Can Virtual Reality Tours Help Military Homebuyers?
Posted by Lauren Schneider on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021 at 8:23am.
The traditional VA home-buying model is based around the seller listing and sometimes staging a home. On the other end, the military buyer receives a long list of homes from their agent, tours several in-person, applies for a VA loan, and makes an offer on the one they like best. However, this model doesn't work well for those deployed in one location and looking for a home near their next duty station. Virtual reality provides a way for these people to see potential homes from afar and on their own schedule. Read on to learn about how virtual reality is improving long-distance home shopping for members of the military.
How Virtual Reality Works
Virtual reality is changing the homebuying experience by allowing users to experience the home with 3-dimensional technology. VR is more than just a video tour; it's an immersive experience. Recent technology also allows real estate agents to annotate the tour and point out the home's highlights, just as an agent might do during an in-person tour.
What It's Like to Shop for a Home Using VR
Military homebuyers still follow much of the traditional process. Agents develop a list of potential properties for touring that meet the buyers' specifications. Instead of accompanying an agent through the homes in person, however, buyers put on special VR headsets and experience the tour on their computers or mobile devices while wearing the headsets.
To organize this efficiently, some agents will create a portal for their clients to access each VR tour at their convenience using a password. The buyers take the tour at a time convenient for them.
The Two Primary Types of 3D Tours
Virtual reality offers two main types of 3D tours. Each type of 3D tour offers a different level of detail.
- Guided visits are similar to other types of video tours but are more immersive and include 360-degree viewing. They are the simplest for real estate agents to create.
- Interactive visits allow the buyer to choose how they move through the property, explore aspects of the home that interest them, or focus on hot spots. They are more complicated to create but are often more efficient.
The Benefits of Touring a Home Using VR
Virtual reality has several benefits for buyers. The first and most obvious benefit is that VR allows military people to tour potential properties remotely and more accurately envision themselves living in the home. Future improvements may allow them to go online to virtual stores and choose furniture and place it in the home to style it more like their own lifestyles.
Another benefit is that each member of the household can tour homes at their own convenience. They do not necessarily need to be all together in one place simultaneously and with the agent. Touring homes through virtual reality also is less expensive and time-consuming than traveling to a series of potential homes.
Buying a Home Under Construction Using VR
In addition to long-distance homebuyers, virtual reality also benefits those buying homes under construction. The technology allows buyers to easily visualize the interior and exterior of properties that aren't built yet. It also allows buyers to experience different color schemes or design elements virtually before committing to them.
Virtual reality technology continues to improve. Likewise, sellers, agents, and builders continue to make strides in using it more effectively. VR will continue to offer military people and long-distance homebuyers the opportunity to experience the home fully before issuing an inspection or deciding to supply a down payment. The technology allows buyers to make an informed decision about which home is right for them and to feel confident in that decision.