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American homebuyers are ready to embrace VR

Technology has made the process of home buying and selling simpler, smarter and faster. As smart home and virtual reality (VR) technology continues to become more mainstream and sought after, consumers are now expecting high-tech experiences before even stepping foot in a prospective listing.

A new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate, conducted online by Harris Poll among over 3,000 U.S. adults, suggests VR is poised to become the next big thing in real estate. Americans appear to be ready to embrace VR as a resource to visualize what is normally left to the home buyer’s imagination. In fact, the desire for VR house tours is almost on par with traditional video tours. For those considering a home purchase in the future, 84 percent of respondents would like to see video footage, while 77 percent would like the ability to be able to take VR house tours before actually visiting prospective homes.

Furthermore, the survey found that if they were considering purchasing a new home in the future:

  • Americans also see additional applications of VR, with over two-thirds (68 percent) saying that they would love the ability to utilize VR to see how their current furniture would fit in a prospective home.
  • 62 percent of Americans would be more likely to choose a real estate sales associate who offered VR house tour capabilities as a service for their clients that prospective buyers could view on their computer or smartphone over one that did not.

Smart home preferences
VR is just the beginning when it comes to being smart about technology and real estate. If there’s anything the past few years have proven, it’s that smart home technology is here to stay. The Coldwell Banker survey also asked consumers about their smart home preferences, with the following key takeaways:

  • This year, 32 percent of Americans report having smart home products in their homes, up from 24 percent in 2016, revealing a 33 percent year-over-year increase
  • If selling a home this year, nearly half (42 percent) of Americans agreed that they would look to their sales agent to provide suggestions about how staging their home with smart home products/technology could impact the sale of their home

It’s up to real estate professionals to counsel sellers on how to make their listings stand out by having pre-installed smart home technology in their home and provide insight on smart home technology’s value to prospective buyers.

So what smart products would potential homebuyers most prefer to have already installed?

  • Smart thermostat (77 percent)
  • Smart fire detector (75 percent)
  • Smart carbon monoxide detector (70 percent)
  • Smart camera (66 percent)
  • Smart lock (63 percent)
  • Smart lighting system (63 percent)

“Our consumer findings underscore the need for industry-wide smart home education for real estate sales agents. As the smart home leader in real estate, Coldwell Banker is at the forefront of this trend,” said Charlie Young, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “We were the first to offer a smart home certification and definition of a smart home which positions our network of brokers and agents to deliver a competitive advantage for their customers in an ever-changing market.”

David Marine, senior vice president of marketing of Coldwell Banker, added, “It’s crucial that the real estate industry stays on the cutting edge of technology. From virtual reality to smart home tech, consumers are now interacting with these technologies in different capacities and expect the same when working with a real estate professional. Coldwell Banker Real Estate is committed to connecting our independent affiliated agents with the best technology to better serve and counsel home buyers and sellers.”

 

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