Technological innovation and spread of mobile devices created a brand-new type of consumer. Modern consumers are used to on-demand, immersive interactions with brands and products they can access from the comfort of their homes. Just think of the success of cloud-based services like Netflix. Modern consumers became accustomed to having access to product experiences at any time and from any place, including on mobile.
Industry leaders recognized this radical transformation of customer expectations and started to invest in digital marketing tools that help to build that type of experiences. Consider industries like transportation or hospitality – the digital transformation had a massive impact on their development during the last decade.
The real estate sector should catch up with new customer trends
Real estate professionals can cater to the expectations of these consumers by appealing to their preferences and expectations. Many new homebuyers are Millennials – according to some studies, they account for 68% of all first-time homebuyers right now.
That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in marketing strategies that allow you to engage that demographic effectively.
Did you know that 81% of these buyers seek out visual content before making a purchase? And you can bet the same holds true regardless of whether they’re buying a new pair of sneakers or property.
The real estate sector is slowly responding to these trends in customer experience by including immersive visual content on websites, mobile apps, and social media.
According to a recent survey, 41% of homebuyers considered interactive property maps very useful and 40% said the same about virtual tour.
In fact, immersive virtual experiences in virtual reality are becoming the new standard. Visitors have been shown to spend 3x more time engaging with them than any other form of real estate marketing.
If there has ever been the right time to invest in digital marketing tools and visualization technologies like VR, it’s right now.
This overview of the current real estate trends shows why visualization technologies should become an essential element in your marketing strategy.
VR in real estate today
VR technologies have been around for a while now and steadily grew in popularity. Consequently, they dropped in price and became easier to use. Today, both buyers and agents aren’t as afraid of these technologies as in the past. Because of the globalization of the real estate market, it needs to find new solutions for engaging customers who can’t visit properties easily.
Experts predict that VR is the single most significant development in real estate since the introduction of web-based listings.
Virtual tours carried out both with and without goggles are now becoming the new standard for many real estate businesses that want to help buyers narrow down their options without having to waste time for meetings and physical showings of properties. To provide their customers with such experiences, real estate businesses hire companies that use sophisticated software to combine still photos into a form of content that is far more accurate and attractive than a traditional photo slideshow.
Even though 360° photography is technically not 3D, it provides a much more comprehensive view of the interiors. That type of presentation shows transparency and instils trust in home buyers. By presenting a property in this way, real estate agents or developers show that they have nothing to hide and their properties are exactly what they present them to be.
VR content creates an emotional response that a single static view of a property will never generate.
The ability to place customers in spaces located hundreds of miles away presents an opportunity for real estate businesses that target global customers.
VR technology can be used with goggles and headsets or paired up with a smartphone or computer to provide buyers with sophisticated computer-generated environments they can walk through and get a better sense of what the property is like.
Such VR viewing devices are available in various styles and at different price points. Some of the most common viewing devices are the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR. Cardboard goggles can cost a few dollars, and sophisticated VR headsets equipped with hand controllers can cost several hundreds of dollars. The software used to transform images into multidimensional environments has become far more accessible as well.
The rising popularity of VR is expected to build a market saturation that will eventually force technology companies to create devices that are even cheaper and easier to use for VR applications.
The future of VR in real estate
The total value of VR or AR venture capital investments made during the last two years amounts to $3.5 billion. And the virtual reality market is expected only to grow – from $1.37 billion in 2015 to a smashing $33.90 billion by 2022.
According to studies, in 2020 a total of 130,000 real estate agents will be using VR to show properties. They will spend around $5000 annually on the technology – a spending that is projected to grow by 10% every year.
Experiential retailing is on the rise and visualization technologies like VR are on their way to becoming the new standard in real estate.
Real estate professionals who fail to adopt these digital marketing technologies will struggle to connect with their target audiences already today and even more so in the near future.
Invest in VR right now
Real estate businesses need to engage buyers who are tech-savvy and used to accessing on-demand immersive customer experiences with products. The best way to capture the attention of these customers is offering visual content that stands out from the crowd and helps to build relationships based on mutual trust.
The widespread adoption of digital marketing tools in the real estate industry is only a matter of time.
That’s why right now is the best moment to start looking around and investing in digital marketing tools that help to bring your offer closer to your target audience and locate your business on the leading edge of the industry.
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