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How AR/VR Are Transforming the Real Estate Industry

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR)? For most, AR/VR technologies are commonly associated with industries like gaming, entertainment and media; (like those cool Instagram filters or the iPhone’s Animoji feature that animates your facial expressions with emojis). But this immersive technology also has major tangible benefits in the real world, outside of the realm of social media and video games.

AR and VR are rapidly gaining traction in almost every industry today and are transforming the way that businesses function. The real estate industry is a prime example of how AR/VR are rebuilding the foundations of a sizable industry. From virtual property staging to property showcasing, this technology is taking over the entire spectrum of transactions taking place within the real estate sphere. A survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors divulged that 73% of clients are looking for new homes and properties by using a mobile website or app. As a result, there is great potential in harnessing innovative AR/VR technologies to amplify the consumer experience.

© Jennifer S. Altman for The New York Times

Halstead Property, a real estate firm based in New York, was one of the first to foster collaboration between VR and property sales through the introduction of VR headsets and 3D guided displays in its offices. Potential buyers can use the VR headsets to gain access to a “live” virtual tour of a property or home without being physically present and to access a virtual rendering of a home based on the blueprint, even before the home has been approved and built. With the help of these VR headsets, Halstead Property is making house hunting more time- and cost-efficient by providing its customers with an interactive experience in their future houses without ever having to leave their home. Matter, a company based in Israel, helps similar firms to create interactive property tours.

© RoOomy B.V.

In addition, VR allows real estate agents and brokerage firms to stage properties and create 3D guided tours for home buyers. While staging new homes is usually considered a heavy investment for agents, virtual staging services allow these firms to showcase their property in its best light without having to undertake a significant investment. Rooomy is a virtual staging service that uses virtual reality to stage homes for individual buyers, saving the brokerage firm thousands of dollars and valuable listing time to streamline the house hunting process. AmbiensVR also creates VR experiences to bridge the communication gap between customers and interior designers. We also already described in depth how other companies, like IKEA and Wayfair, allow customers to view different interior furniture settings using AR technology, standing as a testament to how AR helps to significantly remove the visualization barrier that often comes in the way of the sale of furniture as well as properties.


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3D architectural visualization has also become possible with the help of AR/VR technology and many agencies now provide customers with conclusive 3D models of to-be-built properties and buildings. OneBonsai, a staging studio based in Belgium, is using VR to create virtual walkthrough experiences and 3D renderings of buildings which can be explored, scaled and modified in real-time. India-based Trezi, is also using VR to streamline the decision making process in the spatial design process. Essentially, these technologies enable personalization of the home purchase process to meet customers’ desires. while helping these buyers build a connection with properties and, thus, saving both time and money.

© Stambol

It seems that augmented reality and virtual reality technologies have endless prospects for the real-estate industry. They are reshaping the way we look at homes and properties and many brokerages and property stagers in the real estate industry have already begun implementing AR/VR in an attempt to provide their customers with a more immersive and personalized experience. By using AR/VR to transform the customer’s buying experience and making it more interactive, real estate firms and agencies can further the growth of their industry and make it more accessible and affordable.

In extremely competitive markets like the real estate industry, AR/VR technology can provide a distinct competitive edge. At echoAR, we make things so much easier for developers to create AR/VR experiences. Our cloud platform helps developers build, manage and deploy AR/VR apps with ease and deliver 3D content to devices everywhere. We help you build your backend in minutes so you can focus on creating amazing AR apps and content. “People are trying to build new experiences all the time,” said Alon Grinshpoon, CEO and founder of echoAR, “this is the time to build”.

By Sreeka Adusumilli

echoAR (http://www.echoAR.xyz; Techstars ’19) is a cloud platform for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) that provides tools and server-side infrastructure to help developers & companies quickly build and deploy AR/VR apps and experiences.