If you are like many CRE professionals, you’ve heard the term Virtual Reality (VR), but you don’t fully understand how it can help you. Simply stated, VR can accelerate the design, approval, development, and transaction cycles for the CRE industry. VR can place the key stakeholders in a virtual environment, allowing for them to experience the space long before it is built or without having to travel there, and in a personalized way.
Multiple studies have shown that over 75% of the world’s population cannot look at a 2D drawing and develop an accurate 3D mental image of a building or space’s design. For a potential buyer or tenant, when you combine that with all the choices that a client must make regarding finishes, lighting, amenities, furnishings and decorations, the issue becomes compounded exponentially. For a new development this can create many questions in the approval process.
VR provides a complete, efficient, cost effective solution. Anyone can be completely immersed in a VR model to experience what the location, building or space will be like in its finished state. Added benefit is that the person can be anywhere in the world and the building or space can be customized with their preferred finishes, furnishings and other amenities, even before ground breaking, allowing them to experience the property as if it were theirs.
To give you a better sense of the benefits of using VR in CRE, here are some examples.
Sales – reduce the time and effort of property tours by allowing buyers to experience more options in less time through remote tours, ultimately reducing transaction timelines.
Leasing – create and refine test fits in real-time anywhere to expedite the decision making process (see RealFit).
Developers – greatly reduce holding costs by making the approval process easier and through quicker transaction cycles.
Renovation – understand not only the visual but financial impacts of design decisions.
Corporate Real Estate – reduce change management pressures of relocation by allowing employees to experience their new work environment before they move.
Asset & Property Management – integrate existing databases to show each property’s availability status, square footage, maintenance requests or records into the virtual environment.
Architects and Design Firms – save time and money with integrated collaboration, which expedites the approval process by all stakeholders.
College / University Housing – provide a virtual tour of your complex to anyone, anywhere, ... at any time.
Communicating a property and its story is easier. One of the key benefits of creating a Realtime-3D VR Experience is the fact that all forms of communication, data, and information can be integrated into the VR environment. The information can be made to appear based on where someone is in the model or by simply clicking on an object.
Example items that could be embedded include building specifications, pricing, videos or even live T.V. feed. The visual nature of VR also helps to transcend all language barriers.
A VR model’s multi-purpose capabilities can reduce costs and provide more flexibility than traditional methods for marketing, strategy/analysis and management. A single VR module can be used through the entire property investment cycle; from development/renovation to sales and marketing to management. For example, a single model can be used to create:
Marketing - Traditional Renderings, Video Tours and Spherical Panoramic Images
Strategy & Analysis - Exploring ‘What-if’ Design Scenarios and Planning
Management – Space Utilization, Security Assessment and Simulation
VR models can also be used to bridge the Clicks-to-Bricks divide. Virtual retail locations and college campuses can become interactive 3D web-based marketing tools to drive community involvement through collaborative games, online shopping, scavenger hunts and other events that increase web traffic and can provide rewards (e.g. a pre-paid gift card) for various levels of participation.