Why Implement Virtual Reality in your Real Estate Business
Virtual Reality is rapidly becoming a part of every modern business, and the real estate industry is not excluded from the list. In fact, VR technology opens up many innovative opportunities for real estate businesses to market their listings in a better way.
Generally, a real estate deal involves checking the listings, price negotiations, and an in-person visit to the property. This workflow is very robust and has always brought forth good results. However, it is very time-consuming for both the client and the realtor. Sometimes, visiting the property can be inconvenient for the homebuyers as well. This is where Virtual Reality tools can be a game-changer.
VR technology allows realtors to showcase the property to their clients as if they were there in the flesh. The client just has to put on a VR headset and experience an immersive three-dimensional tour of the property. Potential homebuyers can virtually visit multiple properties this way, even without having to leave their home once. This allows them to make an informed decision when buying or renting the property.
As for the real estate companies, employing VR tools allows them to expand their reach to more clients. As the internet is not confined to any physical boundaries or borders, realtors can offer their listings to global clients as well. This can be of great help to long-distance buyers as well as to those who are looking to migrate to a different country.
Realtors can also offer a 360-degree virtual tour of the property for clients who do not have access to a VR headset. Alternatively, they can create an interactive virtual tour, wherein the user can move from one place to another within the property by clicking on various hotspots. Both of the guided and interactive virtual tours can be easily included along with the property listing on the website.
Virtual Reality also allows realtors to add furniture and other essential items in the property so that it looks more appealing and cozy to the clients. Staging has been an integral part of the real estate business for years and is widely used when uploading photos of the property on the website. VR technology can make this more realistic.
Virtual staging is one of the best ways to market a newly built home or apartment. This can be done by creating 3D tours of the property with furniture and fixtures. That makes it very simple for the client to visualize how their future personal space will be. As this connects potential buyers to the property emotionally, it motivates them to make a quick decision.
Real estate businesses can also employ VR technology to boost the sales of under-construction properties using virtual staging. Realtors find it very difficult to market such properties because empty buildings and unfinished structures do not attract buyers at all. This gap can be efficiently filled using architectural 3D visualization and virtual staging tools.
Virtual staging of the property has another benefit too. Apart from creating a premium and lasting impression on the potential buyers, it can also promote virtual commerce. Realtors can easily add a purchase option with any element when staging the property and creating the 3D tour. This allows the clients to customize the space as per their personal preferences.
For instance, real estate businesses can integrate an online store with the staged elements. This will give the clients the options to, say, change the style of the furniture or choose a different light fixture. This not only makes the virtual tour of the property more interactive but also allows customers to imagine how it will be when they move in.
Even if a client does not make any changes to the interior staging during the virtual tour of the property, there are still chances that they may find the items included in the 3D tour interesting and may buy them eventually when they buy or rent the property. This is always an added advantage for the realtor.
Related Reading: Tech Disruptors in the Real Estate Space
The Key Benefits of Employing VR Tools in Real Estate Business
The most striking advantage of incorporating Virtual Reality in real estate business is that it saves time for both the realtor and the client. It is much cost-effective than taking the client to check out multiple properties.
Besides, an immersive 3D virtual tour of all the properties listed on the website will be available round-the-clock to the clients, which means that they can virtually visit any property at any time. This allows realtors to work with more clients, which means more opportunities to sell a property.
Another great thing about VR technology is that it gives clients an instant sense of ownership. As they get the options to customize the space as per their liking during the virtual tour, checking out the different areas of the property quickly establishes a personal connection with the clients.
This can be very helpful in inspiring them to make a purchase or sign a rental agreement. It is also possible to add to the customer experience by including interactive tools in the virtual tour, such as mortgage calculators and neighborhood descriptions.
There is no arguing that Virtual Reality has already made an impact in the real estate industry. Most of the big names have adopted the technology for improving their reach, and soon, every real estate business will incorporate VR technology for better productivity.
If you would like to work with an expert to build your VR strategy, we can help. Contact us.
Did cell phones really help real estate agents? Yes, without any doubt. Cell phones did transform the industry by taking away all the limitations concerning mobility. Real estate agents were able to keep in touch with their clients irrespective of geographical barriers. Besides, agents can get in touch with their prospective clients while on the go and vice versa.
Technology has ushered in new possibilities in the real estate industry. Mobile phones constitute just one facet, whereas there lies a diverse array of technology tools and solutions capable of disrupting the real estate market altogether. As real estate is a people-focused business, more leads for a broker meant more sales. And real estate technology does bring in new ways to improve sales.
Being a real estate agent, thinking that technology will leave you jobless is entirely baseless. The truth is, failing to utilize the latest technologies will certainly make you lag behind and miss out on some of the huge benefits that await you. In fact, a recent survey by the real estate brokerage Owners.com reveals that home buyers are increasingly seeking technology-based tools from real estate agents.
With real estate turning more fast-paced and competitive, buyers are on the lookout for agents armed with real estate software tools to streamline the home buying process and help them make informed decisions quickly. In fact, the Real Estate in a Digital Age report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) identifies several tech tools like social media, MLS site, brokerage’s site etc. apart from cell phones and email as catalysts to produce quality leads in a real estate business.
Real Estate Agents Still Holds Significance
We all know that nowadays a majority of buyers are doing most of their home search process themselves. Different mobile apps, websites, and digital platforms open up a wide range of potential properties based on the buyer’s interest. There are even alerts and notifications for new listings that exactly matches a buyer’s interest.
In a majority of the cases, we find that the buyers are doing most of the legwork when it comes to actually search for property listings. But that’s just an initial search and occupy only a small portion of the overall buying process. Once they find their listing, the buyer needs to call in an agent to physically get into the home and inspect it or even to draft a proper offer for submitting.
Even though it is clear that while buyers are increasingly adopting technology-based tools, they still require the guidance of a real estate agent to minimize delays and seamlessly guide the buyer to the closing process. Relying heavily on technology may present a risk, particularly in commercial property sales where the buyers are trading in millions. An agent’s expertise is highly sought after to effortlessly navigate the buyer and settle on the best listings that will guarantee high ROI.
Technology-based tools allow buyers to take some steps or responsibilities of the agents themselves. They can find the listings and close in the process without the assistance of an agent. However, it will never act as a full replacement for the expertise of a professional realtor.
Related Read: Real Estate Industry in the Digital Era
Technology is still inadequate to deal with several tasks that come under the work process undertaken by a real estate agent. From consolidating the list of documents to getting around the loopholes in placing offers and drafting contract term and policies, the role of a realtor gains the upper hand and stays relevant where technology fails.
According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, buyers still prefer working with a real estate agent for around 87 percent of the time to find properties worthy for sale or purchase. Many home buyers still rely on the advice from a trusted real estate agent when it comes to acquiring, selling or leasing properties.
However, technology tools clearly lack the ability to gauge specific information concerning a property such as its future value. Experienced realtors, on the other hand, can easily assess whether a highly rated property do carry any expected value and thus guide the home buyer to make an informed decision.
Technology will actually allow an agent to do an improved business. It enables an agent to better engage with their customers, optimize their business and zero in on deals that earn them the most profit. Besides, technology makes realtors more efficient, which helps them serve a larger client base with utmost satisfaction.
Digital transformation is now a key aspect of every sector. And it has been there with the real estate industry for years. The biggest trend now is probably the change in the mindset of agents by embracing technology to serve buyers who are increasingly tech-driven.
Technology Helps Realtors Serve in Many Ways Possible
As a real estate agent, what should you do?
As an agent, can you think of doing large volumes in a traditional way? You will find that it is really hard to extend services to your customers. However, technology can help agents serve a lot more people at the same time. Selecting the right technologies will allow agents to become more efficient – to serve more buyers in less time, resulting in more revenue generated.
Using a property management software can also help real estate agents make the buying process of their clients easier. With mobile apps making a big impact on the industry, agents are provided anywhere and anytime access to data and reports thereby extending more opportunities to share with their clients. The evolution of mobile apps has made it easier for both agents and buyers to communicate efficiently, schedule showings and meetings, and moreover make the entire process simpler. Besides, most of the apps available now are trying to organize things easier for agents.
Technology gave agents access to a huge amount of real estate data. These data can support the agents to take better decisions and will eventually provide them more opportunities. With the entire world shifting to data-driven practices, leveraging big data from real estate dealings and applying machine learning and AI helps make better recommendations and crunch out valuable insights that provide agents an overview to make clear and accurate decisions, which bring out more efficiency and revenue.
Related Read: How real estate technology helps predict property prices
If the buyers are performing their own searches, they get a better picture of the market, making things more realistic about what their budget will allow. On the other side, sellers will come to know what their properties are worth. But, they still need assistance to accomplish their goal of buying or selling, which means that technology will continue to revolutionize the market. However, when it comes to decision making, the customers will keep their trust with a real estate agent.
Down the line, agents who admit technology as a tool that can be adopted as a new way of conducting business and building successful relationships will ultimately lead the way. The key thing is to zero in on the right technology means that reaps true value. Teaming up with a sound technical partner having deep expertise in crafting successful technology solutions for the real estate industry will help identify and deploy the right one.
Related Case Study: Investing in PropTech solutions aids real estate firms streamline and digitize their existing processes. See how we came up with an innovative web-based application for a leading real estate brokerage to integrate their processes around a single platform here.
[Courtesy – Saïd Business School, University of Oxford]
The real estate industry has traditionally been a technology laggard, with antiquated systems, ad-hoc processes and manual documentation ruling the roost. However, things are changing, with innovation and tech disruption set to change the fundamental paradigms of the real estate sector.
Can real estate technology advances actually predict property prices?
Leveraging Machine Learning Algorithms to Predict Real Estate Property Prices
Smart purchasers and investors look at the value of the property rather than the price. Just as the price of a stock denotes nothing about its inherent value, and one needs to delve into the PE and other ratios to estimate the value of the stock, the price of a property says little about its actual worth, and one has to dig into the underlying data to get to the true worth of a property.
The opacity and lack of access to underlying information surrounding property hitherto inhibited a proper and objective analysis of the true worth of property. Often, the only information available to the stakeholders is the prices at which previous properties of a similar nature, in the same locality were sold. As such, the asking price for properties has always been subjective, depending on what the seller thinks the property is worth, with a loose estimate of the prices other properties have sold in the locality and other subjective insights constituting the basis for asking price.
However, things are changing, and changing fast. Real estate data sets are growing larger and larger with every passing day, every single day, thanks to the ever-improving computing power and cloud storage capabilities. Smart retailers and other stakeholders have already deployed several new tools and services that leverage such data, and many more tools and services are in the offing.
The National Association of Realtors estimates about 42% of buyers looking at property online as the first step in their home buying process. Most of them now delve into further details, such as the crime rates in the neighborhood, availability of public transit, the profile of local businesses such as gyms, groceries, restaurants, and several other factors.
It gets better. Machine learning now infuses objectivity and transparency in property pricing, besides promising a scientific basis into price fixation of property.
Machine learning models, comprising of hundreds of explanatory variables, offer insights into almost every aspect of a specific property, to a very a high level of accuracy and objectivity. Such models scour through piles of data and are capable of not just identifying an accurate price for the property, but also identifying hidden gems among the swathes of properties available for sale. Buyers and may use such insights to quote a fair and accurate price for the property, Sellers may likewise quote a fair price and sell their property faster, without the risk of under-selling themselves. Banks and financial institutions may use the insights to offer loans based on the predicted future value.
Identifying Correlated Variables
Home buyers and investors often end up making unscientific comparison among two properties and are often deluded by a lesser price for a property, oblivious to the far inferior value on offer.
While the obvious variables such as the number of bedrooms and square foot area may be obvious and explicit, some variables remain hidden or not too obvious.
Some variables are also closely correlated with others. Some pairs, correlated by nature, such as “Basement finished area” and “Basement unfinished Area,” and other pairs, correlated by deduction, such as “Overall condition” and “Year built” help to identify the true worth of a property relative to the asking price.
Machine learning models not only factor in such variables but also give proper weight to each variable. For instance, two homes may seem similar while considering the obvious variables, but property A may offer far better value owing to the superior quality of plumbing materials used in construction and availability of groundwater compared to property B.
Related Reading: Find how Fingent developed a customized solution to streamline all the processes in a property management life cycle. Check out the case study – Rentmoji: All-In-One Property Management Platform.
Unearthing Seasonal factors
Seasonality has an impact on property prices, but the impact may be subtle or hidden. Crunching historical data makes explicit trends in sales prices associated with seasons. For instance, sales may be more surfing summer months, when the new school year starts, leading to a spike in prices. Such seasonal prices help property investors leverage their buys, property sellers price their property more accurately, or postpone their sell for a few months to get a better price, and more.
Related Infographic: Major Challenges of Big Data in The Real Estate Industry
Identifying the True Value of Extraneous Factors
Buyers always consider the neighborhood of the property, in terms of crime rates, the quality of grocery shops in the vicinity, the proximity of schools, and other factors. However, such analysis is often done ad-hoc, and on a generic basis. The “devil” in the detail may often be overlooked. Machine learning models factor in the extraneous factors at a much deeper level, correlating factors such as frequency of power cuts in the locality, unemployment in the locality, frequency of transportation links, school ratings and more, all of which not only offer an objective and scientific basis on the true worth of the property, but also have an immediate bearing on the property prices.
However, the true value of machine learning is the ability to derive valuable trends and insights from the data. For instance, analysis of police arrests and the chemical compounds in sewers indicate the use of crack cocaine, indicating that gentrification could soon arrive. When the crack is replaced by cocaine, it may indicate that gentrification may already be complete. Such insights may not be available at plain sight and may be impossible to decipher without the analysis of such underlying data.
While real estate technology now makes it easy to predict property prices with a high level of accuracy and objectivity, the challenge is creating the underlying data models in a robust way. The machine learning system is only as good as the algorithm which powers it. Success depends on creating linear models, co-opting all possible categorical variables and historical data associated with each variable.