Tech Thursday: Using virtual reality to sell new homes

Posted at 4:04 PM, Apr 20, 2017

DENVER – How do you sell a home that’s not built yet?

That’s a challenge that faced Denver real estate agent Matt Metcalf, who’s working to sell custom homes in a new development in Applewood.

Looking at an architect’s drawing or a computer rendering isn’t good enough, Metcalf says. He wants to give clients a better sense of how their future home will look and feel, both inside and out.

“The biggest challenge is when you don’t have it built,” Metcalf said. “How are you going to show someone what it looks like?”

His solution: Virtual reality.

Metcalf and home builder Lucid Studio have started using a 360-degree, immersive experience that lets buyers look and move around a virtual version of the home. Want to see what it looks like with furniture inside? You can do that, too.

The technology gives them “the ability to actually put people within a space,” Metcalf said.

Metcalf said there are a couple different virtual reality options: A simple 3-D experience that buyers can use with their computer or a smartphone VR system like Google Cardboard. Or, using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, the owner can move freely within the space, going up and down stairs and even outside to explore the neighborhood.

Try it out for yourself below. (Not loading? Click here.)

Because of the software and graphics requirements for the Oculus system, Metcalf said he can only offer that service on-site at the moment.

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