The growing importance of virtual viewings

Science fiction is fast becoming science fact. Think of the tropes that were present in your favourite films when you were younger. Cars that drive themselves – we have those now. Robots that will clean your house – you can find those at most leading retailers. Technology is now advancing at such a rate that you’d need to use a Star Trek style teleportation device just to stay ahead, and given the rate of development, they’ll probably have those by the time you’re done reading this too.

Given this, it should come as no surprise to learn of the increasing impact that virtual reality (VR) technology is having on our lives. Already virtual reality is being used to train and educate surgeons and firefighters in realistic scenarios without compromising anyone’s safety, and closer to home, virtual reality headsets are taking the levels of immersion to a new level in the world of gaming.

We can now recreate the real world with millimetric levels of detail, and as a result we’re now witnessing the rise of a number of VR based solutions targeted at the real estate sector. For the majority people, the most prominent application of the technology will be seen in virtual viewings providers. But why do we need virtual viewings I hear you ask – well, let me run you through some of the benefits.

The benefits of virtual viewings technology
The first and most obvious advantage is that it allows for homebuyers and estate agents to continue their property searches with a relative degree of normality. It isn’t uncommon to hear of a house having 5 or 6 viewings a day when it’s up for sale, and this could result in a number of different households all spending a significant amount of time in a confined space. While this is undoubtedly efficient, it also creates a huge viral transmission risk and has been rightfully outlawed giving that COVID-19 still has the country in a figure-four leglock. Virtual viewings allow a number of different people to all explore a property at the same time – many more than would even be feasible in reality, even in a non-COVID era. This means that potential buyers are able to take much more time scrutinising the property safely, making sure it’s for them.

Further, virtual viewings are much greener than physical viewings. The constant shuttling from property to property creates a huge amount of greenhouse gases from associated motor vehicle travel, and it’s been estimated that stopping these journeys and replacing physical viewings with virtual ones would be equivalent to removing the carbon footprint of 11,800 households.

Finally, by using a virtual viewings provider, you’re able to be sure that the property your viewing has been measured accurately. One of the most unspoken about aspects of the real estate industry is the scale of mismeasurement – with thousands of properties being sold every year with an inaccurate floorplan. Given the implication that this could then have on valuations and mortgages, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that those who may’ve fallen victim to this often decide to stay quiet. This isn’t to say that those in the real estate sector are good for nothing, shiny suit wearing charlatans – instead the issue is more indicative of wider failings. To produce a truly accurate floorplan often needs specialised equipment, proper training and the correct application of some complex maths, and unfortunately the responsibility of creation is often given to those who don’t have the proper resources to do this. Virtual viewings technology uses technology which is capable of accurately capturing and measuring spaces down to the millimetre level, taking the pressure off property professionals, and ensuring that the homebuyer is given an accurate floorplan.

Who’s leading the way in the world of virtual viewings?

Smart Viewing
Smart Viewing is an online platform that allows agents to show properties to home seekers remotely. It offers both 1-to-1 and group viewings, allowing homebuyers to invite their friends and family to property viewings wherever they are. The property tour can take place whilst having video of voice call with an agent, truly replicating the experience of a real-life tour. The platform is also web browser based, and device agnostic, letting users access the platform in the way that suits them best.

Eye Spy 360
Trusted by leading lights in the real estate sector such as CBRE, Eye Spy 360 is billed as the “world’s leading 360 Virtual Tour Platform”. Users simply upload phots from a 360 camera and receive a 360 Virtual Tour, 3D Model and floor plan within hours. If a 360 camera isn’t available – users can simply use their mobile phone! Estate agents can also record narrated tours, in addition to illustrating a property might appear after it has been refurbished or renovated.

Virtual Viewings
Virtual Viewings provides complete virtual tours of properties, viewable through a variety of means including computers, tablets, phones or virtual reality headsets. Customers can be shown a wide range of properties using a smartphone and virtual reality headset from Virtual Viewings, or the tour can simply be added to a website or property portal. To create the tour, Virtual Viewings spends 20 to 40 minutes taking the necessary photographs of a property, before processing these into a fully VR ready virtual tour within 3 working days.

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