WILL VIRTUAL REALITY CHANGE REAL ESTATE?
January 19, 2017 | Richard Sites
Virtual Reality: What is it?
From the internet: Virtual reality is the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.
There is always the possibility that some technological advancement could revolutionize the real estate industry. So, let’s talk for a minute about Virtual Reality.
By now, most everyone is familiar with Pokemon GO. This is a game based on Augmented Reality.
Pokemon (or men, I not sure which is correct) are displayed on your phone screen against a backdrop of “reality”. In other words, Pokemon are “superimposed” over what you really see when you look at your phone screen.
So, reality is augmented. This is similar to staging a home in a virtual environment where digital furniture is placed electronically inside photos of a real property. Virtual reality is different.
In a VR real estate world nothing is real and in order to experience this world, special goggles or helmets are needed. Once you have these on, you can wander through the rooms without leaving your comfortable chair. So you can “tour” a prospective home through a VR tour.
Most virtual tours however, are nothing more than the still photos set to music and with a “panning” feature added so the viewer is swept across the room.
Some higher end virtual tours use video to “walk” through the rooms. Still even higher end tours use aerial or drone photography, either stills or videos, to convey the sense of the property. In fact, if I was selling a condo with a great view I would fly the drone right through the unit and out over the patio to show off the view.
Virtual Reality: The Drawback
One thing VR can never capture is the “feel” of the house, the ambient sounds around it and any smells, good or bad, associated with the property. The whole point of baking cookies or lighting aromatic candles is to add emotionally to the house.
And since buying a house is highly emotional, to eliminate the emotions, curb appeal and the ability to picture yourself living there really eliminates many of the buying triggers.
When you bought your last house, did you sit down in the living room and consider actually living there? Of course, you did but you can’t do this with VR.
Who might not want or need a VR tour? Someone with a lot of money who was planning to remodel extensively anyway and really just is looking for the location.
Remember: Women buy and men sell so if you eliminate the emotions from the deal you are really making a mistake. Women need emotional involvement to buy the house.
I guess this is why every time I see Virtual Reality explained, it is a man doing the talking.
QR Codes were supposed to be the latest and greatest thing in real estate. But I think they failed largely because not everything can be reduced to its lowest emotional level. Bar codes are great at the grocery store but not in residential real estate.
The Take Away:
If you are selling, don’t get trapped by technology. Keep the emotional appeal high with flowers, aromas, cleanliness and music. If you reduce your selling proposition to a VR world you might be sitting on your house for a long time.
If you would like to have a conversation about getting your house sold quickly, I have been helping sellers locally for 13 years and can do the same for you. Contact me directly at 561.762.4073.