When you think of virtual reality, you probably think about games rather than real estate.
But real estate is actually perfectly positioned for this virtual reality, or VR for short.. And visual marketing is the power tool of your marketing kit for real estate. Photos, videos, 3D models and floor plans are all ways to bring homes to buyers during the search phase.
Before you can use VR to market your real estate business, you need the right VR content and the right hardware. Thankfully, VR options for real estate are readily available, and hardware is very affordable.
The smart folks at Houselens recommend Matterport 3D models as your content source. They also have put together a very handy basic primer. Of course, you can always browse a reputable site such as C|Net for helpful reviews.
1. Use VR in Your Broker’s Office
This might be an obvious choice for a place to set up VR, but that’s why many real estate agents would overlook it. Luxury brokerages started the trend, using high-end VR setups to help buyers tour luxury homes that were not open to regular showings (e.g., for privacy or security reasons).
Now that affordable VR headsets are available, the average agent or brokerage can do the same for their buyers. You can even set aside a “showing room” dedicated to VR. Bring buyers in to preview homes that are not available for immediate showing, or to help them narrow down their list of choices.
2. Use VR in the Buyers’ or Sellers’ Homes
Google Cardboard VR headsets cost less than $15. Take one along with you to listing or buying appointments as part of your package. What better way to demonstrate how you can market a home than by showing your prospective client what the experience might be like? And most cardboard headsets collapse flat, so you can conveniently fit one inside a briefcase, purse, or folder.
Use VR at your listing presentations to impress sellers – imagine the impact of saying, “This is how I’m going to market your home!” Or let buyers preview listings from the comfort of their couch, with you there to serve as a resource. The experience will show buyers and sellers that you understand today’s media-hungry client, and it will make your visit highly memorable.
3. Use VR at Your Open House
This is a less obvious choice, since agents or buyers are already in the home, in real life. But we have customers who have done this, to rousing success. People just find it fun to explore a property in VR, and it gives agents an idea for how they might market the home to their own buyers.
It’s all about creating a memorable experience.
As long as your sellers don’t mind, you can also use VR at an open house to show agents and buyers some of your other listings. Especially with Matterport’s collections functionality, you can create a virtual caravan to get buyers or agents interested in similar properties.
4. Use VR at Community Events
The next time you set up a booth at a local festival or other neighborhood events, take along a VR headset. Use it to show visitors your listings, or even just to entertain them. The point is to represent yourself as a media-savvy agent and make your presence more memorable so that, when people need an agent, you’ll be the one they call.