Beverly Hills Realtor and Executive Director of the Luxury Estates division at Nourmand & Associates, Rochelle Maize, in collaboration with the Hollywood Reporter, held a cocktail reception last month to celebrate the arrival of a technology sure to transform how international real estate is done. Virtual Reality has arrived.
Of course it started in Beverly Hills, at her listing at 704 Roxbury Dr., where film meets luxury real estate. Maize hired a specialized film crew to produce the video. A camera is placed in the center of the room and in minutes, produced 360-degree images. Then she commissioned the eyewear with custom graphics “Rochelle Maize Luxury Estates” on the side.
To “visit’ the property, the viewer opens the video in the YouTube app on their smart phone or tablet and selects the virtual reality glasses option. The video separates into bifocal images that, when the glasses are worm, appear three-dimensional, with the added dimension of being 360-degrees. Users can turn to face the floors, ceiling, and in any direction and see every detail of the property as if they were in the room.
With a Velcro tab, the average smart phone fits snugly right inside the device, so viewers have a pleasant experience. Guests were delighted to try the virtual reality first-hand, taking part in a launch of what may become the real estate experience of the future. “They loved it” said Maize, who had a successful wealth management business before her career in real estate. “They were pleasantly surprised at how they could go through the property.” Her overseas buyers like it, as well. “I plan on using it on all my higher end listings.”
The technology is expensive, she admits, costing a few thousand dollars to make a virtual reality video. But it is a video on steroids, and for Maize, it makes sense to share her top listing this way with her international clients. Maize predicts that it will become more popular in the next six months to a year, and that with more common use, there will be more competition, the technology will improve and it will become more adordable.
“Realtors budget for their properties,” she pointed out. “I tend to be a little more over the top.” Realtors can choose from drone shoots, videos, photos and now, virtual reality. “Its the new game in tow. When people realize how effective it is for international buyers, they’ll use it.” she predicts.