White paper
There is no need to tell developers and estate agents the benefits of renders in 2021. They know that renders are a key tool when it comes to selling real estate, including projects that haven't been constructed yet. Renders are a fundamental sales tool, the first step in attracting potential buyers and captivating their imaginations.
The shortfalls of this tool are also known:

● Renders are a standard, everyone has them (i.e. the client does not receive anything unique).

● Their quality and realism are easily recognisable to specialists, but they are not always noticed by prospective clients (especially when it comes to modern photo-realistic content, 9 out of 10 buyers are not able to distinguish an expensive render from a slightly less expensive one).

● The degree of visual impact of the render is limited not only by its quality, but also by the buyers monitor settings, hardware characteristics of their video card, the subjective perception of the potential buyer of the project, and also by the fact that even the highest quality render is not able to fully capture and communicate the essence of the project it features.

Such content is necessary and important, but not universal. It serves as a basis, but it does not always allow you to make a final decision and in many cases does not become a deciding factor.

We successfully create and deliver renders, but lately we've heard more and more often from developers that their clients want something more informative and impressive. Of course, it is impossible to sell an apartment without renders, but when it comes to increasing conversions, there is a need for additional tools. Today, the real estate buyer wants to experience something that is close to a real visit. This is where renders on their own fall short.

The impression of the real estate object, first of all, is provided by visual content. There are several types of such content in addition to renders: VR tours, 360 ° VR video and augmented reality.


Lost profits or what will happen if you limit yourself to renders

Today most developers rely on renders as the main visualization tool, while the use of other tools raises concerns about return on investment. In reality, developers and agents are limiting the potential for profits by abandoning promising visualization technologies.


Research

According to research conducted by Goldman Sachs in 2020, the cumulative potential profit from the use of virtual reality (VR) in real estate will reach $ 2.6 billion by 2025. Goldman Sachs data shows: 130,000 real estate agents have already used VR to showcase properties in the mainstream segment (homes with annual expenses of up to $ 5,000) this year. https://www.avantica.com/blog/ar/vr-technology-connects-buyers-with-homes-in-the-real-estate-market

It is also known that earlier, Goldman Sachs included real estate sales in the TOP-10 of the most promising industries for using VR from an economic point of view.
https://holographica.space/news/goldman-sachs-ar-vr-3116

In practice, this is consistent with the results of a statistical study by the American National Association of Realtors, according to the report (https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/profile-of-home-staging), 77% of agents for real estate experts say that VR content helps clients make a choice in favor of a particular property.

This data is also confirmed by VRARA * studies. According to one of them, 40.4% of apartment buyers confirmed that VR tours play a significant role in making a purchase decision. https://www.avantica.com/blog/ar/vr-technology-connects-buyers-with-homes-in-the-real-estate-market

According to Teresa Florentino's VR and AR Efficiency Study, augmented and virtual reality solutions will play an increasing role every year, and by a certain point all developers and agents will adopt them. The researcher formulated the reasons for the current situation, describing AR as a technology that shows users more than they can immediately think of a product or service. The value of VR, according to Florentino, is that the user becomes a participant in the demonstration and is able to act freely, like a character on a stage. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327537753_Real_Estate_using_AR_VR_DR_Geo-referencing_and_other_mobile_applications

In 2017, Alexander Julian Brennerr, a researcher at Claremont College McKenna, conducted one of the most representative and scientifically substantiated studies of VR for home sales. They have shown significant increases in conversions in various situations when using VR compared to standard renders.
https://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=2568&context=cmc_theses

A company that ignores VR as a tool is missing out on 20% to 50% of its potential revenue, according to the research. Indirectly, the data on the high efficiency of VR is supported by other scientific research.

Neuroscientists from the University of Rochester have proven that the most important type of perception for humans is visual. Scientists have demonstrated that more than 50% of neurons in the cerebral cortex are involved in the processes of visual perception, which is due to the paramount importance of visual information for a person throughout history and evolution.




Experience

European real estate market has been successfully testing VR solutions for a long time and is gradually effectively introducing them into practice. Thus, about 8% of the ads of the most popular service in the UK, Zoopla, have the option of a virtual tour, and their number is regularly increasing. In addition, the pandemic has played a significant role in increasing the demand for VR in real estate trading. According to Zoopla, the number of views of virtual tours on the service has tripled since the beginning of the period of pandemic isolation.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-53478010

The marketing director of the British real estate agency Chestertons, Giles Milner, in an interview with the BBC noted that most of British developers are budgeting for the creation of a VR tour in the marketing costs of the future buildings.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-53478010

Florian Kure, Head of Digital Innovation at BNP Paribas Real Estate, demonstrates a deep understanding of the value of VR adoption. Based on the company's experience, he notes that VR currently cannot provide the experience of a real visit to an object, but closer to it than any other visualization means. Moreover, it allows you to research objects before construction begins, as well as view and compare several objects, with the limited time resources of the buyer or investor. https://www.realestate.bnpparibas.com/virtual-reality-vr-and-augmented-reality-ar-real-estate


Sotheby's is among the organizations that successfully use VR tours for real estate trading. It is no coincidence that luxury real estate sellers have pioneered the use of VR. The reason for their interest in the technology was the high efficiency of this tool when working with complex clients who do not have enough time to visit extremely expensive objects, who at the same time want to possess sufficiently complete information about the object.

Another well-known Western company that is actively introducing VR into sales practice is Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, senior vice president of marketing David Marin, calls VR and AR among the most important technologies for sales in the industry. The top manager believes that people in the modern world actively interact with such technologies and expect this from real estate professionals. https://medium.com/@Imaginovation/vr-applications-modernizing-real-estate-business-with-360-virtual-tours-more-336a1badc9e8

AR allows you to expand the possibility of face-to-face visits to real estate. In some cases, it is difficult for a client to appreciate the advantages of housing without furniture and decor. In this case, he can see them using augmented reality and compare.

For example, IKEA has implemented a project in the UK with which you can 'test' furniture in an unfurnished house or apartment. Applying IKEA's AR solution helps realtors close deals with less effort, and IKEA finds customers buying furniture during the home acquisition phase.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xetdPntL92U

One of the oldest UK real estate companies, Strutt & Parker, part of the BNP Paribas Real Estate holding, is successfully using VR for home sales. The company's salespeople value VR because, with the same force of impact, the same experience can be used with a client located both in London and in Moscow. In other words, the virtual tour erases the distances, which will be in high demand today, in a difficult epidemic situation. Employees of the company argue that trading overseas real estate during a period of pandemic restrictions is possible only with the help of VR tours, other tools are not even able to partially replace a visit to the facility.

A Romanian company with American and British participation, Bluemind Software, has been successfully using a solution since 2018 that allows the use of VR for real estate trading and is one of the first companies in the EU market to introduce VR reviews into the practice of primary sales. The developers believe in the near future it will be almost impossible to sell real estate without using VR.


Objectively why AR and VR content is better to buy now, and not later

We analyzed the proposals of developers, realtors, designers and architects. According to our data, presently among the companies we know, less than 10% of developers and realtors use VR tours (some of which are our clients, AR is less than 5%. A similar situation exists with interior designers and architects, where about 7% of studios rely on VR tours and specialists, and AR content is used by a little more than 8%.

At the same time, more than half (53%) of the companies that we surveyed in June 2020 plan to allocate money for AR and VR solutions, but not earlier than in 1-2 years, and only 16% are in the process of creating such solutions now. 24% do not plan to use such solutions at all, and 7% find it difficult to give a definite answer.

By purchasing such tools, it is now possible to offer the market, which, with a high probability, competitors do not have.

What do we offer?

Visarton offers comprehensive solutions including:

Preparation of interior design projects
Visualization of views from windows / from terraces
Creation of animated 3D videos
Creation of VR tours
Preparation of 360 panoramic photos
AR solutions for real estate trade

The key aspect is that we offer an integrated approach to content creation, when VR tours, 3D videos and other types of 3D content are created based on the materials used for rendering.

Ordering any of our products involves the following steps:
The customer describes what he needs and provides the source materials.
We estimate the volume of work and calculate the cost in accordance with the labor costs of the content.
We study the target audience of the customer and the strengths of his objects, on which it makes sense to focus.
We approve the sketch options and get to work.

We are often asked a question about the characteristics that are guaranteed to influence buyers and lead to conversions. In the case of rendering, this is photorealism, the correspondence of images to the expectations of the target audience and an accurate transfer of the main parameters of the object. For VR content, it is important to work out small details and take into account the ability to inspect objects from different angles. In AR, we place special emphasis on informativeness and intuitiveness of obtaining additional visual and textual information.

Also, clients are often interested in which tools are more suitable for a particular audience. It is difficult to answer this question unequivocally. But we have found that the vast majority of buyers like VR tours, a relative exception can be considered buyers in the age category 50+, who sometimes simply refuse to use a VR tour, as well as render, preferring a classic two-dimensional plan, apartments, information about the area, number of storeys , materials for building a house, availability of parking and other standard information. Renders also affect everyone, but they show especially impressive results with young women.

AR is suitable for people with a pragmatic approach who want to quickly receive information about the characteristics of an object, for example, materials and finishing details, the area of ​​individual rooms, etc. These people might be colloquially referred to as 'geeks', people close to IT, or simply managers with a limited amount of time. Depending on the type of augmented reality, it is also in demand by interior designers and architects who can show on a real, tangible object how this or that solution will look.

When the client is picky about aesthetics and especially the view from a window, panoramic photographs work well. An alternative would be to render views from windows / from the terrace, in the event that the objects themselves have not been built yet. The use of 360 ° panoramic photos is also justified when it comes to an already existing object, and the buyer has high requirements for the photorealism of the content and there is no opportunity to visit it.

Before starting cooperation, many clients are interested in the cost of content. It is customary to evaluate each project individually, based on the cost of implementation. After evaluating the task, we are ready to justify the proposed cost based on the planned time costs, the quantity and quality of the results of the order. When it comes to a complex order, a part of the already created content can become the basis for a new one, which allows you to optimize your budget. We are convinced that in the case of commercial tools, it is not the cost that is of paramount importance, but the ability to generate sales.

FAQ

How to draw up a technical specification for rendering?
First, you need to determine the target audience of the object, specify the tasks that will be set for the render and briefly describe them in the document. There is no need to draw up anything further, it is enough to meet with our specialist and describe the requirements for the render, as well as send us the documents and files that he asks for. As a rule, we are talking about project documentation. Our specialist will independently create a detailed technical assignment and coordinate it with you. The terms of reference will reflect all business requirements for content. It is important that, on the one hand, the TK describes the product, and on the other hand contains information about which target audience it is designed for in the first place.

At what stage should you make edits?
The most significant edits are made at the stage of approval of sketches, they can be reflected in the TOR. Sometimes edits are made later, since some ideas can visit the customer already in the process of content development. This may slightly increase the cost and lead time.

Which tool should you choose?
We recommend using all of them, as each of the tools can increase conversions.

Why are just renders not enough?
The more advantages you can show to the buyer and the more accessible for his understanding the content, the higher the probability of a purchase. In the near future, those who have more tools for visual presentation of objects will sell more. Renders work great, but they fail to provide a sense of presence, which is often a key decision trigger, especially if the buyer has not visited the property or the property has not yet been built. This ability is possessed by VR. The render is also limited in the ability to easily present technical data and performance properties that may be of interest to the buyer.

How long is each product manufactured and what is the reason for the production time?
This is always decided individually and depends on the complexity of the object, the number of elements created, the number and details of the sources. When evaluating each project, even at the evaluation stage, we are ready to announce the approximate time for creation, based on the customer's requirements for the result.

What needs to be considered to ensure consistent quality?
If quality is understood as conversion, then we are primarily talking about photorealism, detailing of a 3D model, as well as about features that are significant for a specific target audience.

Why is it beneficial?
According to the experience of companies and the research described above, renders, VR and AR content, as well as panoramic photos can significantly influence the results of real estate sales, ensuring their growth. This is also true for the services of designers and architects, who can showcase objects in detail to customers, taking into account a lot of subtle nuances and providing images with valuable additional information.


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