VIRTUAL REALTY: TOUR THE FUTURE
This article will be the first in a multi-blog project that will take a closer look at Virtual Real Estate services, what it is and how disruptive will it be to the Real Estate industry in Canada.
It is interesting to note that real estate marketing today is done in a very similar manner to how it was done 30 years ago. In spite of all of the fantastic technologies and digital tools available today for sellers, buyers, realtors, brokers and anyone involved in marketing real estate, it appears from the outside at least, that this massive technological leap has not drastically impacted how Real Estate is bought and sold today.
I would agree that up to now Real Estate marketing has been mostly unaffected by these advancements in technology. Tech Disruption has leveled entire industries in the past, including multi-billion dollar segments of our economy. Several industries were devastated by changes in Technology including; Video rental (BlockBuster- Netflix), Paper media (Magazines and newspaper- Social media), Film (Kodak to digital phone cameras), Public transportation - TaxiCabs - Uber.
TECH DISRUPTION IS VERY REAL AND LIKELY ON ITS WAY TO A REALTOR OR A REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE NEAR YOU.
This Blog will examine Virtual Realty and how this disruptive technology is impacting buying and selling your home
Virtual Realty is made up of several components:
Production Technology- Cameras, Video cameras, Drones, Apps, Virtual software, Virtual Design, Virtual staging, Virtual Furniture.
Media- Social media, Advertising, Virtual tours, Single property websites, Virtual tours, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin.
Technologies-DocuSign, Repree, Kunversion, CINC, MLS system search tools, content production tools (Prezi), Paperless agent services, staging software, 3D Scanning software.
A New Client Experience- remote buyer tours, previewing homes remotely, paperless transactions, digital communications, international market access, more data, Instant updates, Big Data tools, Hyperlocal information.
Let's Start with a high-level overview of some of the most relevant Virtual Realty tech available to buyers, sellers, and realtors.
As I have been considering purchasing a 3D camera to create Virtual showings and other promotional material I thought this might be a great place to start an examination of Realtor Tech.
Why would anyone buy a $10 000.00 3D camera?
Here are three reasons:
1. Provide remote buyers with a full virtual experience of homes.
2. Enhance Listing media and presentation offering to sellers.
3. As a possible source of revenue
I am sure many of you are asking what is Virtual Reality (VR) and how can it be a useful tool for Real estate marketing?
-Virtual Reality (VR) provides home buyers and sellers with a new sensory rich perspective of what the home looks and even feels to some extent, the sensory experience of virtual reality is powerfully lifelike.
-Virtual Realty (VR) empowers buyers with realistic home tours; this is especially convenient for clients that are either unable or unwilling to visit the properties personally, but still, want to get a good "look" at the Real Estate.
-Virtual Reality (VR) further allows buyers to do a side by side property comparison without leaving their living room, no more driving back and forth between properties to determine which they like best.
-Virtual Reality (VR) Provides sellers with an immensely enhanced multimedia presentation that is far more marketable than photos.
Below we provide a quick examination of 3 virtual 3D camera options that are available to Realtors today.
Overall comment: This is a good to great virtual camera system for realtors, a point and click virtual tour real estate camera/measurement/video solution for around $6000.00, monthly hosting fees and a few pay per use items like Floorplans. Although this price tag and ongoing monthly hosting costs may look a bit rich, it really does provide an added dimension to the media package, it also makes for an expensive item to just have sitting around the office if our are not putting up lots of listings…sometimes you can find them on sale on Craigslist for great prices.
-Easy to Use
-NO backend processing
-Beautiful listing package
-Easy to intergrade on MLS© Systems
-Easy to use with all of your own marketing
- Monthly hosting costs
- Annual contracts
- Tech in this space is changing rapidly
- Floorplans are a purchasable add-on
Depends on the feature package and accessories but around $6000.00 CAD
Review: I love the Planitar system the best of all three. Unfortunately, the business model for this technology is to only sell to professional photographers and carefully control how many series providers are located in any given Region to ensure the Photographers are making enough money to provide excellent service in their territory. Quality and presentation wise this is a fantastic tool.
Overall comment Great camera, but it is a service model so most realtors can not purchase the system unless they are in a region that does not already have a service provider.
-Very high-quality media
-Awesome floor plan
-not available for purchase
-can be expensive to use
Price: $7000+ CAD
3. RICOH THETA V
Review: a Great little camera that creates some pretty good Virtual tour.
Overall comment: Affordable and good quality images but it take a lot of backend work to stitch together the 360 photos to create a Virtual Tour.
-Easy to use
-Easy to carry around
-lots of back-end work to stitch the 360 photo is together into a virtual tour
-not as professional of a presentation as the other cameras
-not the best for embedding and other purposes
Who is this tech for?
This technology is for more than Virtual tour businesses, Realtors, Photographers and nerds in general, I feel this technology has the potential to change how real estate is marketed at a high level. Today Buyers and sellers spend a great deal of time physically visiting properties and driving to and from these homes. As these cameras mature and Virtual tours become more common across all listings, you will see prices come down considerably but for now, this is the cost to be leading the way in virtual real estate tours.
Who are the end users of this product?
The end users of Virtual reality and virtual services in the real estate industry include; realtors, Real estate investors, home sellers, home buyers, Landlords, commercial realtors, developers and indeed everyone in the industry will eventually be impacted by this technology in one form or another. Maybe its realtors, creating extensive virtual preview tours for international real estate investors, or just a realtor putting together a few 360° photos of a home they wanted to check out, virtual reality services are a large part of what will make up the new Virtual Realty service that is starting to develop organically.
Currently realtors can contract these virtual services from professional service providers in most major markets. If you are in a market that does not yet have multiple 360° photo services you may want to consider purchasing a system and offering the service to fellow realtors for a little income diversity.
What does the Future for Virtual Reality in Real Estate look like?
360°, VR, 3D, Virtual are all synonyms for the same service. The Idea behind these new presentation media is that it provides end users with a more vibrant viewing sensation. Not only can buyers look behind corners and out windows with the virtual tour technology but Home sellers can add that extra wow factor to features of the home that deserve a little extra attention. Virtual services will continue to creep in all sectors of the Real Estate transaction process of the coming years; I am sure Many Realtors will not embrace this technology, but none the less it is coming. Realtors that can find a way to maximize this technology will rise above their competitors with a more professional offering to the listing client. A much more immersive and sensory home shopping experience is undoubtedly provided to the home buyers as they search homes from their living room as opposed to driving about the city and entering multiple homes a day. Take the stress and Travel out home shopping, ask your realtor to preview the homes and prepare a 360 tour for you, then you can view homes from your own home.