Jun 8, 2018

VR for Real Estate



6 Tools for Effective Sales

Yaroslav Kaplan
As we know, the majority of people are visualizers i. e they must see the product in order to buy it. This is especially important in the real estate world, since the client can rarely comprehend the actual dimensions of an apartment that is 55 square meters, after only seeing the floor plan.

VR lets you get inside an apartment that has not even been built yet, take a stroll around it, get a feel for the space and evaluate the window view. All of these factors impact the decision whether or not to buy an apartment.

In this article we will tell you about 6 VR, AR and web tools to effectively sell real estate.


How it Works Today
1
Print and Online
The customer sees an advertisement containing the name of the apartment complex and is transferred to the landing page.
2
Website
Usually, the site is filled with beautiful building renders and floor plans

3
Voice call and Visit
The customer calls the sales office and comes in for an in-person meeting with the sales manager.
4
Handouts
The manager prints out those same renders and floor plans for the customer to take home with them.
Around 80% identified the effectiveness of VR during the apartment selection process. Ok, but what can we offer them?
6 Tools
Based on Web, VR and AR

Web

A stroll inside a virtual apartment right in your browser.
1) Virtual tours — the simplest and yet most effective tool. Even before visiting the sales office, the customer can choose the floor plan that they like the most and see a 3D model of it instantly. The can move around from one room to another by using their mouse or hand motions and get a 360° of the apartment.

Advantages: There is no need for special equipment, intuitive controls

Disadvantages:
very basic 3D models for fast website uploading, no animations or interactives.




Virtual tour of the room

VR

User immersion in virtual reality via headset


2) Mobile VR via Oculus Go or Samsung Gear VR is an ideal fit for sales offices, even temporary ones, as well as for all possible events. The user puts on a wireless helmet and winds up in a virtual apartment in which they freely move around via controller.

Advantages: total immersion, mobility, affordable price

Disadvantages: static model, experience sitting or standing
Mobile VR
Oculus Go with controller
Equipment

Oculus Go, which was released in the spring of 2018, is an all-in-one VR helmet. Unlike the well-known Samsung Gear VR, it does not need a separate smartphone, since the processor and screen are already built into the device. A controller is supplied for content management. The battery lasts for several hours. The price: $ 199.




3) Desktop VR is a great fit for large sales offices, because you can select a special area for the VR showroom. The customer puts on glasses and can walk around an area of 3×3 m, and also interacts with virtual objects i.e. they can open doors, change the wall and floor colors, arrange the furniture, choose day / night mode.

For a realistic window view, you can use a 360° panorama shot from a drone.

Advantages: maximum level of reality, space design according to user taste

Disadvantages: the helmet requires a powerful computer to work properly




Customization of virtual space
Oculus Rift with controllers and sensors
Equipment

Oculus Rift is one of the most widely used VR helmets (on par with HTC Vive) for full immersion into virtual reality. Controlling is done via two controllers and floor sensors track the user’s motions.

It is worth noting the series of gadgets on the Windows Mixed Reality platform (such as Lenovo Explorer), which does not require external sensors for transporting into VR, which simplifies the setup.


Branded Cardboard for smartphones with a button
4) Cardboard is a cardboard box with lenses, into which you can insert a smartphone with a screen of up to 6 inches. In fact, this is the most basic level of immersion in VR, which is significantly inferior to PC solutions from the previous section.

However, branded cardboard can be given to customers after talking with a manager in the sales office. The production costs are comparable to traditional flyer and pamphlet printing, but the effect of the perspective owners viewing their future housing with their entire family in VR can be a decisive purchasing factor.





AR

Showcasing exteriors on mobile devices
5) Marker AR can be used by sales offices to showcase a building or the whole complex. With AR, you can also visualize furnished apartments and view them from various angles. All you have to do is point your tablet or smartphone camera on a given label so that the picture comes to life. The label can serve as a render, a floor plan or a logo on handouts. This way, the customer can even view the object in augmented reality at home on their device.

Advantages: mobile, visible and easy to use

Disadvantages: having to download separate apps for the customer


Exterior and interior in AR
6) AR for Dynamic Visualizations is used on Apple iPad tablets with ARKit technology. This solution is well suited for premium sales offices equipped with the newest versions of iPad Pro.

The essence of the technology is in its ability to display AR content on any horizontal surface and even on top of physical scale models. The user can assess their future property infrastructure in real time: cars drive, people walk, time of day changes, etc. In addition, 3D objects consist of several layers so that you can look inside the building or underground parking.

Advantages: maximum reality, interactive

Disadvantages: works only on the newest iPad Pro




Dynamic visualization of the Apple campus

Bonus

Additional possibilities of AR


Visualization of a private residence in an open field with ARKit
Augmented Reality via Facebook camera
Conclusions: How this could work


1
Print or Online
No changes, these channels actually work at the initial stage


2
Website
The client launches a virtual tour and walks around the apartment via mouse right inside the browser
3
Voice Call and Visit
The customer puts on a VR helmet at the sales office and finds themselves in a virtual apartment at scale. Thanks to AR, they can get a bird's eye view of the entire apartment complex in all its glory.


4
Handouts
A catalogue with renders and apartment floor plans includes AR labels and a link to download the app. The customer also receives a complementary branded Cardboard so they can showcase their apartment to their friends and relatives.




It's Your Turn:

Which tool do you find most effective?
Thank you for your answer!
You can order the development of any of the described solutions for your business using virtual or augmented reality in the studio Indium Lab. Contact us to discuss the details.
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Tags: Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Microsoft Mixed Reality, Lenovo Explorer, Apple, iPad, Pro
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