Technology has more or less disrupted many businesses, though the pace of diffusion of Technology across different industries has not been the same. Real Estate is one of the industries that has seen a high degree of tech adoption across different functions ranging from Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, and Operations. Though traditional marketing channels have a role to play in the buyer journey but their primary importance has shifted to Attention Phase. Technology led Digital Channels are becoming more prominent in Interest and Desire Phase of Buyer Journey. Real Estate developers are trying on multiple Technological Breakthroughs to create a meaningful impact on these phases of Customer Journey. Virtual Realty and Augmented Realty have emerged as one of the techs that can help them achieve this.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality is one of the high tech areas that has been at the forefront of sci-fi movies since last few decades and have always caught customer’s imagination. Off late AR and VR has left the screen space and have entered the realm of Real Estate in a big way. AR and VR are now becoming viable use cases in the Real Estate Industry. They are being used to not only shape customer experience but also to reduce the sales cycle and sales spent optimization.
Gone are those days when you had to shortlist your desired property by looking at some random brochures or any other physical marketing channel. VR and AR have given a new definition to property showcasing and selection. Reviewing property has become more easy with virtual property showcase where buyers can visit the property virtually. Real Estate developers are now inviting buyers to have a 360° view of their property from the comfort of their homes. You can easily visit multiple sites with the help of VR technology in a single day thus eliminating the time and hassle required to visit properties physically. This not only improves customer experience but also reduces sales cycle and sales spent that would have been incurred on physical visits. According to some reports, Virtual staging is 90% cheaper than Physical staging. According to Pankaj Bajaj Eldeco MD , We see a marked improvement in customer engagement whenever we use VR tools in the sales process. The customer is able to visualise exactly how the building and common areas are going to look at different times of the day. He/She can also get a fair idea of the spatial arrangement of the buildings in relation to each other. The customers can also see the interiors of various types of apartments and decide which design works best for them”
Some of the more advanced use cases of VR and AR in Showcasing property have been mentioned below
- Real Estate Developers can showcase how a fully constructed Apartment or Villa will look like at the launch stage.
- Augmented Realty showcasing makes the experience more engaging in comparison to seeing a 2D map.
- With the help of Video walkthrough with 3D elements, highly immersive virtual visits can be arranged.
Some of the big challenges to mass level adoption of VR/AR in Real Estate are : high cost of producing interactive content, Price of AR and VR headsets and Lack of practitioners who are VR/AR specialists, yet its potential is enormous. According to a report from Goldman Sachs, by 2025 the market of VR/AR in Real Estate globally will be $2.6 billion. That is a huge number and all the property developers must take note of it because it is going to be a potent point of differentiation from competition in the coming future.