Virtual Reality - Revolutionising the role of the Estate Agency

A few estate agencies in London and the south-east (including Sawyers) have embraced modern technology that will completely change the way properties are viewed. Wearing a Virtual Reality (VR) headset, a prospective buyer can see 360º images that create a high quality 3D image of each room in a property. The headset tracks the wearer's movements and follows the specific hotspots through the property, giving the wearer the illusion that they are actually walking from room to room.

Spooky or the way forward?

Virtual Reality is currently in its infancy and is 'a commodity currently worth $1 billion and is expected to double in value by 2020' according to Goldman Sachs. Certainly the development of the use of VR is set to revolutionise the role of estate agencies across the UK and its use already has many benefits. 

Clients can view in their own time

Time is always at a premium and with so many potential house buyers / renters trying to juggle a busy job with finding time to view properties, using VR headsets, they can choose when they want to view the property as it is available 24x7. Instead of rushing to make an appointment to view, life can be taken at a more leisurely pace and the headset can be worn at home, sitting on the sofa.

It saves estate agents time

Prospective buyers often request to view a property even if they are unsure of its suitability. Using VR they can view a property and walk from room to room seeing the room sizes and the layout of the property more easily than by studying a floor plan. If they decide against it, there is no loss of time either for themselves or the agent.

It increases their customer base

The main advantage of using VR to view a property is that the property can be situated hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from the prospective buyer and yet they can still easily view it without having to book a flight. Many of the properties in London and other UK towns are being bought as investments by buyers living in the Middle and Far East and an agency offering the use of VR is definitely going to be preferential to them.

And this is just the first step

Whilst the use of VR is still new and revolutionary in the property market, it is already being taken a step further. Clever apps can show a potential buyer what the property would look like if it was furnished with all their furniture and if their furniture will not fit in easily, these App can suggest alternative fixtures and fittings! 

But there are downsides too

Interestingly, whilst house buyers have been very receptive to the idea of using VR, house sellers are not so positive about the idea as many firmly believe that the 'personal touch' provided by estate agent really does help to sell a house as they can talk knowledgeably to prospective buyers about the property and the area and sellers find this very beneficial.

Whilst some of the larger prestigious estate agencies will soon be offering VR tours of properties to their clients, at present the cost incurred is a deterrent to agents not willing to invest in the technology.  

However, at Sawyers we firmly believe it is certainly going to be increasingly used for house viewings in years to come so like with so many things we do, we want to be the first and the best! That’s why we are the first agent in Worthing and the surrounding area to embrace the power and benefits of Matterport Virtual Tours.

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