Virtual reality (VR) has been around for decades, but it remained a niche tool used by military and aviation companies to train personnel until recently. The arrival of affordable VR headsets like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR ushered in a new wave of commercial applications for virtual tours. The real estate industry is one of the early adopters of virtual reality.
Commercial real estate is one sector that has always appreciated the benefits of VR technology. In fact, the first attempts at virtual tours go as far back as the early 1990s with the creation of 360-degree slideshows. These were the slow-to-load panorama photographs that allowed you to swivel from side to side, but not up and down and sperically like today’s 360 technology. The technology was crude, but it was the beginning of something that would change the way real estate properties are marketed today. Virtual reality and virtual tours have come a long way since then.
Reduces Site Visits
Virtual tour technology may not completely eliminate site visits, but it does aid the process of elimination for buyers in selecting properties they wish to view. By visiting the site virtually, the buyer can weed out the listings that lack the features they seek. Also, this allows buyers to shop at all hours.
No Travel Necessary
Today, VR is used more than ever before to sell commercial properties. Virtual tours allow buyers to explore properties from the comfort of their homes without having to travel to the location. This is particularly useful for out-of-town buyers or those who cannot visit the property in person.
Letting Tenants Get an Inside View Without Going Inside
Potential tenants get a virtual taste of what it’s like to live or work in a particular property through VR technology. This is a great way to encourage new tenants to move into vacant spaces.
Better Leasing and Inspections
The commercial real estate industry has found some efficient uses of the technology, including providing a great way to encourage new tenants to move into vacant spaces. VR tours also streamline the inspection process.
Virtual Tours Expand Your Client Base
Commercial real estate agents can expand their client base by marketing their listings via virtual tours. Instead of just marketing to a handful of people who are local or near the property, virtual tours allow for potential clients to be reached worldwide.
This is particularly useful for out-of-town buyers or those who cannot visit the property in person. So, commercial realtors no longer need to rely solely on the local market.
Clients Explore and Interact with the Listing Freely
This technology enables clients to explore the property much more interactively. For example, potential buyers can walk through a space, look around, and get a feel for the layout – all without having to leave their homes.
This cuts down on time-consuming site visits, as agents can show a large number of buyers in a short period by sending out links to virtual tours.
Virtual Tours Make Staging Easy
Staging is a crucial element in selling commercial real estate. Virtual tours allow for rooms to be shown empty or with furniture, helping potential buyers envision how they might use the space. This saves time and money by letting agents show out-of-state clients without shipping pieces of staging across state lines.
Virtual Tours Are the Future of Commercial Real Estate
VR is a gamechanger for the real estate industry and has transformed how people buy, sell, and lease commercial properties. As the technology improves, so too will the range of uses for VR in the world of commercial real estate. So far, the real estate industry has shown it’s more than capable of adapting to new technologies, and VR is no exception.
Though in its infancy, virtual reality is sure to impress further with even more exciting applications for years to come. For now, commercial real estate agents and developers should consider using VR to help sell their properties to a broader audience. ViviScape’s team of virtual reality experts creates virtual tours, HDR property photography, and aerial drone photography services that help commercial realtors land more buyers and tenants. Check out this example of one of our latest virtual tours. For a free consultation, contact us or call (574) 207-6511.