Doing real estate marketing with augmented reality might be the next “big” thing.
While marketing with augmented reality is stronger implemented in e-commerce where more performance data could already be gathered, there are more and more use cases that can also be beneficial for conversion rates in real estate marketing.
So, in this article, you will learn what augmented reality is, interesting stats relevant for marketing, 4 ways of doing real estate marketing using augmented reality, and 3 apps that can help you with that.
What Is Augmented Reality?
Imagine for a second you wear glasses and are riding your bike at a certain speed. And suddenly, a bug smashes against your glasses and remains there fixed.
Now, unfortunately, the bug is dead, but somehow it still seems to be moving in a way.
While you are riding your bike and see the moving landscape before your eyes the dead bug is fixed on your glasses, but still seems to move against the landscape.
In a way it is still “flying” and an overlay to the moving reality before your eyes. But since it’s dead, you can’t interact with it.
The latter would be one of the requirements of calling something augmented reality.
Well, this is not the best way to describe augmented reality but in a morbidly funny way, it is similar.
In more technical terms, augmented reality enables you to have an interactive experience within the “real world”.
Augmented reality is created by overlaying objects of this “real world” with computer-generated perceptual information that can be auditory, haptic, visual, and more.
So, in the end, it’s just a combination of the real world and a virtual world overlay.
By using augmented reality, you can basically make out an interesting world of a “boring” real one, and experience and enrich it.
So, if in my example from the beginning the dead bug would have suddenly started to speak to you and offered you navigational information or information about your speed on your bike, it could have been called augmented reality.
The latter provided, of course, that you had an augmented reality application running on your glasses and not just hearing dead bugs speaking to you.
Stats about Augmented Reality Relevant for Marketing (in Real Estate)
There are also some interesting statistics about augmented reality you might want to learn about before we go further into the subject of real estate marketing with AR.
- Conversion rates increase by 90% when consumers engage with AR in contrast to those that do not (source).
- On retailer websites, 3D content can increase conversion rates by up to 27.96% (source).
- In 48% of the cases, shoppers already use or are willing to use AR to check out new products and services (source).
- By 2025, 14 million American employees will likely use smart glasses on a daily basis in their workplaces (source).
- When it comes to media planners, 7 out of 10 want to use augmented reality to increase customer and advertising engagement (source).
- The user base of mobile augmented reality is projected to surpass 3.5 billion by 2022 (source).
- People in diverse age groups are aware of augmented reality. To be exact, it’s 70-75% of people aged between 16 and 44 (source).
- In 61% of the cases, consumers prefer retailers with augmented reality experiences (source).
- At least in Japan, 66% of consumers want offline stores to provide augmented reality experiences (source).
Conclusion of the Above Statistics
Although many of the statistics come from the fields of e-commerce and online shoppers, there are many hints that we can already carry over to real estate marketing.
For example, if retailer websites can increase conversion rates by 27.69% on their websites by using 3D content, we can already assume that something similar would happen on a real estate website.
Then, we have a steadily increasing user base of mobile augmented reality. This is in line with the overall trend of steadily increasing mobile users.
Since many potential home buyers use their phones to look for properties, you can be sure that providing some sort of augmented reality experience for the property hunt is likely to be beneficial in terms of conversion rates.
It is also important to note the age group of being aware of augmented reality.
While there are many that are still too young to do real estate transactions, among the 16 to 44-year-olds, the largest generation would be again the millennials and some of generation X, with the first one being the largest one that is currently buying properties.
It’s a bit of a stretch but since in Japan 66% of consumers want offline stores to provide augmented reality experiences, we can assume that the same will likely be true also in the U.S. quite soon.
So, should you have a physical real estate office where clients drop-in, offering an augmented reality experience there will also likely have a positive effect on converting real estate leads into customers.
4 Ways and Examples of Doing Real Estate Marketing with Augmented Reality
Most of the use cases for real estate marketing with augmented reality can be found on the buyer side of things.
So, it is especially helpful in the process of selling real estate to a potential buyer.
But providing such experiences to potential buyers will also be beneficial when it comes to convincing a seller to work with you should you be a realtor and aim to sign a new listing contract.
Similar to the situation with drone photography, sellers might prefer to work with realtors that offer augmented reality in the future than with those who don’t.
1) Using Augmented Reality During Property Tours
This use case has the most benefit for construction sites where nothing is built yet or where only the basic structure has been built.
But also new unfurnished homes can benefit from augmented reality.
For example, you can tour a construction site and, by overlaying it with high-end digital renderings, you can show a potential buyer how the final product will look like.
When it comes to new homes, you can overlay different furnishing and decoration options, and discuss further details with potential home buyers.
Below you can watch two examples of that:
2) Augmented Reality Business Card and Enhancing Other Print Marketing Products
Since you can overlay almost everything in the real world with augmented reality, the same is true for business cards and other print materials for marketing.
You can overlay brochures, again business cards, portable and shareable rack cards, billboards, and stationary posters.
To be able to imagine a bit better what I mean, I found a great video during my research that shows how this is done with an augmented reality business card.
3) Enhanced Property Tours Everywhere
Strictly speaking, when thinking of the definition of augmented, reality this use case isn’t 100% augmented reality because here you don’t overlay the physical reality you are in right now or interact with, but rather provide a potential client with an immersive experience of a property independent from the place where you are right now.
So, it’s actually a 3D virtual walkthrough of a digital replica of a particular property where a hand-held device is used to walk and look around.
4) Augmented Reality Advertising
Because of the above statistics, it is likely beneficial for your conversion rates to use augmented reality in real estate advertising.
There are not yet many digital ad platforms that support augmented reality, but there is at least one. It happens to still be a major player, and it’s Facebook.
There were others that could be found under the label of augmented reality advertising platform, but they turned out to be services or applications that can help you create augmented reality ads or applications.
So, on the mobile Facebook News Feed, you can run ads that use augmented reality camera effects. Potential customers can then interact with your product.
Before you use Facebook’s ad platform for that, you will need to create the respective augmented reality effects.
This can be done with the Spark AR Partner Network.
This Network consists of vetted producers that can create the desired AR effect for your products.
You can also create them yourself by using the Spark AR Studio.
The AR ads you run on Facebook usually work in a way that a visual overlay tells your potential clients how to engage and interact with your effect, product, or brand.
A Collection of 3 Apps to Use for Real Estate Marketing with Augmented Reality
ROAR is a versatile AR app for business owners in general.
Since it can be used in many ways, there are also some use cases for real estate.
It supports industries such as retail, education, packaging, automotive, entertainment, real estate, museums and arts, healthcare, and machinery.
You can create augmented reality for different landscapes and real estate layouts, and builders can show potential buyers how the end product will look like.
There are also use cases from other industries that you could apply to real estate marketing.
For example, the use case from above to enhance printed marketing materials with additional information could be implemented too.
You can learn more about the application here.
This app is rather tailored to architects and developers.
You can showcase different architectural projects with it. Unfortunately, for now, it is only available for bespoke projects.
You can learn more about it here.
This one is similar to ARKi, but the difference is that it is not only for bespoke projects.
It combines augmented reality and artificial intelligence and enables you to convert floor plans into walkthroughs.
These walkthroughs can then be used remotely or onsite.
You can learn more about it here.
Need a Customized App for Your Real Estate Business?
There are not that many AR apps on the market yet specifically for real estate and there might be the case that you need a customized AR app for your real estate business.
For this case, there are two AR kits available that your developer can use.
These are the AR kit by Apple and the kit from Google called ARCore.
Both kits make it easier for your developer to include AR into iPhone or Android apps.
A well-known AR app developed with the one by Apple is Pokemon Go and the Ikea AR app.
Based on the statistics, real estate marketing with augmented reality looks quite promising.
But from what I found out, it is still in the beginning stages.
For example, only the Facebook Ads platform really supports augmented reality and there are only a few AR apps specifically tailored to the real estate industry.
Then, there is also no marketing data from the real estate industry available so if it were, you could see how real estate marketing performs by using augmented reality.
This situation is good and bad news at the same time.
On one hand, you could get into the AR game early on and get an edge on your competition by using AR in your marketing.
On the other hand, it might be costly to implement AR for your real estate marketing efforts in an efficient way.
To avoid too many costs, I would stay with the already existing apps that can be used for the above-mentioned use cases such as AR property tours or augmented print marketing products.