Luke Chadwick is one of the chief engineers at REA Group’s innovation hub – REALABS – and told delegates at the PPW conference how technology such as drones and VR is shaping the way we view online real estate.
Chadwick began his presentation by flying a drone across the room and taking some aerial photographs to give delegates an indication of how agents can take photos.
In his position as team lead, Chadwick tests drones and works on VR apps that are used on realestate.com.au. but he says the VR technology hasn’t been fully adopted yet.
“The struggle at this point is that you can’t create a value proposition where you can find the next property in VR,” he admits. “The journey becomes about starting to build up more and more 3D content.”
Although we’re not yet choosing our next dwelling by via setting foot into a 3D property this scenario isn’t a complete pipedream.
“It will take a long time to build up relevant content for AR and VR, and 3D content will be incredibly important for the next generation of devices that are coming through,” Chadwick says. “Part of the journey is how 3D objects make their way into the current experience.”
Today, the majority of us still search for properties online by viewing photos, which Chadwick says are a great ‘aspirational tool’. But he says consumers are aware that they’re not a truth teller.
Anyone who searches for property online will be aware of this fact; how many times have you checked out a property to find that the ‘master bedroom’ is actually a shoebox and the ‘entertainment area’ no bigger than a toilet? Chadwick says VR can give consumers more of an accurate depiction of property.
“Matterport 3D tours, on the other hand, gives people the ability to understand the property and really understand if it’s right for them. It’s easy for the agents or unskilled people to use as well.”
Not only do the tours give the consumer a more immersive experience, but they are viewed much longer by a searcher, Chadwick says.
“This is very valuable for the agents because more time is being spent on the listings.”