Virtual reality is no longer something of the future; it’s here. Over the last year it’s been slowly gaining traction in many industries, some you wouldn’t typically think of. Like real estate for example.
Real VR, a new company, first became involved with real estate through a client of theirs. Jason Salter, head of the company, says they decided to project manage the apartments their client wanted to sell. He decided to do so using VR.
Imagine looking online at a home or apartment that you want to buy and being able to be ‘inside’ the room without ever leaving your chair. Sure, real estate companies have been using 360-degree videos for some time now to portray available homes but VR can provide a more in-depth experience for potential buyers.
Salter was able to take advantage of this new client and new technology to create a real VR real estate experience. It could even be one of the very first in the world. Needless to say, the feedback was substantially greater than he could have imagined.
Buyers were much more pleased to be able to view a property in such detail and with easy navigation. This was very important for the success of VR in real estate. In addition, potential buyers could install the VR experience on their smartphone so they could easily watch using their VR headset from the comfort of their home.
The best way to make the best VR experience is to put yourself in the prospective buyer’s shoes Salter said. He wanted to make it so that users could easily navigate around the image and move to any area they chose to view it in more detail. In addition, the menus needed to be displayed in a way that users could simply look at it to load it instead of having to click on their option. This real estate VR experience makes it easier for people who have disabilities to also take advantage of this technology.
Extensive Research and Trials
The entire real estate VR project took about 8 weeks to complete and this includes everything from design to ‘teleporting’. That’s right, hotspots were created that would allow a person to teleport to a different area of the room.
One of the bigger challenges, said Salter, was making it so that a buyer could answer their questions simply by being able to view different aspects of the home. Some of the real estate VR experiences created also included allowing buyers to have the ability to open doors and cabinets.
Now that VR technology has continued to advance Salter says Real VR is working on further developments to make the experiences even better for potential buyers.
Their sister company, VR Noir, has developed an experience where two characters can have one-on-one conversations. Real VR continues to improve their virtual real estate experiences by developing a way for buyers to reach out to a real estate agent, broker, or other outside contact without having to leave the VR experience.
Sure, there are people who think VR won’t last and it will simply fade away but the investments being made into VR technology seem to say otherwise. The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, had already invested $250 million in VR content and has now added an addition $250 million for VR content development. It doesn’t seem that VR is going to get lost and forgotten along the way in the world of technology; there’s a significant chance that it’s here to stay.