Augmented Reality (AR) for Real-Estate
Today, just over half of all real-estate properties are located via the internet and almost all prospective buyers now begin their research on line. Things are moving fast in all online sectors and Real-Estate is no exception.
Whilst it remains relatively simple for on-location buyers to visit properties in their locality, moving home over greater distances has long been a problem for both purchasers and agencies. The use of immersive technologies like Augmented Reality is particularly attractive, offering the distance buyer a more authentic experience at distance. This offers the client a better feel for the property and enables informed decisions to be reached faster. A recent report by one of the most influential investment banks suggests that by 2025 the AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) markets will top $80 billion.
Whilst these technologies are clearly going to save agencies and clients considerable amounts of time by accelerating the viewing cycle and allowing the viewer to “experience” a potential home at distance, AR is going to impact the real estate market in a variety of other ways too.
One of the major effects will clearly be seen in the global economy with the facilitation of overseas purchasing. A potential buyer in Hong Kong will be able to “experience” a desirable property in the London from the comfort of their own Hong Kong apartment. In the traditional sell-cycle, the buyer is expected to be able to “intuit” the form of a property from a series of still photos and text descriptions. With AR, the immersive visit will now enable the buyer to “experience” the product though the increased tangibility of the virtual visit. Whilst prospective buyers may still request a visit to clinch the deal — AR showings enable a more realistic shortlist to be drawn up at distance.
As AR increases its penetration of the market, so agencies that are slow in adapting are going to lose business, certainly in the long-distance sectors. Since a short term lease is only a temporary investment, the number of prospective short term lease holders that lease on the basis of a virtual visit is increasing. Whilst this obviously speeds the process of leasing, it will also increase pressure on agencies to propose top-notch AR tools that offer a truly 5-star experience — including the possibility of note taking, recording and comment sharing with the agency, regarding any potential acquisition.
Whilst Augmented Reality is still on the wings, it is important to realise that a fifth of all home buyers now place offers without a site visit. This is an important statistic and one bound to increase with busier lifestyles and increases in the overseas investment markets. Agencies will want to dote themselves with cutting edge AR tools to support their offer. Media-savy clients will also be selecting agencies, not only on the basis of their property portfolios, but on the quality of the Augmented Reality experiences that the agencies can offer.
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