Why Virtual Reality is About to Revolutionize the Real Estate Industry

Why Virtual Reality is About to Revolutionize the Real Estate Industry

2 min read
Sterling White

Sterling White is a multifamily investor, specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling was involved with the management of over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $18.9MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments. Through the company he founded, Sonder Investment Group, he owns just under 400 units.

Experience
Sterling is a seasoned real estate investor, philanthropist, speaker, host, mentor, and former world record attemptee, who was born and raised in Indianapolis. He is the author of the renowned book From Zero to 400 Units and the host of a phenomenal podcast, which hit the No. 1 spot on The Real Estate Experience Podcast‘s list of best shows in the investing category.

Living and breathing real estate since 2009, Sterling currently owns multiple businesses related to real estate, including Sterling White Enterprises, Sonder Investment Group, and other investment partnerships. Throughout the span of a decade, he has contributed to helping others become successful in the real estate industry. In addition, he has been directly involved with both buying and selling over 100 single family homes.

Sterling’s primary specialities include sales, marketing, crowdfunding, buy and hold investing, investment properties, and many more.

He was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast episode #308 and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single family investing and apartment investing to mindset and scaling a business online. He has been featured on multiple other podcasts, too.

When he isn’t immersed in the real world, Sterling likes reading motivational books, including Maverick Mindset by Doug Hall, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, and Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone.

As a thrill-seeker with an evident fear of heights, he somehow managed to jump off of a 65-foot cliff into deep water without flinching. (Okay, maybe a little bit…) Sterling is also an avid kale-eating traveller, but nothing is more important to him than family. His unusual habit is bird-watching, which he discovered he truly enjoyed during an Ornithology class from his college days.

Education
Sterling attended the University of Indianapolis.

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Virtual reality (VR) will revolutionize the real estate industry. It may take a little time to become the norm, but for those that want to be leaders, there is no time to waste in embracing the latest technology.

Imagine walking through a property from your own home. This saves so much time and streamlines the property viewing process. We’ve somewhat been able to do this with virtual tours and Skype or Google Hangouts for several years. New VR tools are making this even more experiential. It’s the future of real estate marketing. Not just because it is cool, but because it will differentiate which real estate companies will resonate best with consumers and which will operate most profitably.

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Related: 4 Ways Technology is Shaking Up Commercial Real Estate (& Why Multifamily Will Pull Ahead)

Viewing Properties From Afar

The most obvious use of this new technology is to allow investors to check out properties from a distance. Not only will this help to view properties, but it can also be a tool to suggest changes and view them in real time virtually. That is a game changer. Rehabbers can use this and so can buyers instructing their renovation contractors.

I do see this helping agents as opposed to replacing their jobs (hopefully). Instead of taking a buyer to view each home, you can have them walk it virtually. After they’ve narrowed their choices down, they can actually go see the ones they like. This applies to leasing agents as well. It saves them time on not having to show the unit to every prospect. That can also increase personal safety and minimize the dangers to employees.

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Tapping into Profitable Markets

For investors, it increases the effectiveness of sourcing for deals and then allows for a more thorough due diligence without traveling to view each individual property. It also enables investors to tap into more profitable opportunities out of area or internationally.

Related: 5 Real Estate Jobs That Have Been Made Obsolete by Tech (& 4 That Haven’t)

Beyond the old virtual tour and video conferencing, we now have drone photography, interactive signage, 3D TV, and VR goggles. As Forbes points out, while the technology is out there, it is still on real estate professionals to embrace and use it. Sadly, many real estate agents and investors are incredibly resistant to new technology. Still, a survey of 17 real estate agents on what they would tell themselves back in their first year sees most saying that using more technology and internet marketing would have made the biggest difference.

Are you using VR yet?

Let me know your experiences with a comment!