Metricon hopes the answer to that question is a yes as it rolls out virtual reality tours of several of its display homes.
Using Samsung virtual reality headsets tethered to mobile phones, Metricon customers can now take virtual reality tours of display versions of the company’s Denver, Chelsea, Delta and Somerset homes.
Starting at the Wonthaggi office, the tours will be gradually offered to potential buyers across the country as well as expats and investors overseas looking to buy house and land packages from Metricon.
How are the images captured?
Virtual technology company Scann3d used tripod-mounted scanners to extensively capture 360-degree views of each room and area of each property.
The speed of the available technology and quality of smartphones helps Scann3d deliver high quality images for the virtual tours, according to co-founder Steven Kounnas.
“The experience is the next best thing to being there (at a display home),” he says.
The company featured similar technology in the finale of TV’s The Block last year as contestants had to discover the reserve price of their property hidden inside a virtual reality tour.
What do you see?
Users virtually move around the property by staring at large blue dots in each room or space. If you fix on that dot for long enough, the technology transports you to that part of the room.
Users are free to look up, down and all around to get a feel for the size and scope of each space or room. Floors, doors, ceilings, cupboards and walls can be closely examined.
According to Metricon’s General Manager, Victorian Housing Peter Langfelder, the tours are designed to give potential buyers a similar experience to walking around an actual property in areas where the company may not have a display home.
“The main reason is its hard for people to get to a display home…this way we bring the display home to their town,” he says. “We’re rolling it out to a number of regional areas beginning next year to Echuca, Cowes and later in (Wagga) Wogga.”
For expats looking to buy an investment property or migrants looking to buy a home as part of moving to Australia for work, Metricon says the virtual tours offer these customers a practical service.
“We’re really just starting with this experience now, but into the future this really will be the way people shop,” he says. “We’re expanding the number of people we can get to and also improving the experience you give them (potential buyers).”
What is it like?
For those big on gaming, the experience isn’t that unfamiliar though instead of dodging criminals or zombies or monsters, this tour allows you to walk around a display home. There are no enemies to kill but plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.
I spent a lot of time turning around and if you aren’t a gamer, it’s not a bad idea to take this tour while sitting down to avoid feeling a bit dizzy.
The headsets can also be linked up to TV sets, allowing sales staff to guide the tour, but most will find it easy enough to use on their own.