Adelaide agency Ouwens Casserly Real Estate has started offering virtual reality experiences to buyers and sellers, with each 3D listing costing $400 to $700 to create.
Director Alexander Ouwens said that while virtual reality itself is an established technology, what is new is that consumers can now use a headset to immerse themselves in a 3D world.
“What that means is it gives the user the feeling they are actually standing in the home itself,” Mr Ouwens told Real Estate Business.
“It blocks out all the surrounding sights and it can also add audio as well, so that it literally feels to a purchaser like they can be walking through a home.”
One problem Ouwens Casserly faces as an early adopter is that very few people have a headset, which means most buyers need to visit the agency to take a virtual property tour.
However, he predicted they would become a common feature in homes in the next year or two as children pester parents to buy them for gaming.
In the meantime, Mr Ouwens said virtual reality would work well with Chinese buyers, who provide about 60 per cent of the sales made by Ouwens Casserly’s eastern suburbs office.
Many of these investors arrive in Adelaide with minimal time to go house hunting, so virtual reality will allow them to quickly narrow down their search to a few preferred properties.
Mr Ouwens said the technology could also give Ouwens Casserly an edge with busy mum-and-dad buyers.
The agency can visit these buyers at their offices and show them properties so they can create a shortlist of open homes for the weekend, he said.
Mr Ouwens said Ouwens Casserly discovered the technology while touring REA Group’s headquarters earlier this year.
“We did some research and found a locally based company in South Australia who worked with another company from Delhi to bring the technology onto the virtual reality headsets,” he said.
“So we were fortunate to be at the right place at the right time to be the first to bring it to market.”
[Related: Agents told to get ready for a 3D future]