Until recently, the simplest way for homeowners to advertise their properties was to put out a newspaper listing. Homeowners would have the more affordable black-and-white option or pay more for a colored photo of their property. Those days are long gone behind us. Technology has changed the way people go about their daily activities, buying and selling homes included. Thanks to social media and YouTube, the real estate industry has also undergone some significant changes. And now it appears that 3D virtual reality rendering services (VR) are taking over.
Although VR, which stands for virtual reality, is relatively new in real estate, it’s widely embraced in the gaming and entertainment industries. Some major real estate companies have already begun implementing this newfound technology into their marketing campaigns. The purpose is for anyone currently in the market for a new home to wear a VR headset and go on a virtual tour of their ideal home. In this way, sellers, buyers, and agents now conduct their business much more efficiently.
Whether you want to sell homes by yourself and put the FSBO (For Sale by Owners) sign in the front yard or have all the work done by a professional agent, using VR can improve your chances of making a sale. However, there are some essential things to remember. Whether you desire to sell a home by yourself and put up the FSBO (For Sale by Owners) sign in your front yard or even have all the work done by a professional agent, we believe using VR can improve your chances of making a sale. However, there are some essential things to remember before you look into doing it.
Regardless of which marketing method you decide to use, selling a home always starts with the basics of staging. Depending on the property’s condition, some changes may be required to make it seem more appealing to potential buyers. Unlike decorating, staging focuses on attracting as much interest as possible from a diverse group of people. Good staging doesn’t have to involve a significant overhaul. It’s all about the subtlety of the changes. You want to flatter the property by performing some repairs and upgrades without being too obvious. The key to successful staging is to keep the property understated.
Repairs and interior upgrades
It is common for prospective buyers to inspect the house and make sure it is in good condition and ready for occupancy. Some upgrades and repairs can also increase the value of the home.
- Essential repairs: Keep an eye for any plumbing issues, a leaky roof, loose flooring, cracks on the walls and ceiling.
- Cleanliness: Show the buyers that you have taken reasonable care of the property. Replace old carpets and drapes or have them professionally deep cleaned.
- Clutter-free: Put everything you don’t need on a day-to-day basis in storage boxes. Food, old toys, and old clothing should be invisible, including bathroom counters.
- Depersonalization: Usually, buyers want to imagine themselves living in the house. Remove all personal and family photos, any refrigerator art, and keepsakes.
First impressions matter in the real estate industry, so you want to clean and declutter the exterior as well. Make sure the HVAC system and piping comply with local building codes. Don’t forget to put some final touches on by adding fresh flowers, spraying unique fragrances.
According to Goldman-Sachs, an estimated 1.4 million real estate agents in the US, Japan, UK, and Germany will adopt VR technology in their field. Some notable examples of significant companies like Compass and Zillow have adopted its use. When real estate companies are willing to adopt new technologies, realtors work more efficiently. The good thing about VR is that individual sellers can also take advantage of the technology, even if they don’t have technical knowledge. Instead of doing it all yourself, it’s better to hire professionals to set everything up and get your house digitized. An affordable option is to use a 360-degree digital camera.
It is pretty easy for a 360-degree panorama rendering service to capture a room by producing a 360-degree image inside the house with a proper camera. Once captured, you could use Matterport’s web-based platform to upload and automatically stitch all the images together to build a VR tour. When considering the price for an excellent 360-degree camera, several thousand dollars isn’t always reasonable, which is why using a smartphone app is the next best thing. Some alternatives work more or less the same way, such as EyeSpy360, Zillow 3D Home Tour, and EasyPano Virtual Tour Software.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle with VR is the accessibility of the video itself, especially if you’re using proprietary services like those offered by Matterport and Zillow. To maximize exposure and get as many views as possible, you must create and share a VR tour of your for-sale property on a widely popular platform, like YouTube. For the best possible result, hire a professional 3D rendering service.
Comprehensive and thorough
A well-put-together VR video built by a 3D VR rendering service allows prospective buyers to digitally navigate a property and get a good idea of what the house looks like in real life. Good VR must be comprehensive from the curb to the front door, exterior to interior, and thorough in every room. When not allowing potential buyers to enter certain rooms for any reason, they can grow dissatisfied, and you may expect fewer offers.
Suggest VR headsets
YouTube is an excellent platform for its many engaging users. The platform features a VR experience for viewers to watch without the fancy headset. If you decide not to join the platform, we list recommendations of VR headsets for the best viewing experience. Start with the affordable Google Cardboard, which turns a mobile phone into a VR headset; no wires are required.
For a richer experience, we suggest “tethered” equipment that connects to a laptop or gaming console. Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are among the most common. The price is around $400 for a great quality one. Another affordable option is Samsung Gear VR, available at about $100.
Prospective buyers would appreciate the suggestions on what equipment to use to enjoy the content. VR is getting more mainstream by the year, but don’t expect every interested buyer to have a compatible headset lying around.
Things to consider
As mentioned earlier, VR is still relatively new in the real estate industry. If you decide to go for it anyway, there are some points to consider.
To reach the widest audience and target buyers, it’s best to make the VR tour available on multiple platforms. YouTube is the most convenient, but the most widely used are Oculus (Quest, Rift, Go), HTC Vive, Valve Index, and PlayStation VR.
Interactive or guided
With guided VR, viewers sit back and watch the video as the tour takes them to different house parts. There can be music playback in the background or audio commentary to explain what they see. On the other hand, an interactive tour allows viewers to navigate through the content using simple controls. For example, they can press a button to display the dimension of the house or the specification of furniture. An interactive tour is more challenging to make.
Level of details and animation
With interactive or guided tours, adding some animations to the video, such as moving doors or flowing water, is possible. Animation is not really necessary, but it does make the tour look much more impressive. Again, it takes a lot of work to create animated elements as the process involves CGI. There needs to be some consistency in the animation, as in you cannot pick only one or two elements to be animated and leave everything else static. If one window can be opened, all other windows must behave the same way. The level of details also determines how enjoyable the tour will be. Greater detail means a bigger file size.
The future of VR in the housing market
As it stands today, the luxury end of the housing market is still the biggest user of VR in the real estate industry. With the price of VR headsets plummeting and more social media platforms adopting the content, it does appear that low-end and mid-range markets will follow suit. Smartphone camera apps with 360-degree video capabilities also keep coming, which means everyone can at least learn to create a VR tour of their properties without requiring much investment in equipment. It won’t be long before the technology fully transforms the property buying and selling experience worldwide.
How Cad Crowd can help
Cad Crowd has a comprehensive database of skilled, experienced, and confidential freelancers. They can help with any stage of your architectural design project, be it 2D drawing and drafting services or photorealistic 3D virtual reality rendering services, ensuring that your clients get an impression of what to expect from your project.
If you’re ready to get started, learn how it works. You can also receive multiple design concept ideas through a design contest. Find out how you can launch a design contest in as little as 15 minutes or get a free quote.