How is CRE Using VR During COVID-19?

As commercial real estate deals primarily with physical spaces, the brick-and-mortar side of leasing has been severely disrupted by COVID-19. 

The world’s ‘new normals’ include distinct social distancing protocols, remote working, and essential-only operation of the commercial brackets of society. Resultantly, the business of CRE has gone digital. 

Thankfully, contemporary technology offers CRE pros the ability to make the transition as seamless as possible. There are digital alternatives available to replace most of the in-person elements of the deal-making process. 

VR is undoubtedly the hero of the moment, establishing the most realistic and interactive connections between agents, clients, and listed properties. Amid this pandemic, virtual reality integrations within commercial real estate have gone from a luxury to a necessity – where it’s set to stay. 

Let’s explore some of the ways that commercial real estate is using VR to help fuel deals during the coronavirus. 

Virtual Showings

Property showings aren’t stopping – they’re just happening virtually. 

Showings are an imperative element of the leasing process as buyers undoubtedly need to see a property before moving forward with the deal. VR is overcoming these challenges by keeping the possibility for showings open. 

This strategy adds a new and upgraded value proposition to listings, agent websites, and digi-powered property sales at large. 

Interactive Walk-Through Tours

VR takes the experience of a video tour to an entirely new level. 

On a pre-recorded video tour, the buyer takes on the passive role of a viewer – which is not the same experience as exploring the property in-person. Videos offer a limited rendition of a traditional tour with too many downsides to make up for the differences. 

Contrarily, virtual reality puts the power in the buyers’ hands again. 

Participants are able to take the tour on their own terms, seeing what they want to instead of what they’re forced to. This provides greater transparency that instills fresh confidence in buyers since they don’t have to worry about discrepancies between the e-tour and the actual space.

Designing Spaces

Even before a property is sale-ready, VR is making waves in the initial phases of the design process. 

Virtual reality technology is being used to get a real-life preview of the development process, helping to streamline potential issues and overcome hurdles in visualizing the physical outcomes with more clarity than ever before.

Closing Deals During Construction

Not only is this helping design teams streamline the building phase, but it’s also fueling more pre-development deals. Interested buyers now have the opportunity to take a walkthrough tour of a yet-to-be-built listing, opening up the door to expedited offers and early closings.

All this and more is made possible by merging virtual reality and commercial real estate, and these takeaways are set to impact the industry for years to come. 

What creative CRE applications of VR have you observed during COVID? Whatever’s caught your attention, be ready for more virtual reality experiences cropping up within this business. 

For more on the changing climate of CRE during the pandemic, stay tuned to the NAI Global Newslink.