The power of virtual becoming a housing reality

Techies and gamers alike are becoming increasingly more excited as the UK becomes closer to the arrival of virtual reality headsets by the names of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. With the reviewed announcement of release dates these avid absorbers of new tech will have to wait that little bit longer, but as virtual reality (VR) is already proving to be a valuable tool within numerous industries, aside from just the videogame industry, is the housing sector the next one?

Housing developers across the world are already beginning to utilize this technology as a mechanism for driving sales in the housing market. Many firms are using VR to close sales on new builds, some not even in completion, by the use of VR headsets giving impressive and life-like tours of their ‘up for sale’ space.

The use of VR in property is already a $1bn industry globally, and Goldman Sachs estimate that is set to treble by 2020. When time is tight and distances can be huge, VR is offering a practical solution to property viewings which is turning into profitable sales.

Will VR technology spread to being used across all areas of housing? It looks inevitable. It is being labelled as such a game changer that all companies are being advised to plan out how they will respond to the changes it will bring.

News this week that VR is planned to transport jurors back to crime scenes, it seems nothing is too far out of this piece of techs reach. The project being tested by Staffordshire University is one that police are saying could become significant.

But how could it be used for commercial gain across the social housing landscape? Well it’s already being used by a pioneering company in Scotland to train new members of staff. In the way of e-learning staff are wearing VR headsets to get to grips with what the properties in their portfolio will look like, inside and out, as well as where to find all aspects of maintenance and repairs such as meters, taps and energy supply.

Other kinds of training within social housing, could probably benefit from VR too. With the squeeze on resources and training budgets, companies could use the technology to create scenarios for staff to delve into and experience all within a safe and controlled environment with quick and clear feedback given.

So it seems in 2017’s business plan there needs to be the abbreviation VR and clear tactics on how you and your team will implement it!