Augmented Reality: The New Must Have Sales Tool for Architects, Developers & Builders?
Apple’s ground-breaking augmented reality (AR) software, ARKit, has quietly been gaining traction among savvy marketing and sales professionals since it launched in late 2017.
Industry insiders are predicting that one area the tech could prove revolutionary, is in real estate - but why, and more importantly, how?
Large home-builders are, rather surprisingly, still relying on highly-specced, under-personalised display homes - or even brochures - to sell off-the-plan properties. Of course, some tech-friendly home-builders also jumped on the virtual reality bandwagon, but the reaction to it was tepid, at best.
So what value is augmented reality really adding? Why are some suggesting it is just another ‘gimmick’, and why are others hailing it as a potentially game-changing new sales tool? Well, the answers are both simple and complicated.
It’s no secret that home-buyers do enjoy a good ol’ day out where they can visit an display home, and temporarily buy into the fantasy of themselves owning the pimped-out, oh-so-pretty display home they spent the day mooching around.
But what happens when the customer’s sales rep brings said home-buyer back down to earth with an unsettling ‘thump’? The day the customer learns that the display home they viewed is $100k out of budget, and they need to select a different floor plan to fit their plot, and the colour scheme they like cannot be seen in a display home anywhere near them, is the day a big problem arises.
So, in steps Realar Places, the world’s first augmented reality app created exclusively for real estate. Founded by serial tech entrepreneurs, Dan Swan and Keith Ahern, the app allows customers to view bespoke plans, on-site, in real-time, using only a smartphone or a tablet.
“This technology has the potential to be truly revolutionary for the real estate market”, explains Swan. “The days of telling a customer they can have ‘any colour they want, as long as it is black’ are long-gone.”
“Modern customers expect a personalised service, tailored to their needs and that’s what Realar Places is essentially offering. It is an additional, but relatively inexpensive and easy-to-adopt sales tool, designed to compliment display homes.”
So this all sounds lovely, but haven’t we been here before with virtual reality? Wasn’t that a bit of a flop in the end? Explains Swan: “the problem with VR, is that it relies on expensive hardware, which is both clunky and unsexy. AR on the other hand, can be easily accessed, using only a smartphone, which if you think about it, is incredibly exciting and cutting-edge!”
“We like to think of augmented reality as virtual reality’s nimble younger cousin. Yes they are related, yes there are similarities, but AR has learnt from its big cousin’s mistakes. It is dynamic, nimble and ready to take on the world in a commercially viable manner”.
With Apple having dropped ARKit on to half a billion smartphones, and Google following up with it’s own version called , ARCore, it’s hard to deny that augmented reality is here to stay.
Realar Places is available to download now for free from the Apple app store.