The advent of virtual reality (VR) has perhaps been more gradual than originally expected, but it’s finally in the mainstream. Quarterly VR headset sales hit one million for the first time in the last fiscal quarter of 2017, and the headset market for virtual and augmented reality platforms is projected to grow tenfold by 2020.
VR home tours are now close to standard practice for sellers and a few real estate agents, slowly replacing the traditional open house. The VR tour lets users walk through prospective homes without having to schedule a showing, rearrange their weekends, or even leave their living rooms.
The benefits of a VR walk-through for the seller are perhaps the most pronounced of all tech tools, starting with its convenience. Sellers don’t have to be displaced for the length of an entire open-house session, giving themselves all that weekend time back.
After the VR presentation has been created, owners don’t even have to keep their residences in immaculate condition from weekend to weekend in anticipation of dozens of strangers walking through the halls. With just the one-time setup, a VR experience can be produced quickly, effectively and inexpensively. Visitors can access the tour 24 hours a day, and the seller doesn’t have to kick anybody out at 6pm.
As I’ve discussed before, a physical open house can constitute a security risk. There’s no way to gauge the intent or interest of every individual crossing through your home. The VR tour eliminates that need, and prevents unknowns from stealing personal items or vulnerable information that might be lying about.
But most persuasively, when it comes to marketing a home, VR tours simply work. Homes with VR tours get much more online attention than those without, by about 40%. They also get drastically more inquiries via phone and email. These facts reflect dramatic savings in the time it takes to “break” a house on the market, which in turn translate to cost savings.