Tech insiders are calling virtual reality (VR) the hottest innovation of the decade, and there’s no question that it has the potential to change how we view the world, do business, and engage with each other online.
Virtual reality has serious implications for the real estate industry in particular. VR has made it possible to create 3D images of properties that potential buyers can explore through online tours or immersive VR headsets. These experiences go far beyond videos because they allow consumers to move through the property and experience it as if they were really there.
In the real estate world, traditional media is on the decline, and digital marketing tactics that were fresh five years ago have become commonplace. Could virtual reality be the tactic that amps up your marketing plan in 2017?
VR breaks through the marketing clutter.
Although VR is growing quickly, it’s still niche enough that not every firm is using it. The few firms that are using VR no doubt stand out against the thousands of real estate marketers who are still using traditional media, photos, and videos to sell properties. Virtual reality may eventually become mainstream, but getting in on the action early solidifies your place as a tech-savvy industry leader.
Photos and videos don’t cut it with consumers anymore.
With 24/7 access to any information imaginable, consumers are always hungry for more. Photos and videos don’t give viewers the in-depth information they crave, because they’re only seeing what the cameraperson wants to show them. VR allows buyers to poke around a property at their own pace, the same way they would if they were there in person. Since they’re not relying on a third party to share images, it gives them the sense that they’re getting more trustworthy information.
The technology is becoming cheaper.
Tech companies have tried to make virtual reality mainstream for years, but it’s never quite caught on for a number of reasons. Namely, there was a lack of affordable technology available to mass consumers. Now, the price of VR headsets is dropping fast and the technology is more accessible to people outside the tech industry. Startups are making 3D photography more available to real estate firms, too. The cost will only go down from here, so expect more firms to take advantage of this technology.
VR creates an emotional connection.
Photos can be beautiful and videos may incorporate sound or animation, but they can’t top the engagement that VR tours provide. They allow viewers to put themselves in the space and imagine what it would be like to live or work there. That feeling is way more powerful than looking at a few pictures. Real estate is an emotional purchase, and engaging buyers’ imaginations can mean the difference between making a sale and losing it.