Virtual Reality is a good fit for many industries. One that is seeing a great deal of early adopters, without question, is real estate. According to Goldman Sachs, VR will be an $80 Billion dollar market by 2025, with $2.6 Billion of that revenue emanating directly from real estate.
For an industry whose mantra is “location, location, location”, the immersive quality of virtual reality is greatly expanding sales opportunities for real estate agents.
Real Estate is a competitive industry. Pre-internet, the industry was largely driven by relationships and referrals. Even now, those are probably the two biggest drivers. But in the high stakes world of real estate, any advantage can help. Virtual reality gives tech forward agents both a perceptual edge in attracting new clients, but also a real tangible edge in widening the addressable market when selling a house.
Thus it’s no surprise that realtors in particularly competitive markets like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are turning to VR to get an edge on the competition. Sotheby’s, for example, is trying to build out an internal network of 360-captured homes for prospective buyers. Their target home purchasers — affluent, time-strapped, often overseas — can get a great sense for a house without ever stepping foot in it. Why get stuck in LA traffic to look at 1-2 homes in a day, when you can visit 50 homes virtually through a Gear VR at an agent’s office?
A number of trends are also pointing towards a meteoric rise in the number of realtors using VR. First off, virtual reality headsets are a very popular item on holiday wishlists this year, with companies like Best Buy aggressively marketing the technology. Secondly, more robust cell phones and wireless bandwidth gives almost every potential homeowner the opportunity to experience a house virtually (and share the experience with others!). Finally, Millennials have generally been a very tough group to attract to home purchasing. So advertising homes to this demographic with a more immersive tech-oriented approach might give you an edge in grabbing their attention.
As a real estate agent, you want to spend your time providing great service to existing clients, while also attracting new ones. Ocurus is the perfect platform to save you time and money. There’s no need for outsourcing or even engineering expertise — all you need is a camera, an internet connection, and an Ocurus Pro account.
Some of the specific benefits to Ocurus that you won’t necessarily find with the competition…
1. Completely self-service, with an easy to use drag-and-drop interface
Many real estate agents hesitate to commit to VR because of the perceived time involved. Ocurus makes the process as simple as possible. You capture your images of the house using a 360 camera (i.e. Ricoh Theta S) -> upload them to the Ocurus console -> add your navigation between rooms -> add your company logo & contact info -> publish.
2. One click publish across multiple platforms
Not everyone uses the same way to access VR. Some possibilities include iPhone, iPad, Android, or Google Cardboard. As a real estate agent, you want to provide your VR home tours to all possible users. That’s why with Ocurus, you can view across all of those platforms with one click, meaning you don’t have to rebuild your tour for each publishable platform. This saves you valuable time!
High end real estate agencies will also want to have deeply immersive headsets, such as the Gear VR. Ocurus allows you to publish to that platform with minimal extra work. Give clients a top notch VR experience in your offices through Gear VR, and watch how impressed they are by the simulation of actually visiting your home listings.
3. Publish to your firm’s website
Despite the plethora of mobile app delivery systems for VR, you still have to market your 360 home tours to clients before they’ll download an app. Ocurus Pro enables this through a VR experience that can embed directly in your website. Visitors to your agency’s homepage can virtually tour a home in 360, and then if they want a more immersive experience, download an app. Just by incorporating VR into your website, you’re signalling to potential clients that you’re doing everything possible to market their home.
VR is already starting to see great adoption in the real estate industry. I talk to clients just about everyday who are looking to jump into the technology, particularly as they see the competition use it. Ocurus provides the most easy & intuitive platform to go from capturing a home with a 360-degree camera to having a workable VR app or web experience for clients.