Virtual reality (VR) is already proving to be a valuable tool within numerous industries, aside from just the videogame industry. Now VR may be proving its use as a mechanism for driving sales in the real estate market. Private-equity firm Onex is using VR to close sales at a building called The Grand at Sky View Parc, in Flushing, New York.
The new development underway in Flushing, Queens, has been using tours of unbuilt apartments via Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) presentations, and 75 percent of the available units on the market now have been picked up, according to the developer’s sales office.
The Observer went to Onex to try out the tour, with 10 different units available. The site describes how the tour works for a potential customer, when you start, you appear to float in the air outside the building. The sales agent selects a unit for you to see and you appear to float into that unit, so you can see where it is in the building. Inside, it’s clearly a rendering and it appears as a furnished space, to give viewers a sense of scale. The system carries you through the space, as a video might, but the sales agent can speed up, slow it down or stop, if you want to get a better look. Naturally, because it is virtual reality, it is possible to look in any direction while on the tour, including out the windows. Since some of the units on the tour are fairly high up, you can see far out into Queens from the windows of the unit. The views are renderings, but it still gives clients a potential idea of what it looks like. The only view that’s offered is daytime with clear skies.
Other than viewing the property there is nothing else to do, no interactive features are present for customers to interact with. This maybe beneficial if Onex wants to export the presentation to other formats like Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR.
VRFocus will be following any further news regarding VR in the housing market.