Could augmented reality be the future of real estate sales?

A new real estate marketing campaign has given a teaser of how agents might differentiate themselves from rivals in the future.

Mirvac has created an augmented reality campaign to promote its Wharf’s Entrance development, a 30-level apartment tower in Melbourne.

Augmented reality is a technology that allows consumers to generate videos and websites on their smartphones and tablets by scanning print images with their mobile devices.

Mirvac’s augmented reality campaign allows potential purchasers to experience 360-degree ‘tours’ of the development using an iPad or iPhone.

Users can point their device north to see the precinct’s views and then physically turn around to see what their viewpoint would be from any angle, even looking up.

John Carfi, group executive of residential, said that sort of augmented reality campaign might one day become standard for all Mirvac developments.

Mr Carfi told Real Estate Business that agents who want to use augmented reality should probably save it for off-the-plan sales.

“Where you can buy existing stock or go and see a display home, it probably has less of an impact because people can walk through it,” Mr Carfi said.

“With off-the-plan purchases, where they’re relying on 3D imagery or plans or models, it gives them a better feel for what their apartment might look like.”

“It also gives them an idea of what their view might look like, the functionality and layout of the common space, the quality of the finishes and the aspect.”

Thomas West, managing director of augmented reality specialist Sydney Interactive, said augmented reality has traditionally been expensive and complicated, because it involves combining elements of creative, technology, strategy and design.

However, Mr West told Real Estate Business that smart agents could potentially use augmented reality to gain an edge over their rivals.

“If you’re able to execute it in a way that seamlessly extends your existing marketing toolset, then absolutely, because you’re naturally extending the audience from traditional media into experiencing the offering in a way that the competition wouldn’t be across,” he said.

Starr Partners announced in April that it had added augmented reality to all its listings.

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