Using VR architectural visualisations is easy to understand. Instead of presenting images, videos, and drawings to clients, you immerse them in a life-like digital version of the unbuilt space so they can experience the design themselves.
Builders and property developers who plan to embrace virtual reality already have preconceived ideas about the value of VR and what the technology can do for them. But, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have questions that need answers. So, in this blog, we discuss the fundamental issues that keep them from using VR to provide engaging client experiences.
Challenge 1: Finding the value of using virtual reality
Builders and property developers must invest in new technology to serve their clients better. But, before they allocate funds on VR projects, their board members took the time to re-evaluate the technology as a business solution.
To fully understand the value of using VR, one should look at what it does to the team, the clients, and to the entire construction industry.
Many builders and property developers team up with architects and building designers to provide the best plans for their customers.
VR enables the designers to share the progress of their work with ease. It makes collaboration easy. Able to visualise the design, the in-house team makes faster and wiser design decisions.
A process like this enables the design to evolve into something more suited for the clients.
VR architectural visualisations also present the plans to the clients in a better way. With it, builders and property developers impress their clients, win projects, and topple their competition.
The real value of VR architectural visualisations is its ability to show a structure’s presence. It’s difficult to see how amazing a structure is when we’re just looking at photos, drawings, and sketches. We see it instantly when we immerse ourselves in a VR world where we can explore the structure like we are physically in that space.
When VR makes the viewer feel present in the digital world, it can do many great things for the business.
To achieve presence, the VR experts in our team strive to create rich, photorealistic environments. We strive to give an accurate representation of the unbuilt structure. High-quality visuals (life-like and no lags) are key to the best VR experience.
Another element we add is spatial audio. Sound is essential in a VR experience — it is impossible to feel present inside the digital environment if you can hear all the noise from the real world. Our team highly recommends using ambient and active sounds.
Developers can embed sound into your VR Architectural Visualisations to make it engaging.
The last element is the ability to move around the space. Teleportation is our preferred navigation method — it’s the most convenient and most efficient way to explore the VR. It reduces the occurrence of motion sickness.
To experience this, click here.
When you click the hotspots, you will teleport to that spot in seconds.
Challenge 2: Not knowing how to engage clients using VR
We go to tech expos to introduce our VR services to builders and property developers all over the world. We’ve been to every Australian state; we’ve been to Canada, the US, the UK, the UAE, and Singapore.
Before we begin our demo, we provide one headset and a pair of handheld controllers to each participant. Often, the participants ask us what they need to do once they’re in the virtual world.
It is a reasonable and legitimate question. Given a pair of controllers, they assume that they need to do something in the VR world. It is a sign that they are interested and engaged.
To further engage them, businesses should provide VR content that doesn’t lack user engagement. The user shouldn’t run out of things to do.
Here at VIZ360, we fill our VR experiences with interactive features that give them a sense of doing something. We enable the user to change the furniture pieces, colours, patterns, fixtures, fittings, and more. We also add dynamic and reactive elements to make the VR environment realistic. (e.g. sunrise, sunset, falling leaves, opening/closing doors, etc.)
VR enables businesses to engage their clients in a way that’s favourable to them. Of course, builders and property developers want their prospects to personalise a home in VR and visualise themselves as homeowners. It’s a sweet shortcut that converts prospects into paying clients.
Challenge 3: Clients not appreciating the building
There are instances when the VR experience is too good and dreamy that a majority of clients only remember how interactive and realistic the VR environment is. Only a few people notice the building’s design, which is supposed to be the star of the show.
For builders and property developers who want to use VR to sell the vision of a project, this is a legitimate concern. Nobody wants to invest in a VR material that wouldn’t benefit the clients — at all.
To avoid this, we looked back at how architects and designers present their work to clients during meetings. (Most of our teammates here in VIZ360 have experience working in an architecture firm that uses VR.) We replicated how design professionals present their work in VR.
First, we program the VR environment for the user to check the building, not to move around and far from it. We subtly control how people experience the building.
Take a test drive:
Then, we looked back at the purpose of using VR architectural visualisations. It is a tool that helps communicate the design of the building. We can’t do that by showing hyper-realistic visuals only. Most people aren’t able to interpret and understand architectural design on their own, which is why we promote guided VR tours.
We tried and tested guided VR tours during expos and client meetings. It is true — users find it easy to use VR when they have something to follow from one area to another point of interest. It makes the VR experience similar to a real building tour. The more things the user learns and discover, the more engaged they are with the presentation and sales process.
With a programmed VR environment and guidance, builders and property developers can control what people do in the VR experience without stripping the user with their autonomy over the journey. ∎
In the next post, let’s take a look at the issues that companies encounter once they embraced VR technology. We hope to remove almost all of the fears by fixing the problems one by one.