Putting “virtual” and “real” together has become a readily accepted tool in real estate, and one that is expected to play a growing role in the future. An interesting conversation in light of recent experience with health precautions has been about which of the resourceful adaptations each of us has made will stay with us after the precautions have abated. Virtual reality in real estate was an important development already in motion, and its use has certainly accelerated even more in response.

Though virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) once sounded futuristic, we remember how rapidly the Internet changed the way people shop for a home and what is required to sell one. Online listings are so commonplace that even professionals who were hard at work before the digital revolution take it for granted now. The next evolution is likely to be just as rapid and just as complete. During recent health precautions, home searches in communities such as Brookhaven continued apace, thanks to virtual tours online.

Already in Motion

The efficiency and effectiveness of sorting through the second-phase considerations in a home search with walking tours that require no travel at all is hard to ignore. For our residential clients particularly, a move to Atlanta is, in many cases, prompted by a new job. Promotions, relocations, and pursuing new opportunities often bring executives and professionals here, and on these occasions time is of the essence. The fewer familiarization and search trips, the sooner our client is fully engaged in the work that brought her or him to Atlanta in the first place.

Imagine the breakthrough that virtual reality environments mean for shortening the search process. Not only can each property be represented in greater clarity and detail, but the surrounding environment can be explored more fully – all before boarding a plane or driving to the site.  Already, the ability to “see” what-ifs about furnishing or remodeling make it easier to evaluate the future possibilities of the property, not just the present ones.

Becoming Even More Realistic

The rapid rise in the capabilities of virtual reality technologies to simulate environments and sensory experience has brought about a world of possibilities. Though the technology was pioneered in the video game industry and refined in entertainment, the business implications for real estate now are solid. As the possibilities are being put into practice, the advantages are substantial and growing.

Millennials increasingly populate the market for townhomes and, as one result, these techniques are becoming more refined, as well as more accepted and widespread. Given the Millennials’ familiarity and adept handling of technology, it makes sense to expect that they will require a high-quality VR or AR experience when they search for a home. Not only is the Millennial cohort becoming a powerhouse in the real estate market, but the greatest tech impact they bring with them will likely be the in the way virtual reality (VR) will quickly become an expected means for Millennials to evaluate their options.

Impact on Commercial Development

For investors and developers, even without the time pressure of a residential relocation, the benefits of virtual reality can greatly widen the field of options that are feasible to explore – and explore more fully – through the use of virtual reality inspections. More properties, more realistically presented can lead to decisions that satisfy your goals more exactly and more fully.

Realism, as well as breadth, is added through the possibilities of virtual property inspections. In developing a commercial property or a visionary residential development, imagine how much more compelling the presentation of that project would be when presented with the benefit of the augmented and mixed reality environments made possible by virtual reality technologies.

Imagine being able to “walk into” an architectural model, experiencing the concept from a point of view within it, even before construction is begun. The potential is great for gathering support and investment, and for refining projects further before construction is begun.

As these immersive technologies come on-stream you can count on Engel & Völkers to turn them to our clients’ advantage. Engel & Völkers is known as the Atlanta leader in the sale of residential real estate and new developments, including the sought-after townhomes of Brookhaven. Call Skyland Brookhaven directly at 678-515-3927 or visit online at skylandbrookhaven.com.

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