Viewing real estate is getting easier and easier. If a house is being renovated or the new building is not yet finished, you can also walk through the object virtually. With VR glasses you gain impressions of the property or can already plan the furnishing. While standing in the virtual house, you can place or move furniture, change floors or paint walls in other colours. VR experts Matthias Ruffert and Sebastian Träger explain why Virtual Reality is becoming the new standard here.
How did you come up with VR simulations for real estate?
Matthias Ruffert: What has already established itself in other sectors is also gradually gaining ground in the construction of real estate. This is now possible because the technology has developed enormously and has also become more affordable. Not only for projects worth millions and billions, but also for 200,000 Euro projects. In other industries, electronic planning has been simulated for many years: whether in the areas of aircraft development, ship development, machine development or power plant development. This is done before you even take a piece of steel in your hand or form anything.
What are VR simulations used for in construction project planning?
Sebastian Träger: Both for planning and sales. The building doesn’t have to be up for that yet.
Matthias Ruffert: Yesterday, for example, I spoke to a market participant who had several housing units planned. I asked him if he could send a plan, but he had nothing, just the land and the idea. There hasn’t been a commission for an architect or anything. Nevertheless, he already had to sell housing units. To this end, he wanted to present the idea in digital form so that it would continue to grow in the minds of project developers and building contractors.
What is represented in simulations? How detailed are they?
Sebastian Träger: That goes partly to the last detail. Both from the object and from the exterior views. We can even simulate the traffic outside on the road. This varies from project to project. One project is more about garden design. There each plant, which the landscape architect intended, is represented in detail. In others it’s more about the interior.
How are VR simulations of projects created that do not yet exist? What do you need as a basis?
Sebastian Träger: Most of our customers already have a rough plan of how you want it in the end. At least with the buildings. We’ll get architectural plans and rough drawings by then. We then first fill them with walls and floors and then increasingly detailed with windows, furniture and sanitary facilities.
How long does it take to create a simulation? How many people are involved?
Sebastian Träger: That depends entirely on the project. Roughly speaking, it takes between two and eight weeks. A typical project takes about four weeks. We have a workflow with four to five people.
Matthias Ruffert: There are also different qualifications that are needed. One has a more interior design feel, the other is more specialized in basic structures. We also have a specialist for all lighting questions. Because just like in the real world, light makes a big difference here and ultimately provides the finishing touches.
One problem with the construction planning is that nothing can be visited yet. Do VR simulations solve this problem so that investors and buyers can be found more easily?
Matthias Ruffert: Absolutely! It’s not just about influencing the planning, but really about selling faster. Suppose you are an investor with a large 5 million euro project, but you only have 50,000 euros in cash and now need a loan from the bank. Before investing, it will require the first residential units to be sold. So that’s where the cat bites its tail. Virtual Reality allows an easy start. You don’t have to be physically there to get a quick deal. This allows you to find buyers and investors more quickly.
Sebastian Träger: Usually the last customer pays the most because he has to introduce himself the least. But with Virtual Reality, even the first customers can already see something without having to think too much about it. In this way, a higher price per square metre is achieved directly.
The real estate market is booming at the moment. Isn’t it easy to find buyers there anyway?
Matthias Ruffert: Many are not interested in selling to the end customer, but in winning a contract for a project. Because that is why you are in competition with many other companies. That is why savings banks and other major customers come to us to apply for large projects and want to show with this technology that they are innovative and willing to perform. This way they get the surcharges of developers and companies.
How is the market for simulations developing? Will you soon become the standard for new construction projects?
Matthias Ruffert: I am deeply convinced of that. Meanwhile we see that more and more people are relying on this technology. Two years ago we were different, but now the end customers are sitting at the banks or brokers and asking directly. They could then perhaps look at another project at a competitor via a simulation and now want this standard.
What fascinates you about VR simulations?
Matthias Ruffert: I see this above all from an entrepreneurial point of view. It is an enormous opportunity because a completely new market is emerging here. I find this particularly exciting: being a participant in a newly developing market.
Sebastian Träger: I have a slightly different view of it. Of course, I also find developing a new market exciting. But the most fascinating thing about VR simulations for me is actually that it is something that nobody can imagine. You can talk about it, make movies about it, but you can’t imagine. You have to experience it. You have to put on glasses – everyone who has done this once will be fascinated. For me this is a kind of mental extension: You put on your glasses and after half a minute you are in another world. No matter what you are shown, whether you see a property or an underwater world, you are in there right now. It’s so real that body and mind can’t tell it from the real world.
Would you like to know whether a virtual tour of your property is also worthwhile? Please contact us! We will be happy to advise you.
Fotos: © RossHelen / peshkov