VR, or virtual reality, is a technology on the point of explosion. Along with its close cousin, augmented reality, it’s set to have a staggering 15 billion dollar economic impact by 2020. By this time, experts say, it will be hard to find an industry that won’t benefit from the massive potential that VR offers, and the property market is no exception.
What is VR?
Virtual reality is the creation of a computer-generated dimension which can range from a simple 3D object all the way through to the complex ‘universes’ that gaming companies are already creating as we speak. They operate with the use of a VR headset, which again, range massively: the very basic Google Cardboard, aptly named because it is actually made of cardboard, starts at $15 and is simply a framework for a smartphone to insert into. At the other end of the spectrum is the Oculus Rift, a sophisticated immersive headset that transports the wearer to another dimension entirely.
How can we use it for selling property?
Virtual reality isn’t just for gamers. It’s already being used to showcase goods and model products pre-sale. In the case of the property market, it could provide us with massive potential. It can be used to create immersive 3D realisations of architectural plans for new builds that don’t even exist yet, taking a 2D plan that’s difficult to actualise for the layman into a reality as you tour from room to room.
It can be used to advertise existing properties, allowing potential buyers to take a full tour of the home while actually sitting in the office, or even at home. This allows a client to view several properties in a short space of time, saving on resources and making the process much more convenient. It also means that Estate Agents can extend their reach, providing immersive viewings of a property at the other end of the country.
It’s use for content marketing
Content marketing is a key aspect of any successful agency’s sales strategy, with recent research suggesting that content marketing leaders’ websites attract eight times more traffic than their competitors – a significant difference that translates into more instructions overall.
Although the bulky VR headsets aren’t likely to be a common household purchase in the next years or so, the market is currently focusing on smartphone apps that provide all of the same functionality, if less of the finesse.
Today’s agents can be the early bird that catches the worm by exploring this new technology without delay, using VR to bring their content offerings alive, and adding a new dimension to their marketing efforts that will distinguish them from the competition.