How does virtual reality help real estate

Augmented Reality - the future of the real estate industry?

Do you know what catching Pokémon in the game of the same name “Pokémon Go” has to do with real estate marketing? A lot - because the augmented reality technology that the game uses also offers great potential for the real estate industry. Find out how you can already use augmented reality for real estate marketing.

Digital exposés, social media or real estate portals: There are many ways to present your real estate. But hardly anything appeals to the senses and thus the emotions of your prospective customers like the new technologies augmented and virtual reality. Because this gives you the opportunity to create a completely new world of experience for your potential customers.

After we have already talked about virtual reality several times, we want to dedicate ourselves to augmented reality and analyze what potential it has.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality, or AR for short, means “augmented reality”. The term describes a computer-aided representation that combines the real world with virtual aspects. This means that virtual elements on a tablet, for example, are integrated into the real image on the screen. Contents can thus be demonstrated vividly and realistically. Augmented Reality thus creates an “aha experience” and is easier to remember.

There are two options for using augmented reality:

1. Video see-through

With this variant, an object is virtually inserted into the real image on the tablet, smartphone, etc. To do this, the camera records the surroundings and uses sensors to calculate the distance and angle. Then the digital element is placed over the real image and fits into the screen so perfectly in perspective that it appears to be part of reality.

2. Optical see-through

This type of Augmented Reality (AR) requires special glasses that integrate the objects three-dimensionally into the real environment shown on a screen. The difference to virtual reality glasses is that you can see through the AR glasses, while the VR glasses shield the reality. However, due to the high acquisition costs, this variant is less common than the first.

Microsoft's HoloLens AR glasses

AR and VR - what are the differences?

Augmented and virtual reality are often mentioned in the same breath. But there are major differences between them.

  • The medium Virtual Reality (VR) shields the user with special VR glasses so that he can completely immerse himself in the virtual world. This effect, in which the user perceives the virtual world as real, is called immersion.
  • In contrast to this, with augmented reality the real world on a screen is expanded to include virtual content, while the physical reality is retained.

One of the biggest differences between the two technologies is the fact that VR applications always require virtual reality glasses. Only in this way can the user immerse himself fully in the virtual world. For AR, on the other hand, a smartphone or tablet, for example, is sufficient.

So the technology is already in use

Augmented Reality has become known to the general public through games like Pokémon Go, through filters like the dog's ears in the Instagram app or through Microsoft's HoloLens glasses. But AR is not only a pioneering technology for games, it also offers countless possibilities for many branches of the economy.

One of the companies that first saw the potential of AR was the Swedish furniture company Ikea. With the Ikea Place app, users can insert many Ikea products three-dimensionally and true to scale into the live image of their device. With the help of the app, they can see whether the new sofa fits in the corner or whether the table harmonizes with the rest of the furnishings. This gives you a realistic impression of the size and design of the desired piece of furniture.

Virtually placed shelf in the Ikea Place app

Bathroom manufacturers such as Villeroy and Boch or Hansgrohe are now also relying on augmented reality. With their apps, the washbasin, shower, etc. can be virtually selected and projected into the bathroom at home as a trial.

Another example of a successful VR application is the virtual testing of different colors on the wall before the actual painting.

AR opportunities for the real estate industry

The real estate industry is one of the industries that experts say will benefit most from AR. We will show you some possible applications that are already a reality today.

Bringing print to life

Imagine your prospective customers hold their smartphone on a print exposé of you and a true-to-scale 3D model of the printed property appears on the display. This is possible with augmented reality. The technology combines the haptic medium of print with an interactive and digital experience. In addition to 3D models, videos, info points or 360 ° tours can also be displayed.

By addressing multiple senses, the AR applications ensure increased attention and better understanding. This in turn promotes the purchase intent of your prospects immensely.

Discover real estate in passing

With AR it is possible to look for available properties while walking through the city. More precisely, the interested party holds their smartphone on the street they would like to live on, and an app graphically highlights whether and where a property is vacant on this street. In addition, information on the purchase price, size and features are displayed.

Complex plans become clear

Augmented Reality is also a helpful tool in real estate planning. Complex technical drawings can be transformed into clear 3D models, which are then projected virtually over the plans with the help of the right app. AR makes real estate projects visible and tangible for your potential buyers even before they are built.

A home becomes a vacancy

If a property is empty or is still under construction, many interested parties find it difficult to imagine that this could be their future home. With the help of augmented reality solutions, you as a real estate agent can offer smartphones or tablets that virtually show a complete facility on the display. If the interested party turns around in the empty room and points the display at a bare wall, he sees a virtually furnished room there on the screen in combination with the real environment.

Whether you are single, a family with children or an elderly couple - depending on the target group, you can adapt the furnishings, the wall color, the flooring and much more to create an individual experience. The new look that your prospective customers get on the property promotes the feeling of homeliness and thus the purchase decision.

The bridge between the virtual and the real world

Augmented Reality already offers numerous applications that enrich the real world with virtual elements and thus make everyday life easier. But AR will also change the real estate industry and especially the marketing of real estate.

If you offer your prospective customers planned real estate as 3D models, you will have a clear competitive advantage. You will also have long-term success if you can give your potential customers an impression of how the property could look fully furnished while viewing vacant or under construction properties. To do this, simply give your prospective customers a tablet on which they can see a virtual facility - integrated into the real environment.

This development may sound futuristic, but it will come. To quote a great entrepreneur: “If you don't keep up with the times, you keep up with the times”. This quote from Josef Carl Peter Neckermann is more relevant than ever today. So if you want to keep up, moving forward is the only way to succeed.

Daniel Trezek