I feel very fortunate to have been asked to host a session at the AR/VR marketing conference in Dublin in a few weeks time and Alex Gibson, the organizer of the event, very kindly forwarded me some news of a very exciting move by Sherry Fitzgerald, the leading real estate firm in Ireland.
It just so happens that I was also sent it from someone else at the exact time, Keith Osborne, the editor of Showhouse magazine. It seems that Sherry Fitzgerald have agreed terms with Samsung to be the first property firm to use virtual reality (I hear this quite a bit but I haven’t yet heard of an agent in Ireland using VR so I think I can agree with this).
It appears Ireland’s largest estate agents approached Samsung to work with them on the project as part of a wider business initiative to monitor global technology developments and they have developed a virtual reality platform which enables buyers to do a virtual walkthrough of an unbuilt property simply by wearing the headset which transports them inside to conduct a viewing – as if they are standing in the built property – in this case Rokeby Park in Lucan Village, West Dublin
This is all exciting for me given a recent article I have written for Showhouse magazine about this very topic and new build developers looking at VR as a platform to display new build properties. I also appreciate the quote by Ivan Gaine, the head of New Homes at Sherry Fitzgerald, who stated “We are hugely excited to be leading the field in this exciting cutting edge technology. The freedom it gives our viewers to go on a virtual walkthrough of an unbuilt property and appreciate the proportions of the rooms, see the views from the window and experience the expected finish of a show house all by simply putting on a headset, is very futuristic. The Samsung VR walkthrough is now one of the suite of marketing tools available to our developer clients and initial reaction from our clients and our ultimate buyer customers is overwhelmingly positive. We have also developed 3D printed models and touch screen technology at many of our launches and marketing suites.”
What I also found interesting – partly because I see this as a stepping stone to the future of estate agency offices (at least for the next 5yrs until all homes have VR headsets) is what Joanne Geary, their Marketing Director, had to say about it all “We are currently developing the next evolution of the technology and our ultimate plan is to have VR Headsets in every Sherry FitzGerald office around the country where buyers can virtually view any property on our books simply by viewing through the VR Headset. The technology is just as relevant for large scale commercial developments where we can model up what an office building will look like and conduct a viewing of for office or retail leasing purposes for example. The opportunities are endless and our journey has just begun.”
If nothing else, this is a very good step forward in the world of virtual reality in real estate but I also think it is the start of something more than that. It shows that intelligent real estate businesses are starting to look further forward. This news links new build developments to virtual reality but also shows what the shop front can provide developers (and home owners). It isn’t just about property pictures in the windows but showing that high street offices can facilitate the immersive experiences of property viewings of the future……..it will be a while till we all have VR devices so lets help people find appropriate properties in our offices rather wasting everybody’s time.
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