Guest post proptech trend: VR and the future of property
Virtual Reality Property Tech
In this day and age, virtual reality (VR) as a form of property tech is still quite a new concept. We only really hear people talking about it when it comes to certain things like gaming where is it slowly becoming more prevalent. However, virtual reality is slowly starting to become more mainstream as it starts to make its way into other industries, one of them being property.
Before we get into how virtual reality is making its way into the property sector, we should (for those of us who are still unsure) quickly outline what virtual reality is and how it works!
According to Wikipedia, VR is a technology that uses headsets, sometimes in combination with physical spaces or multi-projected environments, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment.
How is VR being used in Property now?
What does this mean? It means by equipping a VR ready headset we are able to view and interact with virtual features in an artificial world. Its goal is to create a life-like experience for users from the comfort of their own homes or offices. Pictured below is an example of one of the very first VR headsets to be made, the Oculus Rift.
This can be summarised in 2 words. Property viewings.
It’s not uncommon for potential homebuyers to view a property multiple times before deciding to put in a bid. After all, purchasing a property is no small feat. It requires huge investment so it only makes sense to double or even triple check everything before putting your hard-earned savings forward and signing on the dotted line. This is where VR comes in and hopes to change the way properties are viewed.
The fact is, most people lead very busy lives. Going to work, paying the bills, looking after the kids, going to appointments etc, the list goes on. This means the majority of people can not always take the time to visit a property multiple times, especially if the property of interest is a long way away.
However, by having a VR headset in place, all customers have to do is visit their local estate agents, put on a headset and within minutes they will start to get a feel for a property. Not only this but they could view multiple properties in the same amount of time it would normally take to view just one!
A number of different firms have already incorporated VR headsets into their offices. This includes high-street estate agents Foxtons. Foxtons have put together a great introduction video on what it’s like to view a property in one of their offices. Simply follow the link above to check it out!
Moving on, it’s not only high-street estate agents who are incorporating VR into property marketing. Online property giants Rightmove also have a VR feature on their website.
When viewing a property on Rightmove, you will notice some properties have the ‘Virtual Tour’ tab in its description. By clicking this tab, you can begin a ‘virtual tour’ of a property. Furthermore, by clicking the small icon highlighted below (see image below) you can view the tour using your own virtual reality headset!
This means people are able to immerse themselves in potential new homes from the comfort of their own chairs!
In addition to property viewings, virtual reality could potentially boost the sales for new build properties. VR software has the capability to portray customised interior design & décor a customer may want. This could go a long way in persuading a potential buyer especially if they are wanting something specific in their home. For example, they may want a games room for their one of their children or an office for themselves – if they are able to customise and see what it could look like beforehand, it may tempt them to purchase the property as they know it would cater for their specific needs.
It’s safe to say that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to virtual reality as a piece of property tech as it is still very much in its early stages. As technology advances, we are more than likely to see some big developments in VR and I, for one, am very excited and cannot wait to see what the future holds!
Hi, Paul here! I have been involved in the property scene for over 40 years having worked in various different property outlets including estate agents & lettings agencies. Currently working at Housebuyers4u, we as a company have helped over 1000s of homeowners with the sale of their property. I have a broad knowledge of both residential and commercial property. Housebuyers4u is one of the oldest & most reliable cash home buying companies around. With over 42 years experience in the property industry, the experts at our firm can help with all your property needs. We at Housebuyers4u are true cash buyers, this essentially means we buy everything with our own funds – there are no middlemen involved.