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What’s the appeal of virtual, 3D home tours?

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Touring a De Young Properties virtual home

A generation of gamers who are more comfortable traversing immersive 3D worlds than tagging along with realtors may prefer home tours that require a mouse instead of small talk.

On a recent tour of a virtual, family-style home my avatar dressed to hang out in a virtual nightclub, but how should one look for a walk through of a home? The good news is that this non-gamer was able to navigate the floorplan thanks to a virtual guide standing in for Anna Lee, an executive at the software company that built the platform. And had I wanted to view the home with different color walls or perhaps hardwood floors - not a problem.
The 3D home tour experience isn't aimed at your parents. "It's sort of the World of Warcraft of new home-selling if you will" boasts Brandon De Young, VP of Operations of De Young Properties, the Fresno, CA home builder who hired Lee's firm Utherverse in Vancouver B.C. to customize their 3D home tour software.

Apart from young gamers shopping for their first home, De Young believes that this sales tool will come in handy in these other home shopping contexts:

  • Demonstrating a floorplan when there's no model home to show in person
  • Providing access to friend or family member who lives out of town and wants to weigh in on the purchase
  • Couples that want to see how their furniture 'fits' with the place - yes it can uploaded and viewed in a virtual floorplan.

Touring the kitchen of a virtual home

Confident as De Young is about the value of his new sales tool, he doesn't think he'll see an increase in sales as a result of it. Still, he believe it will "give buyers a good feeling to know that we're cutting edge and that we know what we're doing and are on the forefront of the industry."

Though it's hard to imagine anyone buying a home based solely upon a virtual, 3D home tour, it clearly will provide some value. Especially if you want to see how your stuff fills the virtual space.

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