As an agent, setting yourself apart in today’s real estate landscape isn’t just a good idea – it is a must. Technology has its tentacles winding throughout our profession and it shows no signs of letting up anytime soon.
Ignoring the latest changes can put your business in peril and the latest curve ball is coming from how clients view properties.
Over the years, online photos and video tours have served as the perfect introduction for potential buyers, helping them to winnow the field of prospective options for a new home.
However, static photos and videos don’t show the whole picture. There are times that photos, for better or for worse, don’t do a property justice.
The latest trend in real estate imagery is three-dimensional virtual reality, which can become a crucial tool for agents.
VR produces a computer-generated reality that users can interact with (usually via a headset), augmented reality involves digital information being brought into a user’s field of view and overlaid onto the real world, which they observe usually through a smartphone’s camera.
“In VR video you can’t hide wires, and you can’t hide lights, so everything is as it is,” said Randy Baruh, a New York real estate agent with Corcoran. “You see a lot of photos … and everything is perfect, and it’s not really exactly what it’s going to look like.”
Your clients can use the technology to view a property in a completely immersive manner, experiencing the home or apartment like they are at an open house. It also offers a more accurate portrayal of a property’s condition.
The technology also can be beneficial for out-of-town clients or when one spouse is not available to walk through the property. It also can ensure your clients can make an informed decision.
Cost has been prohibitive thus far, but Eydie Saleh, a salesperson at Mirador Real Estate, maintains that the costs have already dropped enough to make it economical, as long as agents view the virtual tours as the primary marketing tool and not a bonus tactic.
Matterport, a 3D camera technology company, is working with web-based real estate firm Redfin to provide 3D walkthroughs.
“We’re making a digital copy of the inside of the world,” Marc Rehberger, Matterport’s director of commercial real estate, told Forbes recently. “It increases the amount of time spent on an ad between three to six times when there’s a Matterport model on that ad. … It’s very, very sticky.”
Your clients also can use the technology to see how a property may look after they’ve moved in.
Virtual staging technology company roOomy allows buyers to visualize any apartment or room in a house in the way they would want to decorate it.