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By The CE Shop Team

It’s no secret that technology is changing rapidly in 2023, affecting almost every industry, business transaction, and even human experience.  

At the same time, the real estate market is consistently flourishing with an annual growth rate of 5.4%.  

Enter virtual reality (VR). This inspiring technology allows agents to give their clients real-life, simulated experiences of homes they are interested in buying. And the ever-changing landscape of VR means that real estate agents will soon have to prepare for cutting edge changes to the homebuying process.  

According to a study conducted by Goldman Sachs, an estimated 1.4 million realtors will use technology by 2025, which means almost all agents will be able to provide immersive experiences for their clients.

Virtual technology is changing the game. If agents and brokers want to keep up, they need to understand not only how it works, but what it means for the industry. 

Three Technologies Being Used By Real Estate Agents Today 

There are three important elements which power the immersive 3D experience called “the metaverse.” Real estate companies can use these three technologies to provide immersive, digital home-showing experiences for their clients.  

Virtual Reality (VR) 

Virtual reality refers to a 3D, computer-generated environment that replicates a real-life environment. It can depict a home in combination with realistic sounds, imagery, and other sensations felt through headsets, gloves, helmets, and body suits.  

Virtual reality can allow a potential homebuyer to experience any environment, including a house they are considering purchasing. Agents can facilitate walkthroughs and tours conveniently and cost-effectively with the use of VR.  

Augmented Reality (AR) 

Augmented Reality integrates digital sensory elements into your existing environment by placing digital objects over it. Unlike virtual reality (VR), which creates an artificial environment, AR users experience their real-world environment with generated visual elements over top of it. (Think Pokémon Go, Snapchat filters, and virtual makeup.) 

For real estate agents, furniture fitting is an extremely helpful AR tool that helps clients make decisions when purchasing a home. 

Mixed Reality (MR) 

Mixed reality is a cross between AR and VR. The virtual and physical world collide to produce an environment where interactions among virtual and physical objects and elements are enabled in real time.  

MR also allows for a 3D virtual hologram. For the real estate industry, this looks like a 360-degree walkthrough of prospective properties, residential or commercial. People can walk through rooms, go inside and outside, and experience the layout of their potential new home or building with comfort and ease. 

How Real Estate Agents Use Virtual Reality 

Real estate agents can use virtual reality technologies as a valuable tool to leverage their ability to sell homes. Visualization is a powerful tool that can greatly sway a client’s decision.  

  1. Virtual Property Presentations 

A virtual property presentation is when a real estate agent gives a client a tour of a home through a virtual reality headset. The person will walk into rooms and tour the virtual home just as if they were exploring it in real life. It gives clients the opportunity to tour multiple homes in a shortened time span. It can also be extremely helpful for cutting down costs as a real estate agent, as you’ll save a ton not only in time, but gas money.  

  1. Home-Staging Visualization 

With immersive technology such as VR, you can showcase the exterior and interior designs of homes for your clients before they are even built. This gives you increased opportunities to sell homes before they are constructed in the physical world. 

  1. Virtual Commerce (aka, V-Commerce) 

Simulated home tours and walkthroughs can be customized very easily through the use of V-Commerce. As a REALTOR®, you can customize the home tour in real time to appeal to a customer. For example, if the client is a visual learner, you can focus on lighting, interior design, and zoom in on specific features. For those who enjoy numbers and pop-up fact windows, measurements and statistics about the home could be helpful with the sale. 

You can also add furniture, change the wall colors, or pick out possible interior design products they want to buy (i.e., V-Commerce). 

  1. Architectural Visualization 

For clients who are looking at a fixer-upper, VR can help them visualize their architectural goals to buy the house they’ve always dreamed of. The use of VR can help clients visualize exterior or internal design changes such as more rooms, or walls added and taken away. It creates a powerful presentation for construction projects or design adjustments, giving clients a vivid image of what their ideal home could look like.  

Become an Industry-Standard Real Estate Agent 

The progression of virtual technology means that exciting times are coming for real estate agents. With the onset of virtual reality, agents have both increased career opportunities and more diverse ways to market and sell to clients. The Greater Lehigh Valley Real Estate offers many ways to continue your education as a real estate agent and to learn more about the innovative technology being integrated into the industry. Join us in April for AI & Chat GPT for Real Estate and/ or Cybersecurity: How Tech Can Ruin Your Business.