Survey: Most Consumers Want VR Home Tours

Correction: A previous version of this story cited incorrect percentages of respondents to the Coldwell Banker survey who desire VR home tours and who want video tours. The numbers have been updated.

Home shoppers are embracing virtual reality, saying they believe the technology will make the buying and selling process simpler and quicker, according to a new Coldwell Banker survey. The survey, which was released Monday—a day before the kickoff of CES 2018, the technology industry’s most prominent tradeshow—also shows that smart-home features are at the top of buyers’ wish lists. Coldwell Banker is sponsoring the Smart Home Marketplace at CES for the third consecutive year; the tradeshow runs from Tuesday to Friday in Las Vegas.

Sixty-two percent of the more than 3,000 respondents to Coldwell Banker’s survey say they’d choose a real estate agent who offers VR house tours as a service to their clients over one who does not. Further, 77 percent of respondents surveyed say they desire to take a VR house tour before seeing a property in person. That is nearing the percentage of those who said they are satisfied with traditional video tours (84 percent).

Beyond the home-shopping experience, survey respondents also say they are excited about VR applications to help them visualize how furniture would fit into a home.

A Smart Home Adviser

Consumers also say they desire more smart-home technology, and they are looking to you for assistance. Forty-two percent of survey respondents say they would look to their real estate agent to provide suggestions about how staging their home with smart-home products could impact the sale of their home. “Our consumer findings underscore the need for industrywide smart-home education for real estate sales agents,” says Charlie Young, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

The smart-home products home buyers say they most prefer to already be installed in a home are:

  • Smart thermostat: 77%
  • Smart fire detector: 75%
  • Smart carbon monoxide detector: 70%
  • Smart camera: 66%
  • Smart lock: 63%
  • Smart lighting system: 63%

“It’s crucial that the real estate industry stays on the cutting edge of technology,” says David Marine, senior vice president of marketing at Coldwell Banker. “From virtual reality to smart-home tech, consumers are now interacting with these technologies in different capacities and expect the same when working with a real estate professional.”

—Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

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