Augmented reality technology has exploded in popularity over the last several years. In 2021, the augmented and virtual reality market was valued at over $30 billion. But experts predict that it will increase to nearly $300 billion in just a few short years. This exponential growth will be driven by many factors, including the use of augmented reality in health care, education, retail, and of course, real estate.
Real estate agents, builders, investors, developers, buyers, and sellers have all embraced augmented reality technology. Now, it is completely transforming the real estate industry as a whole. So how is augmented reality used in the real estate industry? What are the benefits of augmented reality in real estate? Here’s what you need to know:
How is Augmented Reality Used in Real Estate?
Augmented reality is used in a number of different ways in the real estate industry. Some of its many uses include:
- Virtual Staging
- Building Models
- Construction Assistance
- Sales Support
- Listing Information
Staging a home refers to the process of adding furniture, decor, and other items to make it more appealing to potential buyers. According to industry experts, staging can help a home sell faster and for more money, which is why real estate agents often recommend it.
Staging a home with real furniture and decor can cost thousands of items. But now there’s another option: virtual staging powered by augmented reality technology.
Real estate agents can now use augmented reality software to add digital models of furniture and decor to empty homes. This ensures the listing photos of the home look like they are pulled directly from a high-end furniture catalogue. However, the home won’t actually have any furniture in it, so buyers can still walk through the empty space and imagine what their own pieces would look like in it.
Real estate agents are often tasked with selling homes that haven’t been built yet. For example, they may be hired to sell a house that is still under construction but nowhere near completion.
Selling a home before it’s finished is difficult. It requires finding a buyer who is able to visualize what the home will look like once construction is complete. This can be a challenge, but augmented reality technology can make it easier.
Now, real estate agents can use augmented reality software to build digital models of the home. This way, they can show potential buyers exactly what the home will look like inside and out once it’s finished. Buyers won’t need to use their imagination–they can tour digital models to see every detail of the finished product.
Augmented reality can help builders, contractors, and others during the construction of new homes and buildings.
For example, it’s important for construction workers to know where underground utilities and pipes are located before they begin building on a property. If they hit a natural gas line while digging into the ground, for instance, they could get seriously injured.
In the past, construction workers had to wait for someone to come to the property to mark the locations of these pipes and utilities. But now, they can use augmented reality technology to keep track of which areas to avoid.
This technology can project digital models of the layout of the underground pipes and utilities directly onto the real world environment. This helps construction teams visualize these elements that would otherwise remain hidden underground.
Real estate agents typically work with a sales support team that helps them with administrative and marketing tasks. These sales support teams are responsible for completing many tasks, including gathering specs, finalizing floor plans, writing listing descriptions, and more. Now, they can use augmented reality technology to complete many of these tasks.
For instance, a sales support team can use an augmented reality app to quickly measure the dimensions of each room in a home that is about to be listed. All they need is their smartphone to complete this task in a matter of minutes. This allows them to get the measurements they need to add to the online listing without having to waste time using a tape measure.
Augmented reality technology can also make it easier for potential buyers to access information about homes on the market.
For example, there are apps that allow you to pull up a home’s listing simply by pointing your smartphone camera at it. Once you point your camera at the home, the app will quickly identify the listing and pull up relevant information, including the square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and price. This information will be projected onto the user’s real world environment thanks to the power of augmented reality technology.
Because of apps like these, potential buyers don’t need to contact a real estate agent or spend hours conducting their own research to get the information they need about a home for sale.
What Are the Benefits of Using Augmented Reality in Real Estate?
There are many benefits to using augmented reality in the real estate industry, including:
- Saves time. Many players in the real estate industry, including agents, potential buyers, sellers, builders, and more, can save time by using augmented reality apps. For example, a potential buyer can use augmented reality to pull up a listing in a few seconds rather than wait for a real estate agent to call them back with information.
- Saves money. Certain applications of augmented reality, including virtual staging, can help sellers and real estate agents save money.
- Easier to sell properties. Being able to see digital models of what an unfinished home will look like can make it easier for real estate agents to sell these properties.
- Connect with a broader audience. This technology also allows real estate agents to connect with potential buyers in other cities, states, or countries who would otherwise not be interested in a property they couldn’t see in person.
What Are the Best Augmented Reality Real Estate Apps?
There are dozens of real estate apps that are powered by augmented reality technology. Some of the most popular augmented reality real estate apps include:
- Street Peak
- Curate by Sotheby’s
RealAR is an augmented reality real estate app that allows you to take a virtual tour of a property using only your smartphone. It essentially converts a two-dimensional floor plan into a three-dimensional digital model, which makes it easier for potential buyers to visualize the layout of a space before deciding whether it’s right for them.
Using this app is simple. All you need to do is take a photo of a two-dimensional floor plan or upload a PDF version of the floor plan. In a matter of minutes, the app will work its magic to convert your floor plan into a walkable digital model that you can tour.
AirMeasure is not specifically designed for the real estate industry, but it is used by many real estate professionals. This app serves as a digital ruler. In other words, it allows you to measure spaces using only your phone. No ruler or tape measure required.
To begin, simply open the app and point your smartphone camera at the space you want to measure. The app will ask you to mark your starting point and ending point. Then, the app will automatically measure the distance between the two marked points.
This app measures far more than just straight, perfect lines. You can measure all types of spaces with this app, which makes it perfect for real estate professionals who need to upload specs to a new listing right away.
Streek Peak is an app that was developed by Realtor.com, which is one of the most popular real estate listings websites. This app, which is only available on Android devices, uses geolocation data and augmented reality technology to quickly provide listing information to interested buyers.
For example, if you see a home with a for sale sign, you can open the Street Peak app to pull up information about the listing. Just point your smartphone camera at the for sale sign and let the app do the rest.
You can get more information about the homes around you by panning your phone around the neighborhood. The app will generate price bubbles that will appear above each home around you. This makes it easier for you to compare homes and see how much the average home is worth in the area.
Curate by Sotheby’s
The Curate by Sotheby’s app makes virtually staging a home easier than ever before. But it’s not designed for real estate agents who are trying to prepare a home for sale. Instead, it is designed for buyers who want to visualize what a specific home would look like with their furniture in it.
Buyers can use this app to virtually place different pieces of furniture and home decor items inside an empty space. The best part? This app comes in handy post-purchase, too. Once the buyer moves in, they can use Curate by Sotheby’s to make smart and stylish interior design decisions.
As you can see, augmented reality is changing the way people buy and sell properties. Thanks to augmented reality technology, it’s easier than ever before to complete real estate transactions.