“It didn’t replace the agent,” says Scott Durkin, president and COO of Douglas Elliman. “It’s actually streamlined the process.” The common tune across the industry now is that VR (immersive computer-generated environments experienced by wearing a computerized headset) and AR (images, sounds, and touch capabilities that “overlay” the real world, creating an enhanced version of reality) are expanding the framework for the future of the business.

Take the Curate app from Sotheby’s International Realty, for example. Initially launched on Android and released last month for iOS, it uses AR to place digital images of furniture in the room of a prospective home (or any home, for that matter).

Using modeling technology from VR company Rooomy, users can imagine how they might functionally live in their homes with furniture options set to their individual tastes. “When the agent invites the client into the home, it helps them [visualize],” says John Passerini, the VP of interactive marketing at Sotheby’s International Realty.

“They walk into a bedroom and can turn it into a den.” At the high end of the market, many buyers come in with their own personal touches anyway, and Passerini wants to create a new ad platform via partnerships like the one they’ve developed with interior marketplace Viyet. While in Curate, users will be able to see furniture models directly from Viyet’s inventory and then click through to purchase these pieces.

It’s a turnkey solution that, if it catches on, represents a whole new dimension of in-app buying for big-ticket items. “We’ve created a new way for these companies to get ahead of their clients,” Passerini says. Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty 
Photo Credit: Courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty Another large benefit of VR and AR is the ability to close the distance between prospective buyers and the actual property itself. Read more from robbreport.com…

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