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Virtual reality: A new dimension in home buying

NEW YORK – Feb. 16, 2016 – Halstead Property in Manhattan plans to introduce 3-D displays and virtual-reality headsets in its offices this year, and other brokerages plan to do the same to gain a competitive edge. While true 3-D technology has not yet been perfected, it gives brokers who offer it an edge in impressing potential clients.
Halstead hired Virtual Xperience to create a virtual rendering of a four-story building in Astoria, Queens, that has not been built yet. The 3-D technology however, will allow prospective buyers to “walk” around the building using an Oculus Rift headset.
“We sell based on emotion and attaching that emotion to a vision,” says Matthew Leon of Terra Holdings, the parent company of Halstead. “Imagine a buyer walking out onto the terrace and thinking: ‘If I bought this home and was having breakfast here, this is exactly what I’d see.’ … For a salesman, it’s a dream come true.”
Experts say virtual-reality technology will make the house-hunting process more efficient, allowing buyers to visualize properties under construction or tour properties in far-away locations.
Right now, 3-D walkthroughs that do not require headsets are more popular, enabling buyers to navigate through rooms and zoom in on certain features using their computer mouse or arrow keys. Some virtual renderings even allow developers to highlight specific furniture, artwork and fixtures.
“You feel the size. You get the textures,” says Gonzalo Navarro of the digital design firm ArX Solutions.
However, despite the “wow” factor offered by virtual-reality technology, Jeffrey Hummel of Douglas Elliman thinks brokerages should use large-screen curved TVs until the headset technology “comes of age.”
Source: New York Times (02/14/16) P. RE1; Miller, Jennifer
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Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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