Bringing Virtual Reality (VR) to the Clients

Property Brothers is a Canadian TV show that shows on American cable TV network HGTV. The premise: two brothers, one a real estate agent, the other a contractor, help a family purchase an existing home that with some renovation will meet that family’s vision for a “dream home.” The biggest challenge in every episode is helping the family to visualize the possibilities of a home that requires significant work.

There exists a unique paradox in the design, development and construction industry. For most of us professionals working in the built environment, spatial contextual awareness (the ability to perceive one’s place in the world, and perhaps more importantly—the ability to to imagine future spaces based on drawings and other abstract representations) is a fairly common trait.

But for many folks that don’t spend their day-to-day lives mentally conjuring spaces that don’t yet exist, it is hard to sometimes envision what a completed building or renovation will look like. Architectural renderings are great for that.

Virtual reality is even better.

Archinect has a great post on ways that an architecture (or construction consulting) firm can bring added value to their client relationships using virtual reality:

For businesses in the Architecture and Interior Design industries, VR technology becomes a fantastic marketing and business development opportunity. Telling – or showing – prospects that you’re using VR is great for sparking conversationsand leaving lasting first impressions.

For those interested in or actively experimenting with it VR, here’s a few tips for using this technology as a business development and marketing tool in your business.

  1. Give a great first impression: Show, don’t tell. The best way to explain what VR can do is to simply hand your client or prospect a pair of goggles.
  2. Spread the word through website, social media and PR. Customize or whitelabel your VR technology. Invest in the right hardware.
  3. If you’re met with resistance… Let your clients know that this new technology isn’t designed to confuse them or get more money out of them – it’s just a newer, better way of letting them see what’s in your head.
  4. Warning! Don’t let technology replace human interaction. Virtual reality is exciting—revolutionary, even—but it should never replace real, face-to-face interaction.

Image courtesy Wikimedia

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