Commercial developers are venturing into virtual reality technology as a way of allowing prospective tenants to visualize and experience a space — even before it is built.
One of the biggest technological trends over the past decade has been the ability to create and visualize 3D representations. While most of these technologies have been developed for the gaming and entertainment industry, virtual reality has grown into having key applications in real estate by allowing potential tenants and buyers to take a simulated “tour” of a property.
According to a recent study by Goldman Sachs Research, virtual reality will become an $80 billion market by 2025, with $2.6 billion being targeted for real estate. More commercial developers and brokers are currently exploring the virtual reality trend as a key tool in selling or leasing potential spaces.
How it works:
Commercial developers have begun using 360-degree video systems throughout their properties to record spaces. The recordings are edited together to create an interactive projection — or simulation — of the interior spaces and surrounding landscape. Potential tenants and buyers are able to view the 3D simulation using virtual reality software applications on a phone, computer or tablet.
The technology gives the illusion of walking through a space and allows the users to look around in different directions from multiple vantage points, feeling as if they are actually touring the property in person. Users can click or scroll on their device to navigate through a space and zoom in on particular features. Some of the 3D applications require special headsets.
Potential prospects can also tour a potential property before construction has even begun.
Some of the main providers of virtual reality applications and 3D gear include Facebook Oculus, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard and HTC Vive.
Uses and benefits:
Whether touring an existing property or one being developed, the virtual reality software applications will let users experience:
Among the most valuable benefits of virtual reality systems and applications include:
The cost outlook:
One hurdle for widespread use of virtual reality in commercial real estate is cost, which can run into the thousands of dollars depending on the scope of the project. The cost of hiring a professional to shoot 360-degree videos can be $3,000 or more. This cost is a lot more affordable with camera systems like the Matterport. Your 3D guy charges an average of 20 cents a square foot to shoot not only 360 degree but true 3D virtual touring. Gear such as headsets are available for under $100 dollars these days.
3D interactive headsets have become more competitive bringing more systems into the market with higher quality and lower pricing.
Because virtual reality hardware companies are continuing to innovate, however, the costs of virtual reality applications and 3D gear are still coming down. Commercial developers should also weigh the time-saving potential and the cost-savings of not having to arrange and conduct actual physical tours of their properties.
Transforming the industry:
A commercial virtual tour has the potential to increase interest in your property and simplify your sales efforts. This can provide you with a competitive advantage.
While virtual reality technology will likely not replace a physical building tour and still has a way to go, virtual reality stands to play a key role in transforming the way commercial developers and brokers do business in years to come.
Wearing 3D glasses, viewers can see an exact replica of the subject’s anatomy and use an accompanying stylus to digitally manipulate parts of the body projected on the screen. Origin Aguirre, who has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Monterrey in Mexico, first tried to use 3D imaging for oil exploration but found more data available in radiology and other medical fields. Cost The company charges $25,000 a year for a subscription to its software, or $22,000 a year with a longer-term contract.
Form and functionEchoPixel’s software stitches together data from CT scans, MRI machines, and ultrasounds to generate 3D images that medical professionals and patients can examine and manipulate using 3D glasses and a stylus.
Innovator Sergio Aguirre Age 40 Title Founder of EchoPixel, a four-year-old, 18-employee medical-imaging startup in Mountain View, Calif.
Equipment The system has a desktop PC equipped with EchoPixel software and cameras that track a user’s head movements. Wearing 3D glasses, viewers can see an exact replica of the subject’s anatomy and use an accompanying stylus to digitally manipulate parts of the body projected on the screen. Origin Aguirre, who has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Monterrey in Mexico, first tried to use 3D imaging for oil exploration but found more data available in radiology and other medical fields. He founded EchoPixel in 2012.
CustomersEchoPixel has about 20 paying subscribers, including Stanford and the Cleveland Clinic.
Use EchoPixel pitches its technology as a way to diagnose diseases, plan surgeries, and educate patients. For doctors, it can also take the guesswork out of converting 2D scans to 3D actions.
Next Steps “This interactive virtual reality really facilitates understanding,” says Ken Merdan, a senior research and development fellow at medical-device maker Boston Scientific. “When you are looking at something complex—and anatomy is complex and hard to understand—it’s easier to grasp in a short time frame.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved EchoPixel’s system, and the company says it’s working on refinements that will eliminate the need for 3D glasses, letting people view its images on standard mobile devices.
With more and more companies getting on board, you will see 3d imaging become more affordable. This will open doors for doctors and patients to diagnose things like tumors long before they are life threatening.
If there’s one real estate trend that’s surely taken flight over the last couple years, it’s drones (pun very much intended). Drones are leveling-up listing photos, turning basic from-the-ground house shots into aerial masterpieces that showcase the entire property—water features, landscapes, mountain views, and more. A recent panel at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Conference & Expo in Orlando tackled the trend and highlighted some of the issues surrounding it in a 90-minute session, “Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones) and How They Can Help You.” Moderated by Trey Goldman, legislative counsel for Florida Realtors®, panelists discussed regulation updates, safety, education and more, while providing specific examples of how drones can take listings above and beyond.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forecasts that there will be over 1.3 million commercial drone pilots by 2020, with over 11 million commercial drones sold. Drones are a $2.6 billion market today, set to quadruple in 10 years to over $10 billion.
Goldman noted that much of the damage from the recent Hurricane Matthew in Florida was shot via drones and that Disney World just received permission to fly drones over their parks in the evening. Drones are here to stay and everybody wants in…even those with world-renowned mouse ears.
People across the country are beginning to think about what their life will look like next year. It happens every fall; we ponder whether we should relocate to a different part of the country to find better year-round weather, or perhaps move across the state for better job opportunities. Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house now or wait.
The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now!
Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.
According to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market (which is 4.5-months).
This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.
There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market soon.
Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase, reaching historic levels in 2017. Last month’s new home sales numbers show that many buyers who have not been able to find their dream homes within the existing inventory have turned to new construction to fulfill their needs.
The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.
Fannie Mae announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007’s pace. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing timelines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.
According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.57% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.