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  • Chris Seher

From Funding through Lease Up and Sales, VR Improves the Multifamily Process

Multifamily developments face many challenges throughout their lifecycle – from design and financing through pre-leasing/sales and property management. Virtual Reality (VR) helps create an enduring asset that benefits all aspects of this process.

VR Facilitates Capital

Closing an initial round of investment capital or financing for new construction can be challenging particularly when the potential capital source is struggling to understand the project vision. Traditional CAD files and 2D renderings may not be enough to provide sufficient clarity. Likewise, financing is often tricky because many lenders have pre-sale requirements, mandating that the development secures enough sales — typically 30-50% — before a construction loan will fund. This means on-site buyer tours cannot begin until construction is far enough along, usually 12-18 months after groundbreaking.

Developers and sales agents have to find new ways to make their offerings stand out long before they bring them to market. Meaningful and well-planned investment and sales strategies are vital to the project’s success. Without adding significant cost to the project, VR can help the capital provider better understand and evaluate the project – expediting a decision. This strategy allows for a more thorough due diligence by investors and lenders while minimizing site visits and travel. It also enables investors to tap into more profitable opportunities outside their immediate geographic area.

VR is a Differentiator

From conceptualizing units to signing contracts, the biggest challenge to leasing or pre-selling multifamily units is confronting a buyer’s lack of vision or understanding of the project and its offerings. To convert lookers, sales/leasing centers must explain developments clearly and visually to entice transactions. State-of-the-art technology such as VR is imperative in the process. The VR solution may range from very affordable to elaborate models with headset capability and drone capture, allowing potential buyers to virtually experience the property and its surroundings.

Given the current generational shift in the market, current and future clients are more likely to use virtual tours as part of their key decision-making process. VR tours can rapidly provide a firm marketing foundation needed for a successful campaign. Studies show that property listings with virtual tours get significantly more phone and email inquiries than property listings without them. With more than fifty percent of potential tenants starting their searches online, these listings attract more clicks than properties which do not include virtual tours.

Here are some key facts on virtual tours:

· Two-thirds of people want more mobile virtual tours

· Virtual tours engage people 5-10X longer

· Virtual tours double the interest in a property

· Among 18 to 34-year olds, prospects are 130% more likely to base their initial decisions on virtual tours

Virtual tours can be viewed on any mobile device, embedded in listings, websites and e-marketing campaigns as well as linked from traditional marketing materials. Not only do VR tours produce interactive and immersive virtual reality experiences, they can also produce traditional renderings, all at a cost less than what most pay for renderings alone.

Click on either of the two Images above to view a preliminary demonstration of an interactive and immersive Pix VR Tour of a multifamily community that is currently finishing its design phase and about to begin construction --- to see how this cutting-edge technology can separate you from your competition and get deals closed faster with better results.


“Pix’s cutting-edge VR technology provides comfort and confidence to tenants being asked to sign a lease for an unfinished property. Use of the Pix VR platform provides a more realistic look and feel, and lets people walk through the property before it exists.

We had tenants who came to move in and said, ‘This looks exactly like it did in Virtual Reality.’ In addition, I could get a ton of renderings from different angles without a lot of

time on Pix’s end. It came in even handier than I thought it would.”

David Klein of IPA

VR Provides Global Reach

VR evokes emotions that engage and meet the challenge of getting potential clients emotionally invested in long-distance or undeveloped properties. Studies have shown that VR evokes positive selling emotions such as joy, curiosity and excitement. These tours make the property more real to the buyer. Even the geographically distant clients are more invested in the property after they have experienced it virtually.

From a buyer’s perspective: Since internet-based marketing reaches all over the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, VR tours allow potential clients to truly explore and experience the property from the comfort of their homes and on their time. With VR tours, they can visit many properties in the time it would take to visit just one (even if they lived near the property). Research has shown that out of every possible aspect of a property tour, clients care overwhelmingly about the actual layout of a unit. Although in-person tours can easily satisfy this need, these types of tours are not always desired or necessary.

From a seller’s perspective: Arranging property visits, showing the property and discussing terms and prices are extremely time-consuming. However, with VR tours it does not matter where your client is located. VR tours can help showcase properties to long-distance investors, buyers or tenants remotely. This allows you to work with more clients and process more inquiries from anywhere in the world – all from the comfort of your office.

VR has a Valuable Life-Cycle Beyond Lease-Up

Multifamily developments usually hold one or more staged units for physical tours. This holding cost varies depending on several factors such as location, size, style or extent of furnishings. Staging a model unit can easily range between $7,000 and $30,000 in addition to the lost holding cost on the unit. Virtual tours avoid these costs while allowing virtual staged properties to be viewed by potential clients at anytime from anywhere.

Also, as lease-up progresses, property management activity increases. At this point the VR model may be converted into a stacking plan, allowing clients and management to see which floors have vacancies. Also, with a single click, a unit’s floorplan can be virtually explored. This functionality can be database driven and fully automated once created for the property.

As time passes, multifamily developments eventually need to go through a phase of upgrades, remodels and rehabilitation. During these times, the VR model may be used to visualize potential design scenarios and initiate pre-leasing of the newly refurbished units prior to the start of work.

Give All Your Clients What They Want – Using VR Tours

From investors to marketing and sales agents, to clients and property managers, give each of them the benefit of a VR tour that is designed for each phase in the process of designing, funding, developing, populating, managing and upgrading your multifamily development.

To learn how, please click below to learn more:

· Or call +1 281.299.3159

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