Take a guided tour of a new property, in the comfort of your home

Sitting in the comfort of your office, you take a guided tour of a villa or apartment before deciding on buying it. How is this possible?

Well, a trend that is gradually emerging among real estate developers and firms in Bengaluru is the use of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies to enhance the buying experience of potential customers.

Though in a nascent stage, the use of virtual reality in the real estate sector is something that is here to stay and flourish, according to industry experts. SBC Group, a Bengaluru-based real estate firm, recently hired a design firm for one of its ongoing projects in Kannamangala.

“It’s a good way to engage our clients. It’s usually hard to convince buyers about unfinished projects, but with virtual reality they get an idea of what their homes would look like and the task becomes a bit easier,” said Ashirwad B R, CEO of the company.

 “For those who are not tech-savvy, it may seem a bit hard to digest. But since those who buy property, say around Whitefield, come predominantly from the IT background, they actually like the idea.”

Rajendra Praveen, tech director, Shining Cloud, a virtual realty design firm in the City, said a growing number of developers were showing interest in the new technology: “We are seeing an interest from all kinds of realtors and from all quarters. Just having such a system in place gets the attention of customers and it can definitely lead to purchases.” Praveen’s firm uses Oculus Rift headsets and an in-house software.

Recognising the potential for such technologies, popular online real estate portals such as CommonFloor and Housing.com are already making use of virtual reality.

The former recently launched an app called CommonFloor Retina that can be used to view new projects in virtual reality. Housing.com, too, offers a number of virtual walkthroughs and 3D tours.

Purvankara, a prominent real estate developer, tried and tested the concept of virtual reality using Google Glass about two years ago but later moved to other similar technologies.

“We have user control walkthroughs, slice view technology and something called the ‘experience zone’ where clients are asked to go into a room where they can experience walking in on sites and properties of their choice as if right at the site. We are experimenting with such technologies and our plan is to scale them for the NRI market,” said a spokesperson for the company.

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