The craze of augmented reality (AR) burst onto the scene when the Pokémon Go craze saw people walking the streets with their phones in hand trying to catch them all. But the technology is now being harnessed by real estate agents to add another layer of sophistication to the local property market.
McGrath Estate Agents are leading the charge on the Sunshine Coast by introducing AR to their marketing campaigns to enhance potential buyer engagement.
Agent Damien Michael says the Buderim and Mooloolaba agencies are piloting the technology for the entire group, giving Sunshine Coast buyers and sellers the first opportunity to experience the impact AR can have.
“Augmented reality allows the seller to better showcase their property through video,’’ he says.
“This innovative technology allows buyers to get a better feel for the property they are looking at. By visually bringing the ads to life with augmented reality, buyers can look through a property instantaneously and click through the web listing with a single touch.”
Mr Michael says the AR stamp on the McGrath print ads that feature in My Property Preview “bring the ad to life”.
All readers have to do is download the free AR app and scan the main image in the ad to activate a video showcasing the property. From there, they can click through to the property listing and get in touch with the sales agent with the touch of a button.
“Utilising this technology will give buyers an immediate insight into the property and in turn drive buyer enquiry. By delivering more buyers, we can achieve the best possible sale price in the shortest possible time,” he says.
“This will create a huge point of difference for McGrath in our region. The majority of our properties are now videoed by our local full-time McGrath videographer and the AR technology is yet another way we can showcase our properties to the market.”
UnifiedAR co-founder Steven Belshaw says AR is predicted to be a $6-billion industry by 2021, with an estimated 70 per cent of businesses utilising the technology.
“Augmented reality is here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger. Those getting on board now, like McGrath, are going to be the leaders both now and into the future,” he says.
Mr Belshaw and business partner Kaushal Gunaratne have worked with many small to medium-sized enterprises to develop AR applications for their businesses and he says the possibilities are “pretty much limitless”.
“From a property perspective, you can do what McGrath do and link print advertising through to video and you could also create an application where you can hold your camera up to the outside of a house and it will link to a video,” he says.
“For builders and developers, you can link materials through to 3D models or renders of properties so people buying off the plan can see what the final product will look like and get a visual indication of how it will look on the land.
“These can be linked through a brochure, print advertising or signage. You could also deliver 3D walk-throughs through AR. It really streamlines the process for the consumer.”
With 2021 just a few years away, Mr Belshaw says the technology is poised to explode.
“Every day, you turn around and there’s a new idea being created,” he says.
“This used to be limited by budgets and accessible to only the top five per cent of businesses, but it is now becoming more accessible for all industries.”
To see how AR works for yourself, download the AR app and try it out.