Virtual reality (VR) is expected to make a $15.6 Billion impact on the economy in 2020, so it’s safe to say that this is less of a trend and more of a future way of life. Just as most technology and visual media disruptions have historically impacted commercial real estate – VR is no exception.
Here are three ways virtual reality is impacting CRE the most!
Virtual reality lets you see a space before it’s even made.
Whether you’re turning a demolished pile of rubble into a luxury apartment building, a vacant empty property into a mixed-use space or turning a dark, musty warehouse into a hip office space – it can be hard to get everyone on board to see the same vision. Not all people can really imagine the finished product from pages drawn-up by an architect either.
“We wanted to be able to communicate to the brokers and tenants what the finished product would look like,” says Dana Pike, the senior vice president of a company spearheading the use of VR in uncompleted developments in CRE, “We had seen VR in other industries, and felt it was a good application.”
Clients don’t have to be anywhere to tour a property.
This is probably the most helpful aspect of virtual reality for commercial real estate. It can feel impossible at times to get one busy person, let alone multiple into a property at once. This is especially true for international clients. Now, instead of having to send a person to represent them in a tour (who may not convey everything back to them the way you want) or having to drive across town, a person can now tour a property from any place that is the most convenient for them.
Companies like Matterport are using photos of a property to create 3-D models, that offer users 360 degrees views of a property.
Virtual reality is the natural next step…
A few different moving parts add-up to VR as a natural next frontier for CRE. First, photos and now videos have been a more than necessary part of selling a property since it was possible. The use of drones are making it possible to see properties in a whole new way, so it makes sense that there would be, yet another step to take when it comes to visual media. Next, technology advancements parallel the major disruptions of CRE: Websites, email, SEO, social media… and now VR. If there is a new way to connect with people through technology, that technology is going to find its way to CRE. Last, in an ultra competitive industry, companies are always looking for a new way to have a leg-up on the competition.