VR vs Touch. Which one is best for sales?
The good news is that virtual reality is here. The bad news is that something is still missing.
MYCHILO STEPHENSON CLINE, Virtual Reality: a Catalyst for Social and Economic Change
VR technology is rapidly developing and keeps penetrating different industries. Not just gaming, but also advertising, health care, design, education, Hollywood movies and even adult entertainment industry are actively adopting virtual reality today. And of course, it didn’t take long for Real Estate developers and property brokers to get their hold of technology and start using it in marketing and sales.
And this process is natural, cause the user savviness keeps growing along with the industry and the increasing number of high-end customers start demanding better purchasing experience. And at certain point the real estate developer is simply forced to upgrade its sales machine and upgrade it with high-end tools. What comes to mind at this point is 360° photos and videos, interactive presentations on touchscreens and of course virtual and augmented reality.
Here and there you may hear or see news on how home buyers are offered virtual tours over the house or apartment, using virtual reality headsets and controllers. While it definitely provides the wow effect and allows customers to get the better feel of apartment’s space, there is still question whether it really has the big effect on sales results.
The main drawback of VR when it comes to sales is the lack of interpersonal interaction between people involved in the process, which has always played an important role in closing the deal. While several customers – a family, for instance, are wearing the headsets, they are unable to view the same picture simultaneously. On the other hand, the broker or developer’s sales representative cannot properly interact with customers while they are all into the experience.
Another issue with VR is that at current moment there is no technical opportunity to create the lasting experience as users can only use VR headsets conveniently for a short duration of time. Extended use may cause dizziness and motion sickness. VR headset manufacturers keep working on improving the technology, but there may still be a long way to go.
While VR doesn’t currently add much of a value to the process of sales and there is no prove that it helps to sell more properties, there are some better alternatives, which are more preferable by most high-end real estate developers. For example, the increasing number of companies start implementing impressive touch screen solutions in their sales and marketing.
There is a wide range of various visualization techniques that work much better on touch screens.Photorealistic archviz renders and animation, 360° photos and videos, fully interactive 3D models and even walkthrough tours which are today widely presented in VR – all can be easily implemented on touch screens with a better result. People are much more used to touch screens and it is clear, as everybody today uses smartphones and tablets.
Therefore, making an effective sales presentation and a pitch using a touch screen panel is usually a better decision. It does not require any headset and it can simultaneously engage several users, especially when the developer is using a huge touch screen table or kiosk. And taking that practically any screen can be easily turned into a touch screen with a simple gadget called touch screen overlay, which is connected to the monitor, makes this solution even more valuable and cost efficient.