Virtual real(i)ty

[] During a stagnant market phase, several real estate developers are banking on innovative virtual displays, to attract home buyers. We look at the benefits for home buyers and sellers

Imagine that you are on a virtual lift that takes you up to the 22nd floor of a building. A glass sliding door opens and you walk into the sprawling living room of a lovely apartment. You might want to touch and feel the things but you cannot. A number of real estate developers, are banking on such innovative virtual platforms, to sell products to their customers.

You are reading: Virtual real(i)ty

“Such visual charms serve to ‘shock and awe’ potential customers. It offers an exciting platform for developers to showcase their products,” explains Pranay Vakil, chairman, Praron Consultancy. Other innovations include placing cameras on a crane to stream visuals of the inner view of an apartment on a higher floor.

Real estate developers, such as K Raheja Corp, Kohinoor Group, Rustomjee and Ajmera Realty, among others, are using such strategies to lure more consumers. “Such virtual displays, offer fantastic experiences and experience is what matters, when it comes to home and living,” maintains Mudassir Zaidi, managing partner of SNZ Business Essentials.

Can virtual tours replace sample flats?

Besides providing a richer experience, experts feel that these virtual platforms could also replace sample flats and thereby, help developers to cut costs. “This could definitely be an effective strategy for cost optimisation and brand positioning, in an increasingly digital world. Moreover, it saves on people’s time,” adds Zaidi.

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[] Why is Indian real estate slow to adopt new technologies?

Developers in India are already offering ‘video walkthroughs’ that provide a linear view of the house, to their potential customers. Sellers and advertisers have also begun listing their properties using video walkthroughs. “Virtual reality will definitely transform the gaming and entertainment industry. The real estate industry will also benefit from it, with rapid digitalisation,” says S Subbiah, vice-president, architecture, at CR Narayana Rao Consultants Pvt Ltd (CRN).

Will virtual reality work in Indian real estate?

Nevertheless, barriers exist.

“Real estate developers also need to bring in ‘good content’, when it comes to virtual shows. Moreover, Indians like to take a physical tour of the property, especially when comes to buying a home,” points out Bharat Chauhan, an independent real estate professional.

This mind-set may be hard to change. Additionally, experts estimate that it will take at least five more years, before virtual reality headsets, come into the Indian market.

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“The only way that VR will work, is if we manage to get a number of users and for that, we need to bring its cost down and improve quality,” sums up Danny Carroll, a real estate professional and a businessman based in Mumbai.

Virtual shows for homes

Visual experience: Virtual platforms provide a rich and vivid experience of the homes on sale.

Advertising platform: This could be a good advertising and sales platform for property sellers.

Cost-effectiveness: Virtual platforms can be cost-effective, as it could replace ‘show flats’ and ‘sample flats’.

Portability: As it is a portable medium, it can be taken anywhere.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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