As an industry, real estate has always relied on the in-person interaction between potential buyers and properties to close a sale. This made it a slow process, often requiring multiple participants to align their schedules and, in some cases, buyers have to travel great distances to visit a property or risk buying it sight unseen. With the development of interactive tech tools, however, how we buy and sell properties is changing dramatically.
The AR Advantage
Augmented reality (AR) technology has come a long way over the last several years and is already being used across several industries to provide customers with an immersive retail experience. For real estate agents, though, the technology’s main role is to act as a creative storytelling tool that can connect with customers around the world.
As real estate becomes a global industry, AR and VR (virtual reality) tools make it possible for potential buyers to manipulate the space by rearranging furniture or virtually walk through the property. It also takes the stress out of staging, eliminates scheduling issues, and saves everyone time and money compared to in-person tours and inspections.
Make A Map
Another high tech tool enhancing the property buying process is interactive, digital mapping. Interactive maps gained traction over a decade ago with the rise of Google Maps, which means that compared to AR/VR tools, interactive maps feel especially user-friendly. But how does a map enhance the customer’s experience of the real estate buying process?
Interactive maps offer benefits to both local buyers and out-of-towners that are trying to understand the lay of the land in an area of interest. For example, this map of homes for sale in Lower Lake, CA allows users to get a sense of where homes are located relative to each other, study the roads and terrain, and decide whether a location meets their needs. Buyers from outside the area of sale have historically been disadvantaged in the sales process, but interactive maps help them stand on a more even footing.
Sales Go Social
Finally, long-distance real estate sales always run the risk of feeling impersonal on the customer’s side – but social media can help. In particular, Snapchat, a youth-oriented photo and video app, can help agents build more meaningful relationships with potential buyers by crafting high-value content, including video tours offered via direct message.
Another valuable Snapchat feature for real estate is the Snap Map tool, typically used to see location-specific stories and find your friends. In the context of real estate sales, however, Snap Maps can help customers directly associate a tour or story with a location, much like onsite interactive maps. Plus, when customers view property stories via Snap Map, it gives them a chance to contextualize their potential new home relative to local events and activities.
Those in the market to buy a house are often overwhelmed by the expense and effort, and real estate agents need to take steps to simplify that process. Using interactive technology, though, real estate agents can take a stressful process and make it simpler, if not downright enjoyable. That’s a powerful change that could open the market up to new buyers and expand who is thought of as a potential homeowner.