January 22, 2017 David Grandison Jr

Real Estate Virtual Reality (VR): Using 360 degree Photos and Video to change the game

Coldwell Banker Real Estate Agents Used Virtual Reality to Change How Brokers Tour Homes (PRNewsFoto/Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC)

Virtual reality (VR) is the next breakthrough tool for real estate. Real estate sales associates affiliated with Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC in Northeast Ohio are moving away from the traditional “broker’s open house” and are using virtual tours to transform the way the real estate community can preview their real estate listings.

Here is an example of a VR / 360-degree image of a kitchen that the Geolocated VR team shot at a home in Washington DC.

Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Anthony Colantuono and Mike Crimaldi, sales associates with Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty in Brecksville, Ohio, co-listed a $1.65 million property in Moreland Hills, a suburb of Cleveland. Instead of hosting a traditional on-site showing for area real estate agents, the pair opted to invite brokers to tour the home in virtual reality at a restaurant 20 miles away and closer to the city’s top agents. Over 80 agents attended and the event and tried out Samsung Gear VR headsets, offered by Samsung as a new way to view properties. This unique event provided these forward thinking agents with the ability to introduce this new tool to the local real estate community and show them how to use it in a fun and festive way.

“Agents are always looking for the next best way to market their homes, and virtual reality is it. I’m now convinced. We more than doubled the amount of agents we would have normally had at a traditional open house. This type of exposure is critical. And while we would fully expect these agents to bring prospective buyers to the home itself, the agents now have an amazingly realistic view of the home.”

Anthony Colantuono, Sales Associate with Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty

VR/360 degree video technology is enabling agents to share listings with other brokers and to sell to customers in other states and countries. Modern customers are seeking new ways to view and learn more about listings from home, and VR or 360 video is the answers since the only tech they need is a smartphone (and a VR headset). VR images or video can be viewed without a headset on a mobile phone, on a computer or on TV and the user can still pan around the space and see 360 views of location. But VR headsets offer the ideal experience offering customers an immersive experience where they can turn their heads to naturally to view the space and understand the dimensions of the room.

VR headsets range from inexpensive VR headsets like the Google Cardboard that many users now own that can be branded and mailed to a potential customer, or mid priced headsets like the Google Daydream headset (Samsung Galaxy Gear VR) seen above that is offered by Samsung. Alternatively, many affluent, tech savvy customers already own more expensive headsets like the Playstation VR (which require a Playstation), or the state of the art Oculus headset (which requires a PC). More expensive dedicated Headsets like this can be loaned out to customers (shipped next day) for an exclusive immersive virtual tour viewing experience. Here is an example of how another Coldwell realtor in Miami is using VR video to enhance his personal brand and showcase his exclusive South Beach listings.

VR video productions like the one above offer the ability for an agent to “star” in their own video and to emulate the unique selling experience they provide in an immersive way. While a bit more costly to produce these tools set the modern broker or agent apart from the competition.

“Through virtual reality, we were able to see each detail of the house without ever stepping inside. It is so realistic that many actually reached down to hold the railing as they virtually walked down the steps. It’s a game-changer for real estate agents who potentially can use the technology to see dozens of listings in one sitting and provide even greater value to their clients.”

Mike Crimaldi, Sales Associate with Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty

VR techniques like this enable sales agents, brokers and potential customers who do not have time to travel to some locations, to virtually tour the location and see every room and every key selling feature of the home in a realistic and immersive way. This also enables the broker to increase the amount of eyes on a property while providing the experience more tech savvy customers are beginning to expect.

To learn more about your options or for a quote for a custom VR experience contact the GeolocatedVR team.

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