The year 2016 was known for a lot of things, from the Summer Olympics in Brazil to an always eventful United States presidential election. But one thing we’ll also remember from that year was the rise of augmented reality—specifically in the form of Pokemon Go, which featured users hunting for digital monsters on their phones in real-world environments. The game is still going strong, having reached more than $5 billion in gross revenue in 2021.
Can commercial real estate professionals get in on these augmented and virtual reality trends? Should they? Is there even a practical application for them in the world of CRE, or is it a gimmick? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Augmented Reality?
To get a little more detailed about AR for those who aren’t familiar, the term is defined as “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view,” according to the Oxford Dictionary. As mentioned above, AR involves a digital device (whether a phone or virtual reality headset) that utilizes real-world information to create the experience. If you’re playing Pokemon Go, for example, you can catch a digital monster sitting on the park bench by doing the proper interactions on your phone.
Use Cases of Augmented Reality in CRE
While popular belief might be that AR is a gimmick or limited to a form of entertainment, it does have practical purposes in the world of commercial real estate. Here are just a few examples of how augmented reality has been used by commercial real estate professionals:
- Customer experiences: imagine giving a virtual tour of a commercial space that feels like you’re there in person. AR can empower you to do this, or create a showroom or indoor wayfinding experience. The customer experience opportunities are endless.
- Building maintenance: augmented reality can help you talk through maintenance tasks or identify issues with your team remotely. Or, you can complete some tasks yourself without having to pay for repairs or have your maintenance team visit the office.
- Stakeholder buy-in: whether you’re building a commercial space or renovating it, AR is great for helping stakeholders visualize the final results. 3D models are easier to visualize than 2D drawings and it can help you reach buy-in faster.
How CRE Software Helps
Commercial real estate software like Quarem can help with several uses of augmented reality. For example, keep track of maintenance requests and send reminders of AR sessions from your dashboard. Or, keep track of all data related to property showings and prospects. Reporting is another area where augmented reality can help, as illustrated with the stakeholder buy-in point above. The list goes on, but, like augmented reality, the best way to understand something is to not just view it, but experience it.
If you’d like to Quarem in action for yourself, request a demo today!