Off-the-plan property market gets a virtual reality check

An innovative Aussie tech firm is revolutionising the real estate industry with its multi-platform virtual reality property viewing program.

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
5 Min Read

An innovative Aussie tech firm is revolutionising the real estate industry by constructing the nation’s first multi-platform virtual reality property viewing program.

The game-changing tech is set to redefine the off-the-plan property market by allowing prospective buyers to view and tour homes before they’ve even been built.

The team at EnvisionVR has combined augmented and virtual reality software to design the ultimate off-the-plan sales toolkit, allowing tech-based property viewings and experiences which significantly improve buyer engagement.

The VR platform allows interested parties to experience tours of yet-to-be-built properties, view floor plans and trial alternate home design options as they step foot in their future home before the first brick is even laid.

Optimally designed to work with VR headsets but also compatible with a smartphone app and web browser, the easily accessible toolkit allows users to walk through every floor and room at a 1:1 scale.

More than $500 million worth of property projects across a range of homes developments are already integrated into the Envision VR platform, which is also a usable feature on Australia’s leading real estate search engines and

CEO and co-founder Michael Shaw says he combined his passion for technology with his construction and project management background to help build a solution to off-the-plan home viewing.

“My goal is to make virtual reality fast, affordable, and accessible, with solutions for developers, home builders, designers, and sales agents,” Mr Shaw said.

“EnvisionVR allows viewers to be immersed in future spaces on mobile phones, tablets, VR headsets and the web, and has quickly become a leader in the field, pushing the boundaries of what is possible.”

So far, the technology has proved popular with custom home-building firms incorporating its use in presenting new designs and upgrading their home display centres.

Director of property development group Mathieson Property, Alex Sicari, says their firm successfully used the VR software to present their residential project Ace Residences Bowral to an older audience, typically more reluctant to buy off-the-plan properties.

“With EnvisionVR, our team could lead buyers on an immersive journey,” Mr Sicari said.

“Exploring every room and dissecting every detail instilled confidence to buy off the plan.”

“Buyers were impressed with the product and the design and felt very comfortable that what they had acquired off the plan was going to translate into the real product they were buying.”

And while off-the-plan developments are set to gain the most from EnvisionVR’s software, it will also benefit the broader real estate industry with investors and inter-state and overseas buyers eager to use the system where available.

“Customer reaction was absolutely incredible,” said Ray White sales agent Jonny Tighe, who has incorporated the software.

“The reaction we got from clients and buyers when we showed them the walk-throughs and tours, both at the site and on the iPad and smart TV, is incredible. It gives them peace of mind, comfort on what it will look like, and a much better feel when they are buying off the plan.”

EnvisionVR CEO Michael Shaw says the program is so realistic its only downside is it may quash some of that new home excitement buyers get when stepping into their property for the first time.

“Our virtual property experiences are an extension of static, single-angle view renders, allowing customers to walk through a space at scale, either on-site or off-site, and inspect inclusions, upgrades, façades, and colour schemes as though it was already built. The experience is so real that the view from each window is the same as what users will see once they enter their new property.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.