The line between real and artificial is fading, thanks to the advent of virtual, augmented, and the digital world. We live in a time where science fiction fantasies seem plausible, buildings are 3D-printed, and cars are driving themselves.

Yet, as technology evolves, there is a noticeable gravitation toward real estate. We are already seeing IoT-connected buildings and devices controlling temperature. With smartphone technology, the not-so-far-off future of commercial real estate is here, and it’s pretty fascinating.

I recently had the opportunity to strap on a bulky pair of virtual reality goggles and step into another world. A full 360-degree sensory immersion. I slowly calibrated my movement to sync with the virtual world. And, as it was being created right before my eyes, I felt as if I was looking into the future. Even in Beta mode, the applications seem limitless. My mind goes beyond immersive video games and naturally jumps to the future of the virtual real estate world.

Virtual Reality: A Tour of the Future

Turns out, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR are already disrupting the real estate market. Prospective buyers can simply pop on the goggles and tour a home, office space, or apartment building.


But what if the building doesn’t exist yet? No problem. Developers and leasing agents are teaming up with the technology to allow buyers to experience a space before it’s even built.

Oculus technology and Studio216 have created a virtual tour for a new building in San Francisco. GeekWire’s co-founder Todd Bishop recently gave it a try at Park Tower in San Francisco’s Transbay neighborhood, so check it out in the video below:

“With more than 700,000 square feet of virtual office and retail space, I navigated the virtual space easily, moving my head to peek into every corner of the floor and getting a realistic sense for the size of the space and the distance from wall to wall,” Bishop said.

With frame rates increasing exponentially, the virtual world no longer looks like a pixelated video game. Abundant data and online 3D renderings allow this world to be possible. It’s an “architectural visualization” and a full immersion of the unbuilt environment.

Opening the Door to Experiential Marketing

Virtual reality is more than a slideshow of static pictures. Gone are the days of outdated zooming and panning of staged interiors. Virtual reality opens the door to experiential marketing and a new kind of accessibility.

The technology allows a buyer to experience the property before it’s built, without even leaving their home. This will become the cornerstone for real estate. Just imagine if a building is not offering a virtual tour. One day that could be laughable. But now, it’s just awe-inspiring.