House hunting can be a time-consuming frenzy of weekends spent perusing open houses without finding the right home, but some new technology is changing the way people look at properties.
Virtual 3D tours are becoming a new trend in real estate marketing, according to Alex Burns, a realtor with Re/Max and Victoria Homes. Using a multi-camera system, realtors can map out a home – similar to Google Streetview, but indoors – and allow prospective buyers to take a virtual step inside.
Burns most recently showcased the technology with a seven-acre garden estate on Brookleigh Road, on the north side of Elk Lake.
“When we’re into the estate properties, we’re looking for specific niche types of buyers,” said Burns. “We have been practising with drone work and video for a couple years, and that’s been fantastic. But when we incorporated 3D tours, we saw this technology as an edge because the buyer can get a real perspective of the home and see all the corners, all the nooks and crannies.”
According to Burns, the Brookleigh Road property used a camera with nine lenses on it to capture more than 7,000 square feet, merging all the images together to create a seamless, 360-degree experience. Burns said 3D tours are especially advantageous for homes with custom layouts so buyers, whether on the mainland or overseas, can understand the home’s design when looking at the floorplan.
“This technology is just starting,” said Burns. “Soon, we’ll see people having headsets and they can literally walk through the house.”
While video can give a strong idea of what a home looks like on the inside, Burns said the virtual tours offer numerous benefits, such as the ability to go at your own pace on the tour and more thoroughly see rooms up close.
“This can adjust the angle, so if you want to look out a window or turn around a corner and go up a set of stairs, those are the things that you can’t get in a video,” he said. “This allows the buyer to do whatever they want in the comfort of their home.”
While the implementation of 3D tours is fairly new, Burns said they’ve received a lot of positive feedback since they started using the technology on Vancouver Island. Additionally, the technology has opened their listings up to more buyers who don’t live in Greater Victoria.
“Everyone’s excited,” he said. “It’s still being realized – we’re at the beginning steps of where it’s going to go. Being able to virtually walk through the home is the future.
“We’re getting a lot of outside looks, and this is just a great opportunity for people across the world to look at homes without having to take a flight here.”