Technology is changing the way we market, inspect, buy, and sell homes. Coldwell Banker’s 2018 Smart Home Marketplace survey reveals insights on how smart home tech and VR (Virtual Reality) are set to benefit consumers in a myriad of ways.
What is VR? It is an artificial, computer-generated environment that you experience as if you were inside the image. Put on a virtual reality headset and you can go on a tour of a home without ever setting foot inside the door. As far as the selling process with VR, distance doesn’t matter. You can offer the same experience to a client in the United States and a client in Hong Kong.
In VR, you may find yourself in a movie film you’re watching, or in the kitchen cooking with your favorite chef. Simply put, VR creates an illusion of depth. So if you are in a Georgian home and you want to check out the fireplace, merely turning your head to the side will bring the centerpiece of the room into view. With a VR headset, prospective buyers can move around the house and get a feel for how the space flows and how the rooms link together. They can explore all of the details that may be missed on a photograph and get a much better idea of room sizes and ceiling heights.
One problem that has plagued real estate agents for decades is that an empty home is a difficult sell. Without furniture and all of the other little touches that turn a house into a home it can be very difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves living in a particular property. With technology, the virtual solution solves this dilemma. Now ‘staging’ a home, just got less expensive and easier than lugging in actual pieces of furniture to fill a home when it’s open for inspection.
Coldwell Banker’s Survey included responses from 3,000 adults and revealed that:
--77% of homebuyers would like virtual reality tours before seeing the listing in person
--68% would like to use technology to see how their current furniture would actually look in a new home
Further, 62% of Americans said they would be more apt to go with a real estate agent, that offered VR Tours over an agent who did not.
When it comes to Smart Home products that could make or break a sale, the table below shows a percentage of Americans who already own, or plan to purchase, Smart Home products.
!(/content/images/2018/01/coldwell-banker.jpeg) *The most desirable smart home tools. Source: Coldwell Banker
The following Smart Home Products were picked by respondents to be the most important pre-install in a listing:
Smart Thermostat - 77% Smart Fire Detector - 75% Smart Cardon Monodie Detector - 70% Smart Camera - 66% Smart Lock - 63% Smart Lighting System - 63%
While some of the changes expected to hit real estate technology may be a decade out to be fully felt, the movement is taking steps forward every day. Virtual Reality has proven its worth and it won’t be long before it transforms the property-buying experience for home buyers all over the world.