The Impact of Real Estate VR: Is it Worth the Investment?
Virtual reality, also known as VR, has hit the real estate industry. Real estate VR is dramatically changing the way we buy and sell homes.
Most everyone knows how the real estate industry typically works. It starts with a home buyer browsing online at homes for sale. Once a buyer is ready, they contact a real estate professional who takes them around to the homes they’d like to see.
Thanks to VR in real estate, this process is becoming a lot more streamlined. Here’s everything you need to know about virtual reality real estate tours.
What is Real Estate VR?
Virtual reality is often associated with video games, science fiction, and entertainment. Today, it’s becoming used in countless other industries. For the real estate industry, in particular, virtual reality has become a complete game-changer.
Virtual reality is now being used in real estate for things like home tours, architectural renderings, staging, and more.
Virtual Reality Real Estate Tour
While this process may be different for everyone, some buyers can look at hundreds of houses before finding one while others can buy the first house they see.
It's far more typical for a buyer to look online for weeks or even months before actually touring homes. After that, buyers may look at several homes before finding the one that’s right for them.
Using virtual reality can help buyers take home tours from the comfort of their couch. Using virtual reality technology, a buyer can tour a home without actually being there. Potential buyers can go on interactive home visits. Buyers can click around on different rooms or sections of the house and zoom in or out to see more details. They can move through the home at their own pace anytime, day or night.
Interactive tours save everyone involved a lot of time. Using an interactive tour allows a potential buyer to tell right away if a house is or isn’t going to work for them.
Virtual Reality Home Showcase
As a home buyer, your real estate agent may be able to set up a whole showcase of properties using virtual reality. You’ll be able to tour houses while on the train to work or without ever leaving your house.
Think about how many virtual open houses you could go to without wasting an entire Saturday driving around.
Virtual reality tours can save you and your realtor countless hours searching through homes that aren’t what you are looking for.
You can also use virtual reality to create guided tours. People can wear a virtual reality headset to virtually walk-through spaces while someone gives them a tour.
Virtual Reality for Home Staging
Home staging is expensive. Using VR allows you to stage your home virtually so that you don’t have to do so in real life.
Let’s say you're selling a newly constructed home, or you’ve already moved out of a home so you’re selling it empty. By using virtual reality, you can actually stage the space.
Home staging really helps people visualize the potential of the home and also helps them picture themselves living there. According to Forbes, traditional home staging can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Virtual staging is a fraction of that cost with some companies offering virtual staging for less than $50 per image.
Staging also helps show a room’s potential. It can be hard for a buyer to walk into an empty room and know how to layout furniture or what to use the room for. This is where virtual reality really comes in handy.
Through virtual staging, you can add furniture to a room, show window treatments and add stylish accessories. You can even add patio furniture and potted plants to the outdoor living space.
Virtual Reality in Interior Design
Virtual reality technology can also be used by interior designers and contractors. Interior designers can help their clients see what a room could look like after it's been professionally designed.
A seller may want to bring in an interior designer to help them virtually update or stage a home. This can be far less expensive than hiring a designer and also paying for the staging.
You can even use virtual reality just to show what a room would look like if it were decorated differently. If someone has very unique taste, a realtor may use this technology to make a home more neutral and appealing to a bigger buyer pool.
From moving walls to what furniture to buy, virtual reality can help in every phase of the design process.
Virtual Reality in Home Renovations
For contractors or developers, virtual reality can help show clients what is possible in a home. If a home has a challenging layout, for example, you can bring in a contractor and use virtual reality to show potential buyers a home's potential.
With virtual reality, you can show someone how they can transform a home's interior and exterior with a little tender love and care. This gives potential buyers ideas on how to renovate a home and make it their own.
If potential buyers are constantly scared away by a home that needs a lot of work, you can use virtual reality to show them what can be done.
From tearing down walls to re-tiling a bathroom or gutting a kitchen, the possibilities are endless when it comes to interior design and home renovations.
Using Virtual Reality in Architecture
Architects and developers can now use virtual reality to set up a virtual model of a home or neighborhood. You’ll be able to immerse potential buyers into a new construction home without having to build an expensive model.
Through virtual reality, you can showcase a different layout, different models, or walk people through an entire development.
You can even showcase a neighborhood or large-scale area to give people an idea of what the development or home is like.
Using Virtual Reality in New Construction Homes
You can also use virtual reality in new construction homes. Typically, with new construction, potential buyers come in when the house is still under construction but needs finishes.
Using virtual reality, a buyer can pick out all of their finishes virtually.
If you offer your clients a choice of five different kitchen cabinets in a new construction home, for example, you can have five different kitchens available virtually for them to see what cabinet they like. The same goes for flooring, bathrooms, and general floor plans.
The Pros of Using Virtual Reality as a Home Seller
One of the biggest pros of using virtual reality in real estate is that it’s a huge time saver. As the old saying goes, time is money.
As a seller, your real estate agent can tour your property to potential buyers for weeks. With each tour, they are forcing you out of your home each time.
With virtual reality tours or interactive videos, potential buyers can easily decide if your property might be right for them without you having to actually show it initially.
Using virtual reality in staging also comes with a lot of pros. Virtual reality can help people see themselves in a home by placing furniture in rooms so they can envision what it would be like to live there.
The Pros of Using Virtual Reality in Older or Outdated Homes
For an old home that needs work, virtual reality can show buyers a home’s potential by doing renderings and virtual reality tours showing the house being remodeled.
This can really help a buyer imagine what is possible in a home and it will give them ideas for a future renovation.
Virtual reality is especially helpful in outdated or older homes that need a lot of work. Potential buyers may be less nervous about buying a fixer-upper if they've seen what it can look like when it's updated.
The Pros of Using Virtual Reality as a Home Buyer
As a home buyer, you may spend weeks going to look at houses that you thought you would because of the photos shown online. You may find that none of the houses are what you thought once you go to see them.
With virtual reality technology, you’ll be able to pick out any houses that don’t work for you without leaving your house.
Using virtual reality, you can narrow down the list of potential houses pretty quickly. You’ll be picking out only the houses that you actually want to tour based on the virtual tour you already did.
From the privacy of your own home or in a realtor's office, you'll be able to tour the house room by room and zoom into all of the details.
VR Real Estate Platforms
Virtual reality has countless uses in the real estate industry. You’ll not only save time but you’ll also save money by investing in virtual reality technology.
As a seller, using a realtor who uses virtual reality to showcase their homes is crucial to reaching today’s home buyers.
The home buying process is far different than it was in the past. Today’s buyers are expecting to see everything they need to know about a house online.
Buyers want to have as much information at their fingertips as possible and virtual reality can give them that.
If you’re interested in learning more about agents who use real estate VR, get started here.