PulteGroup rolls out virtual reality headsets to help buyers visualize their homes
Prospective homebuyers at two PulteGroup communities can now take a virtual reality tour of their future homes, according to the company.
The Atlanta-based builder is providing VR headsets at The Retreat at Carmel, an active-adult community in Carmel, NY, and at Starkey Ranch, a master-planned community with one- and two-story residential plans located northwest of Tampa, FL.
- Using the headsets, buyers can view the interior of homes for purchase, see features and walk though the space. The builder hopes the ability to see the space before purchase will make buyers feel more comfortable with their investment.
The introduction of VR technology to commercial applications like the homebuying process is seen by some market players as the next logical step as it allows developers to drum up interest in homes before they are built and for builders and their clients to better communicate expectations about the design of a space.
In January, Brookfield Residential began offering virtual reality tours of its new San Marcos, CA, community, Rancho Tesoro, while Las Vegas custom homebuilder Blue Heron Design Build is using the technology to take potential buyers on virtual tours of new homes.
Other recent applications of virtual reality in construction include that by Scotland-based architect David Burgher, who is using the tool to help create safer spaces for people with dementia by visualizing their perceptive impairments during the design phase.
Perhaps more immediately, mobile technology such as smartphones and tablets are being used to aid the homebuying process.
The National Association of Realtors found that 72% of buyers used a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet to look for a home last year, up from 61% the year before. Moreover, 58% of buyers surveyed by the NAR said they used a mobile app to find the home they eventually purchased.
Real estate listing websites are rolling out applications aimed at making searching for a home on mobile devices easier. In January, Realtor.com updated its Android mobile app with two features that allow users to gather details such as price on properties using their smartphones in the field.
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