What estate agents should know about augmented reality

September 20, 2017

Augmented reality (AR) is big news. Apple, Facebook, and Google are pushing the tech hard and as they strive to take it to the mass market. And, while until recently, expensive, clunky headsets have thwarted its adoption into the mainstream, that’s all about to change. In fact, according to a recent report, revenue for AR devices and content will reach a whopping $36.4 billion in 2023. That's 11 times higher than the estimated $3.4 billion predicted for 2019.

What is Augmented Reality?

The clue is in the name; AR is reality, augmented with layers of digital graphics. So AR creates a meaningful experience which blends digital components into the real world. Where it differs from Virtual Reality (VR) is that while VR offers a digital recreation of a real-life setting, AR produces virtual elements that overlap the real world.

AR is set to transform the future of marketing. Advertisers will be able to connect with customers like never before; creating immersive experiences where users not only see ads in front of them, but also around them. So, it’s no wonder that, while it’s only recently that this incredible technology been made available to smartphones, app developers are starting to use it more and more. But how can estate agents capitalise on the power of AR today?

Augmented Reality for Estate Agents

With AR technology, agents can combine floorplans, virtual tours, wide-angle photography, and VR to create immersive experiences that will revolutionise the home buying and selling process. For example, with an app and real-life marker, potential homebuyers can point their smart devices in an empty room to see how it would look with furniture.

Consumers are already using this technology when shopping. For example, IKEA has launched an app that allows people to place furniture in the virtual world into a real living room. So why should home buyers expect any less when making an even bigger purchase?

AR tech can also be combined with more traditional marketing practices. For example, an app can provide buyers with access to property information via their smartphones while looking at window displays, or viewing printed brochures. So buyers get instant access to information about any properties they are interested in. The tech can also provide an extra layer of insight to agents and sellers, with the ability to capture data such as engagement rates and details about who is looking at their properties and how often.

Of course, AR still doesn’t come cheap, but by working with an outsourcing partner, agents can capitalise on this remarkable tech, at an affordable price, and get it set up and delivering in no time. One-stop property marketing business Houseviz is leading the way in bringing this tech to the market, and is the first company in the UK to provide AR selling tools to estate agents looking to increase sales.

With AR set to become as transformative as mobile phones were, estate agents who get ahead of the game when it comes to embracing this ground-breaking tech, could see themselves ahead of the competition in the very near future.