Use virtual reality to market real estate

Although the concept of virtual reality (VR) has been around for a long time, it was not until the pandemic occurred that consumers and businesses began to fully embrace this technology, especially in the South African real estate sector.

Confined to our homes for months, one of the only ways for buyers to see the houses was through virtual 3D house tours until the restrictions were reduced.

VR technology also allowed shoppers to get to know their new suburbs without physically visiting them.

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In Google Street View, for example, users can visit city streets and neighborhoods for which they have never set foot.

According to Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE / MAX South Africa, the nationwide closure is what pushed more real estate sellers and professionals to use virtual reality technology, such as Matterport, to capture representations. 3D property so shoppers can see virtual tours of the home from the comfort of their living rooms.

“Virtual tours have become more common than ever on property listings.

“These tours allow buyers to better understand the flow and design of the home, which helps ensure that only serious buyers request a physical tour of the property in question,” Goslett explained.

Until a time when virtual reality programs allow shoppers to physically open lockers and walk around the house using virtual reality headsets, Goslett predicted that virtual reality will not replace face-to-face visions.

“While the RV can be incredibly useful, buying a home is not only an emotional purchase, but also a heavy financial commitment.

“For this reason, most buyers will want to see and experience the home in person before making a long-term commitment.”

At the moment, very few homes have virtual reality headsets. But in the future, as this technology progresses, we may see more households adopt this technology.

“We can even get to a point where technology replicates the sense of touch and allows users to see their hands in the virtual world.

The user will be able to open doors and cupboards, smell freshly brewed coffee or bake cookies while interacting with their virtual environment when viewing a property.

“These introductions can be used to simulate the same emotional response in buyers as if they were done in staging at home during a show day.

“Even with technological advances and possible applications, it remains to be seen whether the virtual world will really rival the experience of buying a home in person.

“That said, the RV elements that are already in use continue to help limit physical contact with others, which helps keep us all safe as long as the Covid-19 threat persists,” Goslett concluded.

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