How to effectively use VR in real estate

How to effectively use VR in real estate

360 ° VR video, walks in VR helmets, augmented reality – there are a lot of HYIPs around these technologies and gadgets: the pilots are launched, the ad goes, people walk through virtual reality. But until now, the real estate market has not heard a single high-profile case about the transformation of this excitement into a tool for a measurable increase in sales – before and after the introduction of technology. Does this mean that 3D content is useless? Or can it still be sold with it? Let’s try to figure it out with those who have already tried it.

VR in the Russian market is a young marketing tool that has not yet become a common practice. Companies that choose VR don’t just use technology. In an environment where everyone wants working schemes, they became innovators who believed in the new and introduced this mechanism into established business processes. Feedback from such companies is especially valuable. We collected and analyzed stories from representatives of three companies that use VR in marketing. All of them work in the real estate market, but quite different from each other. Our interlocutors:

  1. Aliya Saybulatova, marketing specialist of the residential complex “Vienna quarter” – a business class residential complex in Astana, for which it is important to emphasize the individuality of each unit of the complex. They use 2D, 3D, 360⁰ virtual tour of the apartment on the website and in sales offices.
  2. Alexey Filippov, Internet Advertising Manager, SPB Renovation – the largest construction company in the field of residential real estate in St. Petersburg. Now is the sale of apartments in seven large LCD. Use 3D tours.
  3. Mikhail Besfamilny, General Director of Orso Group – Perm company uses 3D-glasses for the sale of apartments in the complex “House with a beaver”. Prior to that, 2D and 3D tools were used to sell housing in the residential complex Kosmodom and Belka and Strelka.

50 square meters is how much?

3D renders are often used by developers to show general LCD plans during the construction phase. But renders are just a picture that often has little to do with the end result.

But the main thing is that the renders will not give the client the answer to the question “What exactly will my future apartment look like?” At the necessary stage of sale. And here the prudent developer should take 3D glasses from the shelf.

Planning and the number of meters – the first thing that gives a person a visual representation of the future apartment. However, abstract thinking and the “sense of meter” are not equally well developed by everyone. You need a special talent to imagine yourself in the planning of the apartment, seeing only the general plan drawn up on the plane. But to be inside the future apartment, wearing virtual reality glasses, everyone can. When we first started selling apartments, we told the client that there was an apartment of 50 square meters or a room of 10 square meters. And he always had questions: how much is this? What could fit in there?

Aliya Saibulatova

Marketer Residential Complex “Vienna quarter”

Surprisingly, many do not even know exactly how many square meters in the apartment where they have lived since childhood. The ability to read layouts is also not given to everyone. And the point is not that the client is “not far”, he just doesn’t need it.

If you are looking for new demonstration tools, gather questions from your customers and think about how these tools will help answer them.

According to a VRARA survey in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, 40.4% of apartment buyers confirmed that panoramic tours play an important role in making a purchase decision. 72.7% of clients whose developers offered panoramic tours, positively evaluate this tool.

3D content is a tool for communication, for visual answers to questions, and not a silver bullet for increasing sales. The manager can answer the buyer’s question with a picture, or maybe with experience. For example, is the ceiling low in an apartment? In VR glasses, you can simply lift your head and assess its height.

Alexey Yozhikov

Business Solutions Director at Planoplan

VR in action – entertainment or work tool?

Despite the fact that VR-technologies offer developers a lot of opportunities, companies differently integrate them into their marketing and sales.

In Vienna and Orso Group, VR opportunities are used in sales offices. In the Kazakhstan company, branded 3D glasses are presented as a gift to every potential buyer. It also offers to make an online walk around the apartment.

We first, together with the client, select the layout, and then offer to look at it in 3D glasses. We mainly show the area, so that a person appreciates whether it is little or a lot. We try to demonstrate the capabilities of the apartment. In the drawing, it seems small, but in fact it is quite comfortable. Clients really like the very feeling of being in their apartment. They walk, comment, they plan right in the office what they put in the living room. Some celebrate our interior design, they say: “And let us make the same floor.”

Aliya Saibulatova

Marketer Residential Complex “Vienna quarter”

64.4% of apartment buyers confirm that 3D- and VR-content helps to “feel” the real size and volume of rooms of purchased housing.

This is a virtual tour for a client. Of course, you don’t need to wear glasses to watch the video.

In SPB Renovation, people who come to the office to learn about square meters are not attracted to virtual reality. Here the bet is still made on communication.

Our sales process is still built up remotely. As a rule, a person already comes to the office with a specific presentation, making a choice. Acquisition of real estate is not the purchase of Kinder Surprise at the checkout. VR solutions will certainly produce the WOW effect. But the client in any case will have many additional questions. After the demonstration, there should be no division into two options:

– Liked?
– Yes!
– Buy it?
– Yes.
– OK.


– Liked?
– Yes!
– Buy it?
– Not.
– Oh, well, ok.

You can not just show the layout and wait for the result.

Alexey Filippov

Internet Advertising Manager SPB Renovation

The tour does not replace the sales manager. This is not a conversion tool that guarantees an increase in profits N times by itself. It is necessary not only to show the 3D tour at the right time, but also to continue the sale process after, withdrawing the client to close the deal.

45.2% of apartment buyers confirm that 3D and VR content helps to make a purchasing decision faster than only 2D layouts.

By itself, a walk around the apartment in virtual reality is not a tool for direct sales. She does not answer the most important questions that interest the client: the price, the grounds for the conclusion of the transaction, the contractual relationship, the rights of the company to the land plot. There is a huge block of technical and legal issues that cannot be excluded from the process. No demonstration and image decisions can not 100% influence the choice. But they can help make it in your favor.

It is strange to hope that a person will immediately decide on a deal after a 3D tour. Still, for people, the real reality is primary, not virtual. But VR-demonstrations in one large set of actions are added up. And, of course, they are beneficial.

Aliya Saibulatova

Marketer Residential Complex “Vienna quarter”


But for many users, virtuality is a game or entertainment.

People do not appreciate the ergonomics of the rooms, the decoration or the possible design, but rather the interactive widget itself. In general, our customers are quite conservative, but at the same time, the usual layouts are not enough, customers want to see their purchase in volume. So we realized that VR should be implemented gradually, and the technologies themselves should be twisted. As soon as a person can wear glasses and really feel like in an apartment, interest will increase significantly.

Mikhail Besfamilny

General Director of Orso Group

A more mature audience (30–39 years old) compared with young people (20–29 years old) appreciates 3D and VR content as a tool for comparing developers (61.9% vs. 48.6%), a tool for comparing offers without going to the object (81.0% versus 57.1%), as well as a tool for faster decision making about the purchase (52.4% versus 37.1%).


3D tours and VR glasses are in the nature of communication tools – like LCD renders or chat. They do not sell on their own, “you need to hit the nail with a hammer”. Technologies are of interest to customers, help answer questions and work on loyalty. For example, during a visit to the office of the Vienna Quarter residential complex, each client is installed on the phone an application for VR tours. Result: in the first week after installation, 3D tours of the house are viewed up to 40 times.

You can not expect that the client will put on his glasses and immediately say: “I buy this apartment!”. There are a lot of factors affecting the final decision. However, virtual reality has ample demonstration capabilities. On one of them we will stop in more detail.

Exhibitions and presentations: how to squeeze the maximum

During exhibitions, the VR scheme is quite effective. This is due to the fact that the exhibition takes place only 2-3 days, the material resources, technical base, equipment are predetermined, there are a large number of people who often make the first contact with the company. In such circumstances, VR-and 3D-glasses can handle a fairly large number of customers in one unit of time.

In the one-on-one mode, the manager can provide much more information, facts, technical background information about the product than a virtual apartment. Often we are talking not only about one apartment, but also about the residential complex as a whole, and the manager has the task to tell in principle about the future habitat of a person, about his environment. With the help of virtual reality glasses you can show a specific product to several people at the same time. And after, in a personal conversation, quietly make a sale.

Alexey Filippov

Internet Advertising Manager SPB Renovation

55.8% of apartment buyers confirm that visual, 3D and VR content helps them compare offers from different developers. Among those who saw panoramic tours when searching for housing, the share reached 65.5%.


One of the key features of VR in real estate is the creation of a kind of conveyor for the demonstration of apartments with a high load of managers. At exhibitions, this tool significantly helps buyers to compare the offers of different companies.

Again, this is not a sales process. But valuable for the client is the method of the first visual acquaintance with the apartment or residential complex.

How far can it all go?

Aliya Saibulatova says that the “Vienna Quarter” had big plans for virtual reality technologies. We discussed virtual tours not only around the apartment, but also around the local area. They considered the possibility of augmented reality not only with glasses, but also with a helmet, and planned a virtual showroom. Alas, the showroom did not see the light, because 60% of the apartments in the complex had time to sell at the stage of coordinating all these ideas. But all the developments will necessarily be implemented in the future, at new facilities simultaneously with the launch of the start of sales.

According to Mikhail Besfamiln, the future plans of Orso Group largely depend on what else will be offered in the virtual reality market. Already today there are customers who clarify the availability of virtual reality glasses for a particular project. However, to shake the conservative construction market on the move is simply impossible.

According to a study by the marketing agency Completo, in 2017, 3D-layouts used only 12.7% of residential sites, and panoramic tours – only 7.6% of residential sites in Moscow, New Moscow and Moscow region.


Companies and their customers are eyeing what digital can offer them. No one doubts that technology will penetrate into all areas of business ever deeper. But it is important to understand what it is worth betting on right now.

As well as any demonstration solutions, it is more profitable to implement 3D and VR technologies by the very beginning of sales – in such a scenario, they will be able to squeeze the maximum.