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How VR House and Room Tours Transformed Real Estate

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I still cannot believe how drastically our lives changed in the last few years. Coronavirus outbreak not only made us all stay home, but it also provoked economic crisis. Many business niches experienced numerous challenges and many people were left without jobs. And while some companies reconsidered their strategy, adapted to changes and continued working in a new way, others just had to temporarily freeze their business. 

Although crisis itself is a negative phenomenon, something new gets invented every time it occurs. Hard times bring new opportunities, and even if you think that your business niche in not in demand right now, you just need to rethink your approach. To prove our point, we would like to talk about real estate and how it was transformed because of quarantine and crisis. 

How COVID-19 influenced real estate 

Real estate industry has always been a rather profitable. People always moved, rented or purchased apartments or houses, they invested a lot of costs in the living spaces that fit their needs and requirements. But now everything changed. It is impossible to leave your country because all borders are closed to prevent us from getting infected.

So since there is no chance to move or travel, the demand on rental services diminished. If you take a look at the prices set for the houses or apartments, you will be surprised how affordable they are. 

The times are hard for all real estate agents. If we put aside the real estate price drop, we’ll see that it is extremely hard to sell any property these days. People just do not want to spend their savings, take loans from banks, or risk their health by violating quarantine regulations and coming to see the place for sale or rent.

According to CNBC this can be the reason why the sales will fall up to 40% in the upcoming months. It is rather worrying statistics, but we are speaking about it not to make you (as a business owner) stressed.

We have discovered one great technology trend that can be a real game changer for all real estate companies. And this technology is VR (virtual reality). Are you wondering how it can help to boost your business in times of crisis and when it’s over? Then let’s get started! 

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Digital solutions help real estate achieve incredible growth and optimize everyday work of real estate agents. Check out the most interesting and fresh digital transformation trends that our experts covered in this blog post.

How business and real estate agents can benefit from virtual reality

If you’ve ever watches “House Hunters” (which, I should add, is quite enjoyable TV show), then you know how real estate companies function. The work with clients in different companies seems to be very similar.

The clients come to the office, describe their requirements and expectations, specify the price they are ready to pay. Then an agent looks through various catalogues, selects suitable variants and discusses them with client. Once they’ve decided which property is a perfect fit, an agent arranges a tour and visits the building with the client. 

It all sounds like a great adventure. But now, in the times of pandemic, this adventure is forbidden. So what should your company do if you still have some inquiries and people waiting to rent or buy their dream place? Organize a virtual tour! Yes, virtual reality can be a great tool able to get your business to a whole new level. 

According to the latest report the VR and augmented reality market in real estate will grow up to $80 billion by 2025. It is also predicted that there will be around 300,000 active users of VR and augmented reality technology in real estate field. Isn’t it impressive?

Virtual reality is not a cheap technology and yet more and more companies are planning to implement it and start offering virtual tours to houses and rooms to their potential clients. 

What opportunities virtual tours grant to real estate industry

What can be easier than putting on a VR headset and start wandering through an apartment? A client gets a unique opportunity to take a look at the area, understand if its spacious and comfortable enough to invest in it. VR is not an entertainment tool as we all tend to think.

Thanks to virtual reality client gets a feeling that he or she is really present in that place, which in turn creates a certain level of emotional connection. So your real estate agents can convert clients into potential buyers much easier. 

According to the latest survey, over 40% of real estate buyers claimed that virtual tour they’ve had before purchasing a house pushed them to make a positive decision and invest money

Here are some other advantages of virtual reality in real estate: 

  • It saves time and money. Sometimes people want to buy an apartment that is located too far (in other city or even country). It can be quite time and money consuming to arrange a home tour. That is why it is easier to incorporate VR technology and let your clients roam through virtual version of a house and take a look at the neighborhood.  
  • It creates feeling of presence. Visualization is a powerful tool if you are selling property. By enjoying virtual tour around the house clients can enjoy room dimensions, pay attention to all necessary details, understand whether they like everything or would like to change the design or space planning. Moreover 3D image is much more engaging than 2D one. 
  • It gives a sense of ownership. If a person can not only imagine the dream house but also virtually visit it, it helps to easily create stronger emotional connection. And this can be an important decision-making point. If you add to your virtual tours some engaging elements like description of neighborhood, comparison with other alike properties, mortgage calculations, etc., this will let many clients collect all essential data about more properties faster, choose suitable variant and then arrange a real visit to it. 
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We can say for sure that real estate is getting more smart every year. And although virtual tours are a huge trend right now, we’d like to emphasize the importance of IoT implementation. This technology makes property more secure, comfortable, and attractive to potential customers. Read this article that explains how IoT can be used to boost real estate business and make property more energy efficient and smart.

Must-have features for VR real estate software

As you’ve understood, virtual tours can become a game changer for real estate professionals. So now is the right time to implement and start using it to attract more prospective buyers, outshine competitors and close more sales deals. Speaking about VR solutions for real estate market, we couldn’t help mentioning that there are many free virtual tour software. However, what all those solutions lack is flexibility and adaptivity to your specific business processes.

Therefore it is better to invest in custom virtual tour app (and yes, it can be a budget friendly solution) and enrich it with the desired functionality. After all, real estate business is diverse, while some real estate agents sell residential property, others are involved in leasing office spaces or else. Although virtual tour software can be different, there is a must-have functionality that you should consider:

Interactive property visits
this feature will let a potential buyer enjoy interactive elements. So basically such visits imply virtual tours where clients can choose where to move across the space and how to interact with it by clicking on hotspots places in different corners of virtual walkthroughs. They jut put on VR headsets, listen to instructions of real estate agent and wander through virtual environment. 
Guided VR tours
we all used to promotional videos on the internet, however it is way more interesting when you can not only see the video but virtually visit multiple properties with background audio, live panoramas and spoken directives. Guided tours are more time efficient and grant you engaging experience. Now any potential byer can make a final decision being thousands miles away from a property and having only VR headsets with a tour on them. Effective virtual tours let people explore building plan, check floorplan view, and collect all necessary information about a property. 
Virtual staging
you would agree that there are more chances to close a deal if you showcase furnished property instead of an empty box. And luckily VR tours let you furnish any living or working space effortlessly. Thanks to virtual staging clients get a better idea of how the desired properties can look like and see a potential of the walls and bricks they are going to purchase. So as a result you get a chance to boost your sales, stay ahead of your competitors and be known as an innovative real estate company that offers best real estate virtual tours.
Virtual purchases
let’s say you offer your clients guided tours or panoramic tours trough a building. You’ve furnished that building to make it more attractive, but at some point the clients say they would have like other shelves or other couch better. Well, with VR nothing is impossible. During a virtual tour real estate agents can offer people not only select the elements they’d like to change, but also help them navigate to online store and do it right in the virtual tour software. The chances to sell altered property are very high, so it is definitely worth to add virtual purchases to your VR app.

Interactive maps
if you check out the best virtual tour software, you will find out that many of those solutions have built-in interactive maps and Google street view. By having this option in their disposal, real estate agents can showcase what’s located outside the house, how the area nearby looks like, and what infrastructure is near the real estate the client is going to buy.



To conclude 

Current situation with coronavirus demonstrated that companies should be ready for unexpected situations. Web and mobile presence is not enough. More advanced tools and technologies are required to keep your business running even during quarantine. 

VR is quite costly technology but you should think about it like it’s your investment in the future of your company. It will pay for itself and even increase your expected income. So if you are still thinking whether you should invest into VR tours for your real estate company, the answer is definitely yes! 

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