Augmented Reality Tours for Real Estate & Beyond
You already know that Augmented Reality uses smart screens to place digital objects over images of our real world. But what does that mean? For your business? AR can do more than just overlay a cartoon character or a sculpture onto the view through your screen. AR can turn your phone into a portal. Seriously. Augmented Reality Tours are relevant within business, education, entertainment, and more. From home presales to lessons about Mars, a phone or tablet may be all that stands between you and another world.
We think any product that jointly helps you grow your business – and injects some much-needed magic into 2020 – is worth reviewing. Again, and again. Because as we look eagerly to prospects of widespread economic recovery in 2021, we know that marketing and tech budgets will be reduced while the dollars we do spend in these departments will need to work much harder than previous years. The good news is that with a little planning and innovative strategy, the proverbial sun will come out again.
“As sure as the spring will follow the winter, prosperity and economic growth will follow recession.” – Robert Foster Bennett
Virtual Reality VS Augmented Reality Tours
The idea of touring virtually seems best suited to VR, right? And in many ways, it is. Until you bump up against the hardware barrier that still challenges many creators of VR content. The shortest distance between point A (your content) and B (your audience) is often the wisest route.
Since your audience is almost certain to own a smartphone, but not necessarily a headset to go with it, AR is a necessary alternative to VR. Given the above-mentioned reduction in promotional spending, we can expect both individuals and businesses to also make fewer hardware investments for the next few years.
Yet, businesses can no longer afford to stand still and must transform in order to survive. We love Augmented Reality Tours for this powerful simplicity of merging new technology with existing resources. Now let’s take a closer look at some specific examples.
AR Tours can be used to preview any property for sale, built or still in the design phase. These tours can be shared remotely for consumption through smart screens or guided with high-end AR glasses in show suites or sales offices. But any way you slice it, Real Estate agents, developers, and architects all need to share detailed visuals to communicate with clients.
Proposing and reviewing renovations works well through AR too. Construction contractors and interior designers have impressive options for sharing imagery that looks real, with as much information as the recipient wants.
You’ve put hours of thoughtful design into your storefront. You’ve carefully cultivated a space that is attractive, on-trend, and fitting for your brand. And these days so few of your customers can or will see the fruits of your labour. So, the use case for an AR Tour can be a charming alternative to welcoming back masses of customers.
We don’t know how long boutiques and other small brick-and-mortar stores will need to adhere to occupancy limits and reduced hours. When you can virtually ‘open’ your doors to more customers – and at all hours – it’s just one more option to keep your loyal local visitors engaged. You can make it interactive and plugged into your e-commerce site too.
Planning and daydreaming is often a lengthy and involved phase for many would-be vacationers. Travelers review where they’re going (both regions and specific properties) as well as which activities they plan to try. Think of historic sites, monuments, parks, beaches, adventures, and generally any attraction that could enrich a trip.
Although many such businesses have been able to resume operations, the volume of customers will undoubtedly be smaller. An AR Tour is an excellent method of reassuring people that your activity or property meets their health and safety needs, but it can also keep next year’s customers thinking about you until they’re ready to come back in person.
A portal-type AR tool can be used to deliver anything from yoga classes to personal training sessions. Pair a smart screen and an AR activity with a treadmill or an exercise bike. Or, as we’ve seen with innovative devices like Mirror, AR can help revitalize gyms that are still struggling to adapt to stringent sanitation guidelines and contactless protocols.
AR enriched with sensors and data can give feedback during a workout or motivate participants with statistics. Goals and rewards are critical to the fitness journey for so many people. Why not use technology to help get that job done?
Field trips don’t need to be cancelled when they can be adapted to AR Tours. Teachers and trainers can use AR to discuss anything from geography and botany to history and culture. Educational AR can be delivered remotely or, as in the installation example above, incorporated into a re-opening strategy for public-facing learning centres.
All the information a tour guide would share verbally can be incorporated into an AR product. Whether prompted by user exploration or interaction like clicks, the transfer of knowledge is possible in several ways. You can even include a quiz at the end.
A close cousin to both tourism and educational AR Tours is the one we do for pure escape. Fantastic virtual worlds are begging to be created as companions to your products and services. Add value by making collateral or packaging come to life. Give stories new visuals and added depth when they can be explored through a smart screen, from the comfort and safety of home.
AR games that draw users into quests can be part of your brand’s story or an opportunity to showcase your product in action. Or perhaps your product is the story itself. One of the elements we love about all Extended Reality technology is that it continually blurs the lines between marketing tool and product.
Remote Customer Service & Guided AR Tours
One of the first pushbacks you’ll hear about Augmented Reality Tours is that they eliminate customer service and sales jobs. If your critic is really aggressive, they’ll say that AR is an automated, impersonal, joyless version of sales and service duties. We couldn’t disagree more.
Augmented Reality is a promotional tool that sales and customer service professionals can use to work remotely or even just maintain a respectful distance. We know that reducing contact with customers and coworkers is a workplace standard that’s here to stay.
AR does quite the opposite of killing sales and service jobs. It may be the vehicle that keeps people employed when their own health, or the health of their customers, is a barrier to getting work done at all.
Communicate with AR
We love using technology to help people stay connected. The tool that helps you keep in touch with loved ones can also help you deliver a high level of customer service. An AR portal tool can be customized to your business needs including an element of interaction between salesperson and client.
An Augmented Reality Tour could end with a clickable option to launch a phone call, giving you or your team members the opportunity to be available to your customers at the exact right moment – by design.
Specialists in Augmented Reality Tours
The Stambol team has been working with Real Estate professionals since we first opened our doors. And the Real Estate industry has always needed tours. So, we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to facilitate virtual tours.
Since we also know that digital tour tools have value to so many more industries, we’ve been hard at work studying how to quickly and effectively adapt our technology for unexpected use cases. Reach out to a Stambol AR expert to find out if your business can benefit from Augmented Reality Tours. We think you’re going to be delighted by what you learn.
Feature Image Credit: Martin Capek / Adobe Stock