With the realty sector flourishing day by day, real estate developers are trying new technologies to offer innovative user experience for potential buyers who are searching to buy their dream homes. One such technology which is getting popular in India is Augmented Reality (AR).
Today, marketing is not just about promoting a product but also engaging customers and providing them with an experience of what that product can do for them. In order to meet such expectations of today’s customers, multiple industries are now turning to Augmented Reality (AR). Experts opine that AR as a concept has been present in India for quite some time now. It is gaining popularity as it helps you visualise the product from all the angles. This trend is gradually picking up the pace in the real estate sector as well.
Praveen Kumar Nandkumar, Director, Unishire, avers, “AR is already popular in our country and every day it is gaining popularity and spreading to various industries”. Various brands have used this tool on an experimental basis and have received a positive response.
What is AR?
Augmented Reality (AR) is a 360-degree panorama view of your product in 3D. This new marketing tool gives the consumer a visual presentation of the product in the comfort of their homes, avers Rohan Agarwal, Managing Director, Geopreneur Group. AR allows the real estate industry to communicate better with their consumers. At present, only a few developers in the industry are utilising this marketing tool. “We too have used this tool from time to time as it helps us bring more life to our products and enhances the buying experience of a consumer. As the real estate industry is always looking for more effective ways to engage the consumers this technology serves the purpose very well”, adds Agarwal.
How it benefits realtors?
Traditionally, realtors used brochures, flyers, and other physical collaterals for marketing their properties. With AR, any smartphone or tablet can be used as a device by buyers to view various products and explore options across various built-in features, Nandkumar adds. AR also allows one to try various themes and explore how the furniture layout will look when their home is ready to occupy or change the colour of the walls, see perspective views of their floor plans, etc.
With the use of AR, realtors benefit as much as the consumers. Realtors can provide the right message at the right time with the geo-fencing feature that is available in most AR apps. This technology has opened doors for limitless information communication with the customer hence improving their experience and helping them take a right decision. AR can be easily used as a virtual word of mouth and helps in maximising the reach to prospective customers.
How it benefits the home buyers?
The technology helps buyers as one can take a virtual tour of the home using a mobile device or scan a flyer, banner or any print material which has augmented reality integrated into it, to see the property come to life.
AR helps a buyer find out the exact details and specifications about a home that is required to take the right decision. It includes the location of the properties, distance from your workplace, social infrastructure around the site, etc. Buyers also get access to detailed information about a property such as property prices, availability, amenities and all other relevant information with ease from the convenience of their home or work place.
Nandkumar further shares that in India, buying a home is a family decision where almost everyone goes for a site visit before making the final call. AR can make this easy for them by allowing interactive virtual tours. Many such benefits come default with AR and hence real estate sector will only benefit from it be it a customer or realtor, adds Nandkumar.
Apps used in the market
There are several apps present in the market already helping in increasing the consumer engagement, shares Agarwal. For instance, Omaxe Builders have developed an app called Omaxe which brings Omaxe Hills Mount View Apartments alive right through your smartphones and tablets. Another example is of Unishire Group who are in the process of developing AR for their project, Unishire Xperience. “The project is unique in its design and with AR technology can be visualised by our prospective customers too To showcase the differentiating factors of the project, we have decided to use AR and soon the tool will be launched for customers’ experience”, shares Nandkumar.
Although many AR apps have been developed till now to provide a greater user experience, there are some limitations of using these apps. Some of them are:
- Dependability on a hardware
- Lack of ability to quantify benefits and costs
- Data security and privacy concerns
- High cost of development
However, real estate agents or sellers can overcome these limitations by keeping certain things in mind while creating AR apps such as keeping it simple and short so it does not consume a lot of time, states Agarwal. In addition, it should also be realistic and not exaggerated from the actual project in terms of the visuals.
Hence, by embracing technology and the shortcomings of AR, there is always plenty of opportunities available for driving time-efficient and productive business in real estate industry for both realtors as well as home buyers.