Selling penthouses – How virtuality is the new reality
Michael Dell discretely paid over $100.47m for a penthouse at Manhattan’s One57, breaking a world record. Rumour has it that apart from great renders, he made a purchase decision without ever physically touching or stepping inside a display. He lives in Austin Texas.
A property tour has been widely considered the pinnacle of the buyer’s journey for decades. Property developers saw it as an opportunity to enhance the customer experience that would increase the possibility of a sale while buyers saw it as key to creating informed decisions by immersing themselves into your brand, and fundamentally, getting a glimpse of what life would be like when they choose to call your project home.
Society is ever-evolving and with the advent of technology, buyers are now increasingly time-poor and more self-educated. In fact, according to a 2021 survey by the National Association of Realtors, 97% of property buyers have already done their research online before inspecting or buying a property, particularly amongst elite buyers for your Penthouse.
This paves the way for the discussion of how property developers must constantly adapt to stay relevant in the new economy.
The Rise of VR Real Estate Tours
Buying off-plan has been growing in popularity in recent years. In fact, Sydney’s luxury market has emerged as amongst the country’s most expensive residential real estate primarily due to James Packer’s settlement on his off-the-plan purchase four years ago in Crown’s One Barangaroo tower for more than $72m.
To stay competitive, astute property developers are investing in technology to elevate the customer experience and appeal to the uber-wealthy. VR and AR’s move into the real estate sector is impacting the industry in a seismic way.
In fact, the global VR and AR market size is forecasted to rise by close to $300 billion by 2024 with Goldman Sachs estimating virtual reality property tour software for real estate applications to be a $2.6 billion market by 2025.
If you must know, a 4-bedroom virtual reality house tour is only worth around $13,650.
How AR and VR Real Estate Tours Are Selling Million-Dollar Penthouses
Did you know that luxury developer Tim Gurner has sold his penthouse at Albert Place Residences after just five days on the market and over 15% above the asking price?
Initially listed for $4.4m – $4.8m, the 300 square-metre penthouse was sold after one weekend of advertising for an undisclosed figure of more than $5m.
How did they do it?
Virtual reality property tour.
Before we delve deeper into the discussion, let’s review how the ultra-rich behave:
Elite buyers are global citizens. They lead dynamic, highly-active lifestyles and have businesses around the world. What they want is convenience and sensible investment options to hedge their risk. They are ultra-discrete and need to have total control over their privacy. These high net worth buyers are intelligent, accomplished individuals with exquisite taste but they need non-threatening and engaging tools that can help them make sensible decisions.
On that note, here are the top three reasons why you should invest in AR and VR real estate tours for property marketing:
1. Transcend geography
Fact: 90% of the world’s millionaires make their fortune through global real estate investments.
According to the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, below are the top five countries that have invested in Australian real estate between 2019 and 2020. Amusingly, China only ranks 3rd which means Americans with a voracious appetite for technology present blue ocean opportunities.
United States: $13.1 billion
Singapore: $9.5 billion
China: $7.1 billion
Germany: $3.7 billion
Canada: $3.3 billion
With wealthy foreign buyers looking to hedge their currency against volatility, VR property tours are a fool-proof solution that offers property developers the opportunity to connect with elite international buyers.
2. Increase sales conversions
A neuroscience-informed research study by ad tech firm YuMe and research firm Nielsen revealed that content delivered in VR generates 27% higher emotional engagement with the effects lasting longer by 34% than a 2D screen.
If a render tells a thousand words, then VR is a thousand renders.
Buying is an emotional experience and with the enhanced visualisation capabilities of VR real estate tours, you can give buyers an enriched sense of your penthouse’s dimensions, design, and potential in a unique, tactile, and expressive way. This translates to higher levels of consumer confidence and trust with the novelty of walking through a virtual display adding to the allure of your project.
3. Enhance customer experience
Did you know?
Former GE CEO Jeff Immelt worked 100 hours every week for 35 years. He is worth a princely $171 million.
Meanwhile, Medium reported that Elon Musk and Yahoo’s former CEO Marissa Mayer worked more than 120 hours per week.
This is the lifestyle prevalent amongst C-level executives and high net-worth individuals.
With augmented reality and virtual reality home tours, you allow your elite buyers the liberty to explore your penthouse at their own leisure, without pressure, and even within the comforts of their home.
Today, we are seeing a growing number of property developers widening their marketing strategies. They have their display suites for buyers with more spare time on their hands and property VR technology for added value.
EnvisionVR is one of the world’s most respected AR/VR companies whose technology is focused on showcasing and selling property.
Some of Australia’s leading property professionals have already partnered with the company. This includes Macquarie Development Group, Ray White Projects, Montgomery Homes and Thirdi Group.
So impressive that Val Petrenko, former Sydney head of globally acclaimed 3D rendering and animation company FloodSlicer, also had nothing but praises for the company.
If you would like to learn more about how they can help you, you can visit their website HERE.
(Author’s Disclosure: this article was produced in collaboration with Envision VR)