Using the latest technology can help you sell homes faster! Here are the main benefits of augmented
From video games to home renovation demos, the popularity of augmented reality is spreading across many industries. The real estate industry is no exception.
Some agencies have started to recognize the benefits of AR, especially visually. Some companies have incorporated AR into their online catalogs or mobile demonstrations. Others have used AR to create visual 'feels-like-home' experiences for potential buyers.
Augmented reality is still in its beginning stages. This means there are many opportunities at the tips of business’ fingertips.
For real estate agencies in particular, this can serve as both a marketing tool and a conversion tool. In 2018, over 44% of homebuyers viewed potential properties online first. By tapping into this already online audience, agencies can encourage clients to learn even more through their augmented reality visuals.
These clients can even ‘tour’ apartments, condos, houses, etc. from the comfort of their own homes. They can also easily reach out to agencies and agents directly making the process more seamless between experience and decision than ever before.
Whether you’re just learning what AR is or considering the benefits for your own business, here is everything you need to know about augmented reality, and how it is changing the reach of industries and companies around the world.
What is Augmented Reality?
Think back to the 2016 craze of Pokémon Go. An entirely AR game, players try to capture Pokémon characters using a combination of GPS navigation/location tracking and cameras. The characters and game spots were located in different physical places around the world, encouraging users to move and be a part of the game’s new ‘reality.’
The game was a fusion of the digital and physical world—and it was highly successful.
That’s exactly what augmented reality is: overlaying virtual objects within the real-world environments.
And that’s why it has such promise in real estate.
Not only can potential clients experience the look and feel of a home without even physically stepping into it, but people can even add features digitally into their homes. This can help them determine, before buying, what could be a good fit. It also helps agents improve the probability of a sale by honing in on what the potential buyers are attracted to.
What are the Benefits of Augmented Reality?
The biggest difference and benefit of augmented reality, especially in terms of real estate, is that everything from property listings to open houses/walkthroughs can be digitally enhanced.
Viewers can now access and visualize information in 3D rather than 2D. Users can be actively involved in the viewing process rather than simply scrolling. And they now have the same capabilities in-person, without leaving the comfort of their homes.
For architectural blueprints, commonly presented in a flat format, there is now the option for 3D viewing. With augmented reality, a person can ‘walk through’ and really see all the angles of the design as if he or she was actually there.
The experience is not only giving the viewer an entirely new (and deeper) level of accessing information, but it creates something meaningful. And in real estate, creating meaningful experiences between clients and homes is the ultimate goal.
In the last year, over 44% of Americans have expressed positive thoughts when it comes to home-buying. With augmented reality, it’s possible to meet—if not exceed—that number by building personal digital experiences.
New Options for Marketing
Augmented reality opens the door for so many new marketing experiences as well. With this innovative tool, every experience can now be more interactive as opposed to passive.
Rather than having a potential customer flip through a book, AR allows for a digital catalog. And rather than simple pictures, geo-tags can be enabled to help the customer see exactly what an item is as well as where to purchase it. This ease with tagging can help to expand the advertising and partnerships between agencies and other companies as well.
There’s also the option for animation. Animation is less expensive and more engaging for clients. With AR, adding animation is seamless and simple. You can add animation through call-to-action buttons. You can even drop graphics directly on a page or part of a site to boost clicks.
Allows for Easy Engagement and Understanding
Another benefit of augmented reality is how simple it is. Although it may appear confusing, navigating and implementing it is actually fairly easy, especially if you're using an AR app.
When you use AR, the experience, as well as the entire visual process, is streamlined. Rather than photos with text descriptions, the viewer can see the object in 3D and be able to process it better.
Agencies/companies can also set items to scale and help viewers see the true size of buildings and spaces with AR, too.
AR Saves You Time, Money, and Resources
It’s clear that AR helps with engagement and keeping views on not only what a property looks like, but what it could look like, too.
Beyond that, it’s actually a time and money saver. Contrary to popular belief that it’s expensive and unnecessary, augmented reality can actually save you precious time with the back-and-forth between you and your customers.
You can set up an AR catalog one time, and people will be able to access and browse through your virtual tours or online catalogs again and again. Rather than having to set up a showing for each person, you can now direct them to a single site or page.
For clients that are located out of the area, this has tremendous benefit, too! Now you won’t have to set up open houses or limit your audience because people will be able to access your content from anywhere in the world.
Types of Augmented Reality in Real Estate
Augmented reality is an overarching term that can take on quite a few different facets, especially in the real estate industry. Unlike the Pokémon Go game, which is only one software using one type of AR, real estate has several different options.
There are real estate AR apps that range from simple to advanced, to enterprise. The simple apps focus on a basic environment, combined with simple objects, colors, textures, and lighting.
Although basic, they can still give the viewer a solid picture.
Advanced is as its name states—more advanced. They have higher quality models, textures, lighting, and environments. Plus they have sharing options and even QR codes that allow users to connect and share images and ideas with others in their network.
The Enterprise AR apps incorporate the highest quality environments and visuals. They blend this with animations to bring the experience to life. Beyond that, they also have database integration. This allows for companies to upload and integrate their products within the software itself.
How Augmented Reality Changes Real Estate
One of the biggest challenges agents and agencies face in selling a property is appealing to potential buyers. This presents an even greater challenge when the current state of the property doesn’t quite match the vision.
The augmented reality offers a seamless experience and transition between what the property is, and what it could be.
This helps to save time in not only closing details but adds a layer of appeal for a prospective buyer who is still on the fence.
For example, if a potential buyer wants to create a ‘vision’ for his or her home, AR can help to add in their specifics. Rather than having to stage the house, the realtor can simply (virtually) add that hot tub or dining table. This helps to create the specific visual experience for the buyer.
Not only that, but AR is also helpful for self-guided tours and gives more independence to both the buyers and the agents throughout the entire process. Rather than agents wasting time on potential buyers who aren’t that serious, they can weed out those who have taken the virtual tours and moved forward in the process with ones who are.
AR in Real Estate: The Final Recap
Although AR is still relatively new, the promise—especially in the real estate industry—is huge.
Not only are the benefits of augmented reality numerous and useful to both buyers and agents, but they bridge the gap between the virtual and physical experience.
And this change is what effectively drives sales in a highly digital world.
To learn more about augmented reality, the benefits (especially in real estate), and to take a virtual tour some AR homes, click here.