Augmented reality (AR)—a gift from the gods for some, and a good way to pass the time for others. We, however, think that AR will be taking an ever-increasing share of the video market in the years to come, and that’s if it doesn’t develop into a category on its own.
For example, Statista estimates that by 2025, the size of the AR market will increase to around $198 billion (we’re talking US dollars here).
True, augmented reality is currently in its juvenile stage, but don’t let that discourage you from exploring what it currently has to offer, especially when it comes to real estate. This is exactly why we’ll give you the most noteworthy augmented reality real estate examples, so read on.
What is Augmented Reality anyway?
AR is all about using modern digital technology tools to enhance the audiovisual experience in a novel, dynamic kind of way. We all got our mobile devices with us, and they all have cameras. What AR apps can do is put a layer on the camera to recognise various objects (e.g. buildings, places, monuments, household appliances), and then add visual layers and objects that don’t exist in the physical reality.
An example of this would be the RealAR app which lets clients see a life-size version of their before it’s even built! All they need to do is stand on the piece of land where the house is supposed to be, look at their smartphone or tablet screen, and see their future home. They can walk around their (virtual) house and experience every room in order to visualise exactly how their future home would look like. All you need are 2D and 3D plans of the property in order to scan and convert them into walk-throughs.
This is how augmented reality is changing the game in the real estate industry, and we’ll give you even more examples below.
Don’t confuse AR with virtual reality, though. Virtual reality is about making worlds and environments that are completely in virtual space, whereas AR is about enhancing the real world with the use of tech.
How can Augmented Reality aid the real estate business
You already know that video sells and showcases a product better than any photograph or text. And you don’t have to guess that it can help your real estate business in numerous ways. Of course, classic video content still reigns supreme, but an augmented reality real estate visual experience can really put the cherry on top.
AR technology provides new advertising options, helps clients visualise their homes before they’re built or furnished, helps you promote your properties in a more engaging way, and saves time, money, and resources.
To give you some ideas about potential ways to incorporate augmented reality into selling real estate, let’s go over some of its uses and provide you with a few examples.
Imagine offering your potential tenants the possibility to see the property they wish to buy or rent fully furnished before it actually is. They could create their dream home by choosing the virtual furniture themselves, which can help them to either fall in love with the place or realize it’s not for them.
For example, AR could help tenants visualize whether their furniture could fit into the rental they’re thinking about getting, effectively making them more confident about committing to it. This will save you valuable time, not to mention impress your tenants. If this seems a bit far-fetched, let’s look at some real-world examples.
With the IKEA Place app, you can put virtual furniture from IKEA’s catalogue right inside your room (or terrace). The AR app recognises the distance and scales the objects so that they look as they would in person. What’s even more amazing is that you can walk around the virtual furniture and look at the different pieces from all sides. This gives you the opportunity to show your potential tenants how they can use IKEA’s app on the properties they visit in person to try out different decor and imagine how their future home would look like.
AR Furniture and AR real estate
Innowise’s AR Furniture and AR real estate are two other notable examples. The former practically allows you to do the same thing as with IKEA Place, while the latter allows you to see realistic models of whole neighbourhoods.
The ARRE platform
The ARRE platform enables a virtual tour around and in properties before they’re built, similarly to the RealAR app we mentioned. Of course, it can be used for exploring already existing properties as well. In order to use it, you need to have the model of the property and upload it to their website, pick your rendering options, and share the resulting AR model with anyone you want.
Overall, incorporating augmented reality can:
- Help clients visualise their future home with the help of 3D;
- Create a more personalised product experience;
- Make the whole process of checking out property much more user-friendly, intuitive, and impactful;
- Make it easier for you to promote your properties on offer.
Alright, so potential tenants have an opportunity to open an augmented reality real estate app and check your properties on offer. Great. But AR can be used for advertising purposes as well, and we all know what incorporating powerful visuals can do for a marketing campaign.
Statistics show us that augmented reality ads are the future of advertising, and the possibilities for using AR in advertising to make the whole process a lot more interactive and engaging are plenty.
Ikea, one of the most popular furniture retailers in the world, is one of the pioneers in AR advertising. With an iOS AR mobile app, which worked similarly to their new IKEA place app, customers could scan different pieces of furniture from IKEA’s catalogue and see their virtual representation on the screen. This was a game changer for furniture shoppers because now, they were able to see whether their favorite pieces actually fit in the space reserved for them, choose the perfect color, and of course, do all this without leaving their house.
Another notable example is Domain Holdings Australia. Their Commercial Real Estate app (for iOS) uses AR to help potential tenants find new properties for rent or purchase. People simply scan their surroundings and are shown all available properties they might find interesting.
Incorporating these two AR examples into your advertising campaign can help you not only give a virtual tour of the properties your potential tenants are considering, but also give them the opportunity to envision how their future home will look like once it’s furnished. And while this will save you some valuable time, it will also entertain your clients, and possibly grow your property management business.
In general, augmented reality real estate tools and apps can potentially provide better engagement, save time and resources (e.g. can lower the number of exploratory visits), and open novel marketing and advertising options.
Even though the technology is still in its infancy, it’s developing very rapidly. And with Google, Apple, Snapchat, and the rest of the big guys investing in it massively, you can count on the return of investment if you catch the tide now.