Virtual reality is in a weird gray area where it’s not new technology, but it’s also not old. It’s a reboot. A retro, of sorts. We’re now past the halfway point, meaning that now you can’t even mistakenly say ‘It’s 2016’. No, it’s not. It’s 2017. We’re now IN the future! Back in the day, people would talk about ‘the year 2000’ and ‘the 21st century’ in terms of flying cars, robot butlers and meals in pill form. While we may not have those exactly, it’s very easy to become a little jaded by the technology we do have.
And that’s understandable. We now live in a time where technological innovation is moving at a faster clip than ever before. It is with a hint of irony that one of the biggest consumer-level tech innovations is actually a bit of a throwback.
Virtual Reality: Back to the Future
Virtual reality, while existing in a variety of forms since the 1950s, had its first true consumer breakout in the 1990s. Some of you will remember the massive platforms displayed prominently in the front of mall video arcades (remember those?!) where users paid $20 to look completely weird in front of everybody watching. The internet wasn’t far behind and relegated VR technology to gather dust on the shelf alongside laser discs and cassettes.
It wasn’t until Oculus Rift came along in 2010, that VR made its ‘retro debut’ – 3 years after Google’s Street View introduced interactive 360º imagery to help users navigate streets.
As of last year, 230 companies are working on developing VR tech – including heavy hitters like Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Sony – in a rush to be first to bring the full VR experience to consumers.
But What’s That Got To Do With Real Estate?
To answer that, we look at ImmoViewer. A German company who run their North American operations from a Delaware office, ImmoViewer are at the forefront of entry-point 360º virtual listings services for real estate professionals.
What Are Virtual Listings, and What Do They Do?
Immoviewer provides you the equipment, an interface, and a platform for all of your virtual listings (a full 360º interactive multi-room ‘house tour). “Immoviewer CEO Ralf von Grafenstein said in a statement that the company enables Realtors “to create, share, and sell with technologies that in the past have been considered exclusive or luxury.” wrote Inman earlier this year. Virtual listings enable you to conduct a 24/7 open house/viewing without asking the property owners to vacate.
Basically, the potential buyer can conduct a full walkthrough of the property at their own leisure, AND you can conduct a guided virtual listing tour with them online in a format similar to a webinar. This is great for working with buyers who need a lot of viewings to decide, and it’s the PERFECT reason to touch base for a follow-up.
Immoviewer Pricing Structure
You pay a monthly subscription fee based on the following strata:
- $69 for 5 active tours
- $99 for 10 active tours
- $159 for 20 active tours
The camera equipment is included in a yearly virtual listings subscription model, by the way!
How To Capture Your 3D Listing Using Immoviewer
Let Ralf explain the marvelous simplicity of virtual listings to you himself in this video.
The Bottom Line
While Google Street View’s new app functionality allows you to take your own 360º photo tours of your property listings, and you can take some pretty impressive photos to make a somewhat virtual listing, it’s far from seamless and can be a bit confusing if you’re less than technically savvy.
If you’re already investing $400-500 in buying a true 360º camera, you’re already half invested into the cost of buying a camera AND getting support for up to five active tours AT ANY GIVEN TIME through ImmoViewer ($1,600 for a year with 20 active tours). AND you can add your tours as iframe content to your website, as well as shareable links so you can share your virtual listings to your social media channels!
At a cost of $2 to $4 daily, there’s no doubt you’re currently spending this money in much worse ways that aren’t opening new doors for your real estate business like ImmoViewer and their virtual listings service can.