Virtual Reality is starting to make an impact in the property industry, and while a handful of companies have already experimented with this technology as part of their sales drive, the participation of an Australian digital advertising company in the local market now promises to considerably enhance the buyer experience and promote its widespread use.
Chief executive officer of REA Group Ltd, Tracey Fellows, said the group is currently conducting a series of pilot tests on applying the technology here, which will offer property customers a realistic 360⁰ tour of properties without having to visit a showroom.
REA Group is an Australian-based multinational digital advertising company specialising in properties, and is the parent company to several global property websites, including the iProperty Group.
She told Bernama in a recent interview that REA Group is Google’s worldwide partner for the Google Daydream Virtual Reality Apps, and it has the first VR real-estate app which enables customers to view prospective properties through “VR goggles”.
“We use digital technology to change the way people experience and search for property,” she said.
Fellows added that the group has always looked into innovation and technology in the property market. The company believes that technology and innovation will make property searches a much better experience for consumers.
However, she believes it will take some time VR achieves mainstream use.
The main hurdle has been the lack of accessibility to VR tools, such as the goggles, from the consumer perspective. She hinted that this will change, as the technology will soon be available to the local market – possibly introduced on a major scale within the next two years.
iProperty general manager for Malaysia and Singapore, Haresh Khoobchandani, said REA has been continuously innovating its technology and services to help the world experience property in different ways.
“We are creating the second version of our VR goggle here in Malaysia, and we are engaging with the property developers on its deployment in the local market. There will also be other visualisation products. People are spending more time on the internet and I believe they are ready for this kind of innovation in the property market,” he said.
Recently, the company introduced a mobile app, which it says redefines the property search experience for consumers by making it simpler, faster and more integrated.
The app is useful for consumers, developers and property owners, as it allows buyers to view more properties from a wider pool of developers and property owners.
“Within a week, developers which had registered with the app saw a 40% increase in enquiries from the potential buyers, and we expect that it will continue to grow,” Haresh said.