout and finishes. This personalization helps buyers visualize themselves in the space, leading to quicker and more confident decision-making.


b) Elevating Marketing Efforts: Move beyond traditional brochures and listings by embedding 360 tours on real estate platforms and websites. This provides potential buyers with a clear and comprehensive picture of the property, making your listings stand out and attract more interest.


c) Events & Tradeshows: Marketers can elevate their booths at industry events and tradeshows by adding immersive walkthroughs of their projects. This captures the attention of the visitors as well as provides a differentiation compared to the competition delivering better outcomes from marketing budgets for events.




Checklist for successful VR implementation

When building a VR real estate experience, focusing on key aspects like the choice of content, VR platform selection, and the right headset is crucial. Here’s a detailed look at these considerations:



Questions to consider

Recommendations

Content

  • Are you planning to use VR for conceptual design reviews?

  • Are you planning to use VR for client presentations?

We recommend working with SketchUp or Revit models for conceptual design reviews. For client presentations, we suggest using high-quality lightweight VR experiences created using rendering software like Lumion, Enscape, 3ds Max, V-Ray and other tools.

Technology Partner

  • Do you have software development experience to build VR experiences?

  • Do you require this workflow for specific projects or plan to scale this across multiple projects?

  • Are you using any VR workflows that fit with your 3D design software?

  • Have you considered bringing the experiences to PC/Mobile/Tablets in addition to VR?

We recommend using a software like SentioVR that can bring multiple projects in your organization to VR using direct integration with 3D workflows for both design reviews and client presentations in addition to being easy-to-use and secure.

VR headset

  • Do you plan to have standalone VR headsets or PC-based VR?

  • What is your budget for acquiring hardware?

  • Do you have experience in managing a fleet of VR headsets and deploying business apps professionally?

We recommend using standalone VR considering ease of use as well as price. In addition to purchasing headsets, we suggest exploring MDM solutions like Quest for Business or ManageXR for easily deploying VR experiences at scale.Our detailed guide to choose the Right VR headset for your specific needs


Real-life instance shared by Augustine from Harris Doyle Homes

We had a last-minute change from a client that involved the customization of a footprint, Augustine quickly drew the model in Revit, rendered it, put it in Sentio VR, and sent the client a link. The client could view where their car would sit next to that fireplace, and how much distance they had from that garage door.

Harris Doyle gained so much trust with that client; they purchased the plan and are a happy home owner now. Read the full case study


Conclusion

Virtual Reality is changing the real estate industry by providing innovative solutions that address traditional pain points and enhance the overall buying experience. From the initial design phase to construction and then marketing the end product, VR offers a comprehensive approach that improves efficiency, engagement, and decision-making and results in quicker project approvals and better timelines


As the real estate industry continues to evolve, adopting VR technology will become increasingly important. By integrating VR into your workflow, you can stay ahead of the competition, provide a superior experience for your clients, and ultimately drive more more client engagement. Sentio VR is here to support you every step of the way, offering the tools and expertise needed to make your VR real estate projects a success.


If you want to deploy VR at your Real Estate business, win faster project approvals with improved timelines, Talk to us today.


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