The Impact of VR on Real Estate in 2016

The number of ways our lives are going to be enhanced by virtual reality in 2016 is almost limitless. Industries will see big transformations as home VR grows. A telling sign of the expected breakthrough VR could make in 2016 is that officials at YouTube are convinced, virtual reality is on the cusp of a major breakthrough into the main stream in 2016. Starting with basic virtual reality in Google Cardboard it appears the company is now going full-fledged on the virtual reality

Fortunately, for Alphabet YouTube will probably be a major hub for 4K video. We are already initally seeing 4K CR videos being rolled out on YouTube. This recent 4K 360 view Great White Shark video tour is just the beginning.

One large industry I see it having an immediate impact is real estate. Generally, the real estate industry has been very forward leading in utilizing the Internet. Real estate agents have been early adopters of websites, social media, IDX, video tours, and even drones. I think this same factor will immediately come into use with virtual reality.

The beginning VR technology lends itself perfectly as a medium to facilitate real estate transactions. Residential real estate already finds agents utilizing 4K video for home tours. .

Why 4K Matters

HD broadcast are either 1280 x 720 pixels or 1920 x 1080 pixels. A 4K resolution image on the other hand has a resolution of 4096 × 2048 pixels, or more than double the horizontal pixel count. However, when viewing 4K 360 Video (4096×2048) you are only seeing 1.3K if your FOV is 120 Degrees. — 360Heroes

The increased quality of 4K will allow savvy agents to utilize the amazing difference in resolution to provide consumers 24/7 access to amazing video tours.

The biggest benefactor will be those looking to buy or rent. The ability to tour as many homes as one pleases at their own leisure could eventually change the agent, client relationship.

The consumer will not have to enlist the services of a real estate agent until after a person has had a chance to explore both numerous homes and the general neighborhood. Savvy real estate agents will need to find ways to utilize the consumer demand of 24/7 access to video tours.

The real estate industry will also benefit from increased use of virtual reality by home improvement company’s like Lowe’s and Home Depot. As a recent Consumer Reports article, Before You Renovate Your Kitchen Review Your Plan In Virtual Reality, points out Lowe’s is already embracing the use of Oculus Rift headsets in 6 pilot stores. The new program according to the article…

Lowe’s new Holoroom program lets you download an app to a tablet, quickly create a grid mirroring the layout for a kitchen or bathroom in your home, and then renovate that room with hundreds (if not thousands) of items from Lowe’s inventory.
Choose a sink cabinet and slide it along the wall until it’s right where you want it. Now swap in a few faucets and Formica samples. Add a refrigerator, dishwasher, windows, floor tiles, light fixtures, cabinets, etc. Those products have all been laser scanned and uploaded to the app so they look much like the real thing.

Being able to tour fixer upper homes, they upload that information in a program like Lowe’s Holoroom, could help spur first-time home buyers as they would more accurately be able to estimate repairs.

In addition to first-time home buyers real estate investors will also benefit from the ability to tour homes on their time while better estimating repairs. We’ll have to look and see whether virtual reality or crowdfunding will have a bigger impact in 2016.

Commercial Real Estate
Commercial real estate will benefit from the adoption of the same practices as the residential market. 4K drone videos may find the greatest use in commercial real estate. As you can see from the video below drone videos allow investors access to many areas that were once not even possible.

2016 is shaping up to be to be the year of Virtual Reality and not a repeat of the 90s. It will still take consumer acceptance to get it over the hurdle but the technology is finally here.

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