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Real Estates New Dimension I Top Producers Gilroy Office, 2015 Marta Dinsmore, Realtor GRI Intero Real Estate Services 408.840.7420 magine touring a home in Los Angeles and walking through the fl oorplan to come to the realization that this is the home of your dreams. The spacious living room, open kitchen, and modern style are exactly the features that you have been looking for. As you take off the virtual reality headset in a REALTOR®’s offi ce here in South County, you tell them you’d like to put in an offer. It may seem like something a few years off, but it’s closer than you think. The way we experience home buying is changing rapidly. While virtual reality is not something new per se, it has for the most part been reserved to the realm of gaming and entertainment. The idea of virtual reality integrating into the public’s daily lives is new and a little overwhelming, but the past year has seen significant launches in access to such experiences. Like any technology, its success is driven by relevance, simplicity, and frequency of use. With companies like Google providing tools at relatively low cost solutions — albeit limited in function—to build virtual reality experiences, it is expected that virtual reality will become more mainstream in the next few years. In short, virtual reality is about to do for real estate what video and photography did to change the landscape of home buying. Sotheby’s International Realty is tak- ing a different approach to the power of virtual reality. Joe Cilic, brokerage manager of Sotheby’s International Realty in Brentwood, Calif., sees a more practical side of virtual reality. He and many other agents are finding it especially convenient for tenant occupied properties or properties where the seller doesn’t want to be disturbed. It doesn’t end there either. “Virtual reality can give a client a better sense of the flow of the home, and where rooms are in relation to each other,” explained Cilic. “So many clients need multiple visits to a home to remember the layout, but virtual reality allows clients to immerse themselves in the home at their convenience whenever they want without being rushed through a showing.” This is especially important for real estate agents who showcase listings all over the world, and are now able to intrigue high-end clientele with virtual tours. These clients previously needed to travel overseas to tour a property, but are now able to use new technology to give them greater confidence that the trip will be worth their while (and some investors might even elect to buy based on their virtual tours). Cilic remembers the beginning stages of virtual reality in the real estate industry. “Agents were capturing virtual reality footage using multiple GoPro cameras literally taped on a pole,” Cilic said. Now professional 360 degree mounts for GoPro exist, allowing virtual reality to be captured in a slightly more seamless way. That’s when price comes into play—currently the biggest roadblock to mass adoption. The price to produce a virtual reality tour requires agents to be selective in when they use the technology. Starting at $4,500, the Matterport system, akin to the Rolls-Royce of virtual reality equipment, is not cheap and requires a significant investment for real estate agents. That’s just to create a virtual reality experience, next is allowing clients to view it. Virtual reality viewers range from Samsung’s $99 headset to the $599 Oculus Rift. Since many home buyers come in pairs, REALTORS® would need to invest in three devices in order to give a proper tour. Price isn’t everything though, especially when considering the technical savviness required to build and to showcase tours. Companies like Matterport have invested significantly to ensure that their product is as user friendly as possible. “Watch a five-minute video, keep the documentation handy, and REALTORS® will be ready to capture a space,” said Bill Brown, CEO of Matterport, about how to use the technology. DRE #01352339 Sean Dinsmore, Realtor Intero Real Estate Services 408.840.7327 DRE #01966405 22 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN June Closed Sales Average List Price Average Sales Price Average Days on Market SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 59 $734K $732K 37 July 52 $744K $740K 34