Augmented reality - Transforming the way we experience real estate - Hindustan Times
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Augmented reality - Transforming the way we experience real estate

ByHindustan Times
Nov 16, 2023 10:39 AM IST

This article is authored by Ashish Bhutani, chief executive officer, Bhutani Infra.

In the constantly evolving world, technology has become an integral part of our lives. It has not only changed the way we work and communicate but has also transformed the way we experience the world. People now are willing to use new-age technologies in their exploration of products and services, spanning from retail to real estate. The real estate sector has witnessed a remarkable shift in recent years, owing to the rapid leveraging of advanced technologies. Amongst the many IT technologies, augmented reality (AR) has made a special space for itself in the 21st-century realty segment. AR has rapidly gained popularity globally, with its market value expected to witness a robust 31.38% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between 2021 and 2027.

Augmented reality is when apps and games overlay a real-time camera feed with images, characters and data to provide all kinds of interactive experiences.(Unsplash)
Augmented reality is when apps and games overlay a real-time camera feed with images, characters and data to provide all kinds of interactive experiences.(Unsplash)

AR technology involves overlaying of digitalised information, visual, auditory and sensory onto the physical world, enhancing our perception of reality. It is the bridge between the physical and the digital, providing a unique and immersive experience. With the advent of AR, the way we explore real estate properties is undergoing a key shift.

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AR today stands out as a transformative force in the Indian realty. It is not merely a technological tool; it is a catalyst for curiosity and engagement. For real estate players, AR offers a competitive edge. AR can make property listings more interactive, providing buyers with a dynamic and engaging experience. It allows them to explore properties virtually and personalise their view, fostering a deeper connection with the property. Property listings with virtual tours receive over 40% more clicks than those with images alone, leading to higher traffic and increased sales. It enhances reliability, as buyers can explore properties remotely, reducing the need for physical visits. Additionally, properties with virtual tours receive 49% more qualified leads, enhancing the property's visibility.

For buyers, once the passive act of viewing properties has now become an interactive journey. Buyers immerse themselves in properties, discovering hidden features and envisioning their ideal spaces. In a fast-paced world, time is a precious commodity, and that is where AR shines. It streamlines property searches, allowing buyers to explore multiple properties remotely and thereby proving to be a major time-saver.

AR allows people to interact with properties, changing furniture or adjusting styles to visualise a property's potential. With remote property touring capabilities, AR saves time and effort, making the exploration process more efficient. The true magic of AR lies in its ability to provide a vision of a property's final form. Buyers can experiment with interior designs, furniture arrangements and potential renovations. This empowers them to make well-informed decisions swiftly, a crucial aspect in today's competitive market. Furthermore, AR puts buyers in the driver's seat of their property exploration. They dictate the pace and direction of their tours, zeroing in on the areas that matter the most to them. This results in increased buyer confidence. As per a report, a substantial 67% find virtual tours extremely useful in their home search process.

While AR has immense potential, it faces challenges in the Indian real estate market. Rural properties encounter issues related to limited accessibility and resources, hampering the widespread use of AR. Additionally, institutes and organisations offering education around AR and developing advanced AR and VR technologies are limited. The resistance to change among industry professionals also poses a significant barrier to AR adoption.

There are various AR apps and tools designed for the real estate sector offer a range of features and benefits. They have been providing 3D property tours which offers a more immersive and engaging experience than traditional photos and descriptions. These tools also help buyers to interact with the property, such as changing the furniture or adjusting the style, which helps them visualise the property's potential. These applications do not only allow buyers to tour properties remotely, which saves them time and effort, but also enable sellers to highlight the property's best features, such as the view or the layout, which can increase traffic and visibility. These features enhance the property viewing experience and cater to the diverse needs of buyers and sellers.

The future of AR in the Indian real estate industry is undeniably promising. With its ability to engage, empower and enhance, this innovative technology will likely become an industry standard. We envision a landscape where property exploration through AR is the norm, providing customers with immersive, interactive, and time-saving experiences. Real estate companies that fully embrace this technology will gain a competitive edge, offering innovative solutions that cater to the evolving preferences of tech-savvy buyers. While challenges like limited accessibility and resistance to change persist, the immense potential of AR in Indian real estate is poised to reshape the industry, making it more customer-centric, efficient, and competitive than ever before.

This article is authored by Ashish Bhutani, chief executive officer, Bhutani Infra.

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