Real Estate and Virtual Reality Makes the Phrase “Well this doesn’t look anything like the pictures” Obsolete

As Americans are increasingly transient and moving across states and cities, many just don’t have the time to trek out and scope potential properties. Virtual reality can change that, with a growing number of real estate agents adopting the technology and offering potential buyers a chance to view their future home without even stepping foot on the property.

Martha Johnson, a real estate agent in Dunkirk, MD with EXIT 1 Stop Realty, uses VR regularly with her clients. She records properties, with the listing agent’s permission of course, on a 360-degree camera and stores those videos on a secure online portal for her clients. She also provides them with VR goggles which are connected to a smartphone app so that her clients can take a tour of the property from wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling.

Johnson first learned about the technology during a seminar in North Carolina, where another real estate agent had used virtual reality to assist members of the military relocate and find a new home. She said, “They get their orders and they know ’OK, well in so much time, a few months, I’ve got to be here.’ But, if they’re halfway across the country, or in Germany for that matter, it’s very hard to go look at houses.” Connie Stommel, broker and owner of EXIT 1 Stop Realty, asserted the technology is helpful for those who do not live in the area: “Especially for people that are overseas or long distance, they’re coming in from a different state, so it’s definitely a wonderful tool to be able to offer.” Robert Brown of Cornerstone Real Estate Professionals is also a proponent of virtual reality. “It’s a huge plus, having out-of-state buyers being so familiar with the property before they even get here,” he said. Some buyers have even made an offer before stepping onto the physical property.

For those within a local radius, virtual reality is helpful for busy families and professionals who don’t have lot of time to spare to commute to different properties. The virtual tour is often more efficient than a physical walkthrough. Johnson said, “[Virtual reality] takes me maybe seven minutes in a house. If you’re out with the client, you’re in the house probably for 30 [minutes].” Before virtual reality “a lot of times, in my experience, they walk in and they go ‘Well this doesn’t look anything like the pictures, ’” she explained. Now, clients can’t say that anymore.

Experimenting with virtual reality for real estate and other industries? You could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and receive up to 14% on your research expenses.  To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE credits as well as CPE credits for CPA’s.  For more information please visit us at or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

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