According to the New York Times, the latest virtual reality technology could be changing the way people buy homes. Halstead Property in Manhattan is embracing the new technology and already having success with it. The company is now able to give virtual tours of properties using a Samsung Gear headset. However,the more interesting aspect of the new technology is demonstrated by the Halstead team’s virtual rendering of a four-story development in Astoria, Queens that doesn’t exist yet. Halstead had Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 1.11.36 PMhired a company called Virtual Xperience to create a virtual rendering based on the architectural plans.
The idea was to have potential buyers wear an Oculus Rift
headset and “walk” around the building. The more realistic the experience, the more likely a client might be willing to pay the asking price of nearly $1.98 million for the building before construction crews even broke ground — at least that was the hope.
Halstead says it will introduce three-dimensional displays and virtual-reality headsets to its offices this year, and the brokerage isn’t alone. Greenland Forest City Partners and Douglas Elliman Real Estate are also hoping to add virtual-reality technology in the coming months, as are individual brokers looking for a competitive edge. Digital design firms charge tens of thousands of dollars to create virtual customizable spaces for high-end buyers.
This technology is expected to transform the real estate industry and, some say, make house-hunting more efficient. It can help to reduce the stress of relocating to a new city or buying from abroad and also allow buyers to visualize properties in development.