VR and AR offer an exciting opportunity for the property market, but how exactly does it work?
Often computer-generated and viewed through a headset, VR differs to AR in that the latter overlays digital information to the viewer through a smart device’s camera. These technologies allow clients to get more of the information they need more quickly than before, making the decision-making process on whether or not to buy easier, faster and more efficient.
One of the biggest draw cards is the personal element the VR experience provides users, not to mention the added safety aspect VR gives agents and sellers. Instead of having dozens of strangers walk through a property on a show day, with VR technology, the house is filmed and can be ‘walked through’ and viewed numerous times without compromising anyone’s safety.
Jawitz Properties recently launched their digital showroom, offering clients the ability to view properties on VR headsets. Corne Davidtz, Principal of the group on the Western Seaboard, explains: “One of the biggest benefits virtual reality affords our sole mandate clients, is the ability to showcase their property to many potential buyers without upsetting the current tenant. They also, don’t need to deal with constant viewings. The scope of potential buyers also increases exponentially with anyone being able to view the property, from anywhere.”
Davidtz predicts that there will be a steady increase in virtual showrooms and applications around the country. As demand grows, it can be expected that the technology will become cheaper and more accessible.
A step-by-step guide to creating VR walk-through videos
Brendan Louw, COO of Forj explains how they go about creating the necessary material:
A date and time is set up with the agent, seller and production team. The team then arrives with the camera and sound equipment, and sets everything up. The real estate agent walks around speaking to the camera as they would a prospective buyer, pointing out fittings and describing each room. The process can be done by one or two people and can take between 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the property.
Once filming is complete, the raw footage is cleaned up by the production company, correcting any lighting issues, blurring family pictures for privacy, and improving the sound quality. After the footage has been edited it goes to the quality assurance department to make sure it is up to standard, and once approved, a secure link is sent to the agent, so they can view the video and provide approval, or any changes as needed.
Once the finished product is put into VR mode and viewed through the provided headset, it gives the user the feeling of standing in the middle of the room as the real estate agent provides the full property tour.
The future is here
Soon, property developers will be able to make use of technology to share their virtual vision before the property has been built. This will allow investors and developers to gauge market interest at an early phase.
As a buyer, you’ll be able to walk through the virtual development, giving you the opportunity to engage and envisage a life there. In the near future, you’ll even be able to digitally design or virtually furnish a space before buying or renting. This technology has already made a splash in the overseas property market, in places such as New York and London. Watch this space.