Have you ever hunted Pokemon with Pokemon Go or used face filters while talking on Facetime? You may not have realized it, but these are some of the most popular examples of Augmented Reality, or simply AR.
AR has become increasingly popular as a powerful marketing tool to captivate and delight customers. The number of AR device users worldwide is anticipated to reach 1.73 billion by the end of 2024!
Competition everywhere is intense, leading to a growing need for innovation. The real estate industry is no exception. Let’s learn how Augmented Reality real estate marketing can pave the way for the achievement of revolutionary results.
Understanding Augmented Reality in Real Estate Marketing
Generally speaking, Augmented Reality allows users to overlay virtual objects into real ones. For comparison, VR (Virtual Reality) is based on absolute simulation, i.e. it is a fictional reality. Augmented Reality, on the other hand, rather “embellishes” reality.
The real estate industry can greatly benefit from using augmented reality (AR) in its marketing campaigns. This sector encounters multiple challenges when it comes to attracting and converting potential buyers, including:
- Difficulties to effectively communicate the actual value and features of a property using traditional media like photos or videos.
- Lack of differentiation and competitive edge among similar properties or agents.
- Inability for remote potential buyers to arrive on site to view the property.
- Too much time and money is spent to prepare and organize a view of the offered properties.
AR (Augmented Reality) technology can help to overcome these obstacles. It can be seamlessly integrated into real estate marketing campaigns through virtual tours, virtual staging, and virtual neighborhood guides. Presenting properties that are just built, unfinished, or even still in the design stage becomes more accessible than ever.
Benefits of AR Marketing in Real Estate
The benefits of AR for real estate marketing are indisputable. Here are the most important of them:
Enhanced property understanding
AR allows buyers to get an in-depth look at a property from different angles and perspectives. They can also explore the property features in detail, such as the space and furniture dimensions, materials, finishes, appliances, etc. Local people could also use AR apps to learn more about certain properties for sale or rent; simply holding a cell phone close to a property could enact a virtual visit.
Increased buyer engagement
AR provides customers with an enticing and interactive experience, which has the potential to catch and retain their attention. Customizing can be done in seconds, like changing lighting fixtures and experimenting with furniture style, color schemes, and other interior or exterior elements. Prospects can envision their dream home, wherever in the world they are at that exact moment.
Shortened sales cycle
AR can speed up the decision-making process for customers while proportionally reducing the need for multiple visits or consultations. The buyers can likewise think about various properties or choices all the more effectively, by utilizing AR apps or devices. And real estate companies can publish AR visualizations on their websites and social media pages to reach a wider audience. This saves time and money for both sellers and buyers.
Differentiation and competitive edge
Implementing Augmented Reality real estate marketing strategies helps realtors get ahead of their competitors. Utilizing this emerging technology provides them with a unique selling proposition while demonstrating expertise and professionalism. Naturally, their brand image and reputation will improve, resulting in more referrals and leads.
AR Applications in Real Estate Campaigns
There are many ways to leverage AR for real estate marketing campaigns; some examples include:
Showcase immersive property tours using AR technology
Real estate marketers can create virtual tours of properties with 360-degree AR walkthroughs. Buyers can access them anytime and anywhere, using their own devices. They can also interact with the tours with actions like zooming in, rotating, or tapping on certain elements. This creates a more realistic and engaging experience than static images or videos will ever do.
AR can be used to stage an empty property, without the need of arranging any physical decor. Pretty much anything can be added and adjusted, such as an indoor space with plants, digital furniture with the preferred size and shape, home decorations or additional amenities such as SPA area with sauna. That way clients can picture how the rooms would look when furnished. The visual idea of what a property can become makes it more attractive.
Interactive property visualization
AR enables buyers to envision their dream home in a simple and impressive way. By utilizing cell phones or AR glasses, clients can explore the property inside and outside while seeing extra data, for example, information on the plumbing system, electrical wiring, or even future renovations.
Personalized property experiences
Realtors can tailor their AR content to fit each segment of their target audience. For example, AR can help emphasize certain advantages of the property, such as being suitable for big families or pet owners. Clients can be shown different scenarios or options, such as different seasons, times of day, weather conditions, etc.
AR-enabled location-based information
AR makes it easy to understand what kind of amenities are there in a neighborhood, such as schools, shops, public transportation, restaurants, parks, etc. AR can also show how far they are from the property or how long it takes to reach them. This valuable feature helps people make informed decisions about whether the neighborhood fits their lifestyle and personal needs.
Data-Driven Decision Making: AR Analytics for Marketers
One of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign, including the performance of AR content, is the tracking and analysis of results. In this way, real estate marketers can assess the chosen strategy and find ways to improve it. Here is what to keep an eye on:
- Reach and impressions: It’s used for assessing audience size and awareness. Example metrics are the number of QR code scans of app launches.
- Engagement and retention: It gives a better understanding of customers’ interests, preferences, and overall satisfaction. The essential metrics here are dwell time, session duration, frequency, and completion.
- Conversion and revenue: It shows how users move along the sales funnel. Conversion and revenue metrics, such as click-through rate, purchase rate, average order value, and customer lifetime value, help evaluate the ROI of AR marketing strategies.
Empowering Remote Purchases: AR for Off-Site Property Evaluations
AR is suitable for real estate buyers who can’t visit the properties in person, such as those who live far away, have disabilities, health issues, etc. Off-site property evaluations are particularly useful for investors with busy schedules as well.
In addition, AR can minimize some risks that usually accompany remote transactions, such as misinterpretation and disappointment. This increases trust between the parties involved and thus facilitates communication.
Challenges and Considerations
Augmented reality (AR) might be a game-changer in real estate marketing, but it poses several challenges, including:
- Technical requirements: AR applications require the use of compatible devices, software, and internet connection, which may not be accessible to all customers or brokers. This can be partially overcome by trusting agencies to create custom AR apps that meet specific business needs.
- Latency issues: They are common in AR technology implementation, due to the transmission and processing of large amounts of data between user devices and servers. To address such issues, AR applications must be designed with efficiency in mind and regularly tested under diverse scenarios.
- High costs: Developing and maintaining AR applications can be expensive and time-consuming, especially for complex 3D models or animations. The solution is to rely on proven AR applications, such as Vera or RealAR.
Future Trends and Outlook
How a trending technology will develop can not always be predicted precisely. One thing is certain—as long as there is demand, there will be development. Three of the expected upgrades of AR implications for real estate marketing are as follows:
- Creating more realistic experiences. It can be done through the use of advanced graphics, sounds, haptics, and even smells.
- AR-based virtual assistants. He or she will be able to answer customers’ inquiries, negotiate, and share opinions with clients. That will bring the virtual tour even closer to a real one.
- AI will get more into AR. Artificial intelligence is currently used for face and spatial recognition in AR apps, but it is assumed that their “collaboration” will deepen.
Every real estate professional, who wants to provide top-quality service, should embrace tech innovations. Like any new technology, AR piques people’s curiosity to use it. When a real estate company offers this opportunity, more and more potential customers will take advantage. And what’s even better, they’d share that unique experience with other people. Word of mouth and user-generated content can do wonders for the business.