During the year of 2016, VR for property made some great strides. Though it is not yet a ‘must-have’ for property developers when launching a new project (even if I think it is). The graphics quality, which was a major drawback with VR, is now at a level that is acceptable and only going to get better (I’ve discussed issue behind these limitations in previous piece). Towards the end of last year and the start of this year, property developers are starting to take notice with many more starting to take the plunge and get in on the VR game. This is great news!
But most current VR for property experiences are average… at best.
By that I’m not talking about the graphics side of things. VR is a new tech, no doubt about it. It isn’t just an evolution in still images, it is whole new form of media and requires more thought when implementing it as a solution. It isn’t a case of building the home and letting customers take a look around. This is potentially their new home - help them build an emotional connection with it! This is where VR can have the most impact and where the battle will be lost or won (standards will start to converge). If you’re a property developer and are thinking about VR, don’t just ask your VR studio if they can produce VR, but what interactive features can they implement to create an emotional and tangible connection to your customers - don't be afraid to offer your input, too.
The results will depend on how well your VR solution can tell the story.
VR gives the perfect opportunity for a sales track and it could be as simple as virtually leading the customer into the lobby (where they can ask the concierge questions), up the elevator, to the rooftop deck to take in the view (where they can also watch a video about the project on the cinema) before heading into the apartment. Once inside the apartment, they can check out the view, change the colour scheme or furniture and interact with their virtual dog or cat (used to portray the building is pet-friendly and also gain some emotional attachment with dog and cat lovers). This is just a simple example, and I omitted many smaller details, but you get the idea.
There is currently a broad selection of offerings when it comes to VR, but, like group deal websites, there will be consolidation and a convergence to best practice VR. This will be good for users and property developers alike.