That is the question.
A terrible pun but if you’re not moving towards 3D then you will be left behind. If you market property now in whatever section of the industry you work in you probably use ‘professionally’ taken photos and floor plans. Very sensible.
If you don’t currently use professional quality photos and floor plans already then there is no hope for you I’m afraid – just stop reading. You haven’t embraced a quality visual form of advertising that has proven to deliver results so why would you bother considering the next stage in this evolution. I am sure in your world the phone call is king, getting people into the office, seeing them face to face. A sentiment I agree wholeheartedly with.
Property = People.
Just one slight problem, people want to see stuff before they see you. If you don’t believe me just take off all of the pictures from all of your adverts and get your best salesperson to try and generate some viewings from the leads they don’t get from Rightmove.
If you do believe the property industry to be best served by very visual immersive advertising and you’re not currently looking into presenting all of your properties in 3D, then you probably need to reassess all you currently think about how best to market property.
The future will be augmented and virtual reality. Supplemented by images. Your imagery will be a gateway to a far more immersive experience than is currently on offer. Undoubtedly good photos will set a scene and create an impression just as they do now but if you’re not thinking about offering more than that, well good luck.
VR is the obvious one. It is happening but people aren’t suddenly going to ditch their phones, tablets and desktops to start seeing property through VR glasses. They might well supplement the viewing experience at home but we believe that VR in property is essentially for enterprise – exhibitions, New Homes, seminars and conferences. Once you’ve seen a property in VR you understand, it takes the visual experience to a whole new level. However, to create a really good VR experience you need to start with 3D to provide the level of depth required to believe you really are ‘there’.
AR or augmented reality is the less obvious one for now but will become the new platform for pretty much everything. This is no exaggeration. Augmented reality and truly wearable tech that changes the way you view real life will alter everything you think you already know. AR will change the way you interact digitally with everything. TV, friends, shopping, going out, visiting places – pretty much any situation where you now whip out your smartphone to do something will change. Your smartphone will probably exist in some format but will power other wearable tech.
For property this means producing everything in 3D so you can see, explore and walk around buildings essentially projected onto whatever space/surface you want. You will be able to see current build projects in situ in life size, so you know exactly what the building will look like when it is finished. Present 3D models of buildings on an empty table and explore every space, helping potential buyers/tenants understand the scheme properly without having to imagine.
People will be able to view and share property and manipulate the interiors to see if their own furniture fits. Social media as we know it now will morph into digital 3D, you won’t just be able to see a thumbnail of your friends but a 3D visualisation of them moving and talking as if they are in the same room. Just think about this expansion into the property game and think about the time saved and the advantages.
What is worth stressing though in my opinion, is that all of this new visual tech should only serve to supplement the human element of the business. Images do NOT conduct complex negotiations on their own and certainly don’t provide a layer between vendor and purchaser/landlord and tenant. As far as I’m aware images also don’t unlock doors and conduct viewings yet.
The future though is 3D so embrace it.