Virtual reality (VR) went off the charts, thanks (if we can say so?) to the health crisis that we are currently going through. Indeed, we could observe a rise in the need to use virtual technologies as a result of the distance mandated by the government, especially in France. These technologies of the future a few years ago have quickly become technologies of today for many sectors such as the industry. This also concerns remote meetings, where some take advantage of holograms to improve the meeting experience.
And finally, this crisis highlighted the digital transformation of a specific sector, the real estate industry, which is very fond of this kind of technology.
An upheaval in the understanding of space
Real estate is among the sectors that have been resilient to the Covid-19 epidemic over the long term. Indeed, on the one hand, housing remains an essential need for the human being. On the other hand, the first lockdown represented a sudden rupture in the apprehension of space. In other words, with the democratization of remote working, the home must represent both a place to live and to work. And since the first lockdown, people are looking for more suitable housing where their personal and professional lives can cohabit together.
To meet this new need, immersive technologies are the answer and are well suited to real estate agencies in a context where physical contact is restricted. If some methods have already been used in the past, this health crisis has accelerated the use of immersive technologies to simplify the preview of homes and to offer remote visits, for example. Today, digital technology helps real estate professionals reinvent themselves and deploy creative means to sustain the relationship with their customers.
Towards a digitalization of real estate
According to the Observatoire de la Proptech de Meilleurs Agents research, 83% of real estate agents foresee an increase in the digitalization of their services. Therefore, it is time to go digital, and the real estate sector is not exempted from it.
Real estate buyers spend a lot of time online to find the properties they are thinking of buying or renting. Most of these online sites provide detailed descriptions of the properties as well as photos to represent them. Based on this, the buyer creates a short list of homes they want to inspect before making the decision.
But to relieve the potential buyer of these tasks, innovative solutions have been developed, acting as powerful sales tools:
If images or photos are always better than descriptions and can give a better idea of the residential property, a 360° virtual tour is much better. Often taken from real photos, virtual tours allow the buyer to walk through the entire property virtually. Most virtual tours are interactive and allow the viewer to decide what they want to see. This gives a virtual impression of a real visit.
For example, DoorInsider and Matterport 3D teamed up to provide an interactive web experience for real estate listing research and analysis. Both companies offer real estate agents the chance to effortlessly capture their properties in an aesthetically pleasing and professional manner using Matterport’s state-of-the-art 3D technology. These 3D tours can be viewed from an application (mobile or tablet) or simply from the agency’s website. This is possible thanks to the WebGL technology, making it possible to create 3D content and interactive applications on a web page. This is a technology highly appreciated by this sector because it is very practical in the current context by limiting the visits when it is recommended to be physically distant.
Besides the COVID aspect, this method is beneficial for both the seller and the buyer since space and time constraints are no longer an issue. Moreover, virtual visits save a considerable amount of time, which accelerates the sales process and improves the transformation rate.
Virtual home staging
But how to show homes before they are fully built and furnished? This is where the concept of virtual home staging comes in. At the beginning, home staging is a technique used to promote unfurnished properties on the market, often involving the rental, delivery and installation of real furniture. With the arrival of digital technology, home staging has become virtual, following the original concept but without the real constraints and being less costly. This means that the entire home and its furnishings are modeled in 3D in a photorealistic rendering. Through this technique, the decoration is thus reviewed and corrected with new colors, better arrangements, more current furniture etc.
The visualization is accessible from any smartphone, tablet or computer. But paired with a virtual reality headset, the potential buyer will be more immersed and will be able to inspect the home from all angles without making a physical move. This experience allows capturing the public and to leave a lasting impression. As an illustration, the company ComXR created a VR experience where users could discover an apartment entirely modeled in 3D.
As well as getting rid of decoration and layout barriers, home staging speeds up the sale of a property because the potential purchasers can easily and quickly project themselves into the home atmosphere before the purchase. Moreover, this home staging and the excellent quality conveyed by visuals or the experience can help consolidate the agency’s brand image.
Eager to find more information about 3D tech? LS GROUP believes in the potential of 3D technologies. We strive to better meet the needs of each of our clients, in order to provide them with a memorable virtual experience. Feel free to contact us for more specific information about our projects!