What Millennials Look for When Deciding on a Home to Buy

What Millennials Look for When Deciding on a Home to Buy

The Gen Y’ers who are popularly known as millennials belong to a generation with multiple options. This is a generation who likes to come up with informed decisions and they like to analyze. The access to information makes it easy for them to do these. That is why the process of buying a home has also become high-tech.

Millennial home buyers won’t entertain the thought of buying a home without seeing it on a virtual tour. They also pay the mortgage using the mobile phone. Millennials are okay with buying anything using their mobile phone from clothes to a house.

Millennials and the younger generations don’t buy homes without having to search online first. This is why real estate agencies offer virtual tours, ensure fast online mortgage application, and allow live streaming for their open houses.

Updated Bathroom Designs

Millennials are meticulous buyers. One of the big turn-offs for them is to find the bathroom in need of updating. Hence it is important for realtors to ensure that the bathroom uses any of the trendy bathroom designs and that the bathroom is highly comfortable.

Energy-Efficient Homes

Most millennials out a high value on green technology. Homes that are energy-efficient appeal to most of the millennials. It’s important for realtors to set up LED lighting and make sure to install a programmable thermostat. Being green also means less cost; that’s why it is attractive to millennials.

Smart Homes

Smart home features have changed the landscape of the real estate industry. They are required when you are targeting millennials. Among the smart home features that millennials often look for are the automated or voice devices. These can control the lighting system, the front door and garage doors, appliances, and also the heating system. Examples of these are Google Home and Alexa.

Outdoor Space

The outdoor area of a house is as important as its indoor space. Often millennials love homes that have spaces for them to have BBQ with friends. It’s best for realtors to ensure that the home they are selling has an outdoor oasis, one that is adorned with a patio or a deck.

Low Maintenance Cost

Millennials may prefer upscale and trendy homes, but they also want it to be low maintenance. They simply want to relax on weekends instead of fixing or cleaning some delicate areas of the house. You can make sure that a home is low maintenance through features such as new roof, new windows, vinyl siding, and high-performing HVAC systems.

This photoshoot is for a collection of bowties and pussy bows by Sewn Apart inspired by Twiggy. Photo by Chanel FernandezModel: Ericka Leigh
Photographer: Sewn Apart | Source: Unsplash

Compact Design

Millennials are always in the lookout for homes that are designed with compact spaces intended to accommodate the basic necessities of a home. In the recent years, millennials opt for the tiny homes. These are homes that are less than 500 square feet in size but can provide all the necessities.

Other elements that millennials consider when they are looking for a home.

The Use of Virtual Tours

A survey done by Caldwell Banker Real Estate in January on 3,000 adults in the US revealed that 62 percent of the respondents prefer to deal with real estate that has VR technology provided. Real estate agents are also expected to be more social by posting open house photos and information on Facebook and Twitter as examples.

Speedy Mortgage Application through the Online Platform

The net is also changing the way in which mortgage is applied for and obtained. Millennials prefer to apply for mortgage using only their mobile device. They also prefer to access their bank accounts easily using only their portable devices.

Presence of Voice-Activated Assistants

Siri, Alexa, and Google Home enable millennials to ask questions easily and get a ready answer in a short while. Chatbots are also a valued change by millennials. They can ask questions about certain properties 24/7.

Realtors must make sure that the above elements are considered before a property is shown to millennials. This will make the whole process easy and convenient. Millennials can’t say no to a home with all their preferences considered. For more information about virtual tours for real estate, visit VirtualTourEasy!

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Top 5 Businesses in 2019 That Are Virtual Reality-Based

Top 5 Businesses in 2019 That Are Virtual Reality-Based

It is tough to look for the right business idea. It must be something that you like doing. This entails brainstorming for ideas, and taking the first steps can truly be challenging. The usual options are some high-quality goods or internet marketing services and to adapt the use of virtual reality solutions. The best part about this technology is that it can be applied to any existing type of business you have been considering setting up.

Virtual Concerts

Since people tend to choose to do everything online, an app now is available for people to attend a concert without leaving the comfort of one’s home. Many musicians and concertgoers consider VR technology as really exciting. By way of a VR concert solution, it is quite easy to connect with musicians and other fans and supporters. Some of the artists who now use VR technology are Coldplay, Kate Perry, and Paul McCartney. There are many popular tools to use for watching a concert in VR, but you can come up with your own by adding features you intend to use.

VR Events

Virtual reality events will soon become as popular as the actual events that require you to go there. Online conferences, in fact, are popular today since they can instantly connect the attendees to the speakers without incurring travel costs. You can come up with a platform for virtual reality live events, and you will have a huge income stream to use anytime you want.

VR-Based Education

Education is a basic need for every society. People are always in search of means to make knowledge transfer easier, faster, and more efficient. Majority of the education plans follow the same old format. Some people find it difficult to retain and process information which can be remedied with the use of virtual reality.

You can come up with a unique niche that will offer a virtual reality training course wherein students won’t be limited to word descriptions and illustrations. Through VR, they will be able to understand the topic in-depth and be able to see how things are when they are put together. Through the use of VR, learners are given the chance to have a practical application of their knowledge instead of merely reading.

VR Shopping

Most online users have already gone online for their shopping. It would be great to have a retail ambiance for the shoppers. Sometimes merely browsing online is not enough. Those who still prefer to get to a store and shop would love this. VR is the third most popular solution for shopping that has the highest technological evolution next to desktop and mobile devices.

VR Property Sales and Leasing

Virtual Real Estate Tours has been transforming the real estate industry for quite some time now. Virtual reality platforms, interactive visits to the actual site, and virtual staging allow for more publicity in the construction business. Majority of the VR experiences left a great impression on the customers. For anyone who likes to start a real estate business may need to choose virtual instructions, virtual commerce, and architectural visualization in general for clients to be able to view the property in a highly enhanced format.

It can help to increase sales especially for hosts and property owners since clients don’t have to physically check the properties before they decide to purchase one.

You can start creating your own virtual tour by signing up to Virtual Tour Easy. It’s free!

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A Question for Investors: Would You Buy Property without Visiting It?

A Question for Investors: Would You Buy Property without Visiting It?

High-end real estate agents said that smartphones have transformed how they do business in real estate. Wealthy people make decisions based on 360 virtual tours. Affluent foreigners spend as much as £25,000/week to rent luxury homes in London without having set foot in them.

Increasing Demand

The overseas demand for super-prime properties is high that the very affluent around the globe agree to rent properties after just viewing them on FaceTime or WhatsApp. An agent said that a South African investor agrees to rent a seven-bedroom Hampstead mansion for £12,000/week after simply watching FaceTime.

An unnamed tenant referred to by the agent as a global superstar agreed to rent a seven-bedroom terraced house that overlooks the Regent’s Park after simply watching a live video tour on his iPhone. Henry Pryor, the real estate agent, said that he went live streaming for 45 minutes. There were three properties shown and the superstar picked the seven-bedroom one.

What the Agents Have to Say

According to Pryor, the capabilities of smartphones transformed the agents’ approach to selling and site visits or lettings. Super rich clients often have the money, but they don’t have the time. Apple and the iPhone enable agents to have a client on one ear while another one is being shown around. The tenants can be anywhere around the world whether in a yacht or a mountain.

Pryor said that it is a lot of money to spend on rent, but many affluent overseas individuals prefer to rent properties for them to save on the stamp duty imposed by the government on homes owned through offshore companies.

Renting properties allows individuals to keep their privacy intact. It was known that 200 wealthy foreign investors prefer to pay more taxes than disclose their multi-million worth properties. This is seen in the rise of costly rentals in the middle of a reduction in the sale prices of prime Central London properties. The real situation is that those individuals who considered buying may now rent for four or more years and the cost is equivalent to that of the stamp duty on a comparable home. This leaves them in a better shape to buy the property given the right timing. This is according to Marcus Dixon, the head of research of LonRes. The number of high-end rentals has been increasing gradually for the last two years yet high-end rentals have become a regular thing.

Georgina Bartlett, director of Savill’s prime Central London team, revealed that she was able to let some of the most expensive properties from all over the world using only WhatsApp. According to her, it’s not only about the top-end properties but the net worth value of the buyers. These are people whose time are more worth for other things than property viewings. Bartlett said that it used to be that personal assistants or representatives are sent to do viewings on their behalf, but today they simply use advanced technology like virtual tours to do so.

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The History of Augmented and Virtual Reality (A Walkthrough from 1838 to the Present)

The History of Augmented and Virtual Reality (A Walkthrough from 1838 to the Present)

Augmented reality and virtual reality changed the world and how people see and make use of technology. It might surprise you to know however that it all started in 1838 when Charles Wheatstone created the stethoscope which allowed users to view different images for every eye. This makes you see a larger 3D image which is much farther. In 1891, Thomas Edison and William Dickson invented the kinetoscope. This allows users to see images at 46 FPS. Next to it, the link trainer flight stimulator was developed in the 1929. It was developed by Edwin Link of the Link Piano and Organ Company. This is a fuselage that simulate plane movement, cockpit enclosure, and also the actual experiences of riding a plane.

In 1935, Pygmalion’s Spectacles, a sci-fi written by Stanley Weinbaum, a special pair of goggles was first described. The goggles can enable people to experience the five senses virtually. This was followed by the View-Master which was developed by William Gruber and Harold Graves in 1938. It was a stereoscopic 3D photo viewer which served as an update to the traditional postcard.

During the Early to the Late 20th Century

Another milestone in the development of AR and VR was the telesphere mask which was developed by Morton Heilig, a cinematographer and VR pioneer. This was the first ever created head-mounted display (HMD). Headsight followed this in 1961 which was developed by Philco Corporation. This was the first HMD that could track motion and take pictures. In 1962, Morton Heilig again developed the sensorama and motorcycle simulator. This was a 3D-equipped booth that produced sensations that simulate real phenomena.

The Sword of Damocles was also developed in 1968 by Ivan Sutherland. This was a primitive headset that was suspended from the ceiling. In 1977, the Sayre Glove was created by scientists at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory located at the University of Illinois. In 1982, the Power Glove and DataGlove were created by Thomas G. Zimmerman and Jaron Lanier. This was an optical flex sensor and an ultrasonic and magnetic hand positioning tracking device. This development was followed in 1986 by the air force super cockpit program which was designed and directed by Thomas Furness. This was an HMD that could project computer-generated radar imagery, 3D maps, infrared, and avionics.

In 1988, the VIEW or virtual interface environment workstation was developed by NASA along with VPL Research Inc. This was an HMD that showed a CGI environment. Then Virtuality Group Arcade Machines was developed by Dr. Jonathan D. Waldern and W Industries in 1991. This made use of telescopic visors, joysticks, and networked units for multiplayer gaming. In 1992, the CAVE or Cave Automatic Virtual Environment came into life. This was created by the Chicago Electronic Visualization Laboratory. The CAVE was a room wherein realistic visuals could be projected. In 1995, the Virtual Boy was developed by the designer of Nintendo, Gunpei Yokoi. This was a failed portable video game console that could simulate red and black 3D images.

21st Century and the Future

All these aforementioned developments led to the following: Samsung gear, Magic Leap One, Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens for Developers, Google Cardboard, Sony’s Playstation VR, and the HTC Vive.

AR and VR are seen to make contributions in the fields of education, public safety, business, healthcare, navigation, and even in the way we do selfies.

It only takes a few clicks to create a virtual tour for your real estate business. You can start by creating a free account on the Virtual Tour Easy site. Check it now.

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The True Power of Virtual Tour and Its Impact in the Real Estate Industry

The True Power of Virtual Tour and Its Impact in the Real Estate Industry

New technology is introduced all the time in the real estate industry. The most recent changes in technology in the field of real estate are virtual reality or VR and virtual tours. Virtual reality at this time is made from plans that are made from 3D. This virtual world can be accessed through the use of a helmet and a remote. It is not possible to have a real estate site today without the use of a virtual tour since this technology helps the clients to see what they want for themselves. It also enables them to decide wisely on the property to buy. The VR allows you to see the property without you having to go anywhere. There are many ways for you to take full advantage of virtual tours for your business.

Related article: Do These 6 Easy Steps to Level UpYour Real Estate Virtual Tours

The following are some of the benefits of using VR for real estate agents:

· Time-saving

VR can definitely help real estate agents save a lot of time especially when the property is located in a remote area. This technology enables buyers to see properties that are abroad, remote, or located in rural communities. It also enables the buyers to click away on the bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, and other areas, providing a 3D view of each room. Real estate agents can save a lot of time and other resources by simply having a virtual open house through the use of a VR.

· Enhanced communication

VR also enables better communication between the real estate agents and clients. Clients or potential buyers can comment on the property’s virtual tour. The client can ask questions from the roofing to the flooring and the insulation properties. This is helpful to the real estate agent since feedback can be provided in real-time.

· Enhances site traffic

VR can entice people to stay longer on the site compared to static text or still images. This means an increase on the site traffic. VR also helps prospective buyers to visualize living in the actual property.

· Global Reach

VR allows buyers to see properties that are in different regions of the world. Real estate agents can deal with different customers regardless of where they are located. Inquiries on the property can also be handled without having to stay in the office desk the entire day.

· Cost saving

You may need to spend much on buying 3D virtual tour equipment. This makes it a highly valuable investment. Through virtual tours, the agent can stage the property through the use of high-quality images. What is needed is a reliable panoramic camera and basic editing skills.

The VR figures say it all. About 95 percent of home buyers make use of the net when they look for properties. Fifty-one percent of people purchase their homes from the net. About 71 percent of millennials have a more positive response towards virtual tours. Around 77 percent of clients or buyers want to engage in a virtual tour before the actual visit. Sixty-two percent of Americans now opt to use the services of a real estate agency that uses a 3D virtual tour.

Leverage your real estate business and embed a Virtual Tour to your listing today! Sign up to Virtual Tour Easy now for free!

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7 Reasons Why You Need a Virtual Tour Instead of a Brochure

7 Reasons Why You Need a Virtual Tour Instead of a Brochure

The brochure has been a mainstay in business promotion, but recently a more interactive and convenient method came into the picture. This is the virtual tour. The 360 virtual tour is same as the brochure, but it does not get thrown out or refiled and reordered. The truth is that even people who have brochures still view the virtual tour. It is crucial for you to know the 7 main reasons to invest in a 360-degree virtual tour for your business:

1. Highly accessible 24/7 and on every portable device

It’s the best tool to show your hotel or venue. Hotels, for instance, can dress up their hotel rooms and provide their potential guests a preview of how the room feels in actuality. Such potential guests can visit and explore the hotel by themselves.

2. Lasts long

The brochure can easily be thrown out while a custom virtual tour can last for life unless you take the video down. This means that you only spend for initial investment, yet you can benefit from it for years.

3. Serves as a great marketing tool in trades shows and events

There are many trade shows that have interactive 360-degree virtual tours that can be accessed through a tablet. This also enables sending a follow-up email with the company’s URL after the show. Nothing catches the attention of attendees better than the VR goggle on your company stand.

4. Saves a lot of money

You will spend less when you invest in a virtual tour instead of a brochure. It gets rid of the exhibition expenses since the virtual tour is available and accessible anytime and anywhere.

5. Helps in the company’s online presence and search engine performance

A virtual tour can easily send your site on top of the search engines. The stats revealed that sites that have virtual tours are more likely to elicit bookings. A virtual tour can also do wonders on the SEO performance of any business site.

6. Helps save space and filing concerns

If you are going to check on offices, many of them have libraries filled with brochures. There are even those who hire people to take care of the filing. In the advent of internet technology, more offices have reduced their office sizes which makes brochures difficult to store. Most hotels, restaurants, and shops also resorted to investing in online marketing initiatives.

7. Helps save paper and consequently the environment

With a virtual tour, you can help save more trees from being felled for paper production. Your establishment will not have trash bins filled with discarded brochures.

Create your first virtual tour with Virtual Tour Easy today by visiting virtualtoureasy.com

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Do These 6 Easy Steps to Level UpYour Real Estate Virtual Tours

Do These 6 Easy Steps to Level UpYour Real Estate Virtual Tours

There may be property buyers who are residing away from your location. If you are in the UAE and your buyer is in Hawaii, it’s convenient for you to use the virtual reality medium. The real estate industry has started to get into the tech-savvy market of today’s generation. Real estate agents are now into virtual tours and live-streaming. This enables prospective buyers to check the properties without traveling to the location. The virtual reality technology has become so popular that most buyers prefer to deal with a real estate agent who has a virtual tour on his site. The thing about virtual tours is that you may commit some errors in producing and using it that may cause problems in the whole property selling process. This is why it is necessary to follow certain rules of thumb and some tips to make sure that the virtual tours will be able to serve their purpose.

  1. You need to Prep all the Equipment and Props

Before you take the first shoot, make sure that the equipment is ready. Check the batteries of the camera as well as the SD card. Make sure that the settings are well adjusted and that all the props are set. You have to do a test shot first.

2. Choose the Right Time to Shoot

The element to consider when choosing the time to shoot is the lighting. You need to shoot with sufficient natural light which rules out night time. It is not good to shoot during lunch time too. In the morning and during noontime, the white light can be harsh that the images may appear blown out. The perfect time to shoot is sunrise or sundown.

3. Lighting is Key

It is important for lighting to be uniform all throughout the shoot. It has to be consistent in every room of the property. When the light is inconsistent it may affect the viewer’s immersion into it. You may turn on the lights and lamps but be mindful of their type of lighting too.

4. Shoot from the Outside Towards the Inside of the House

Always include the facade of the property in the virtual tour. This will give the buyers the feeling of getting into the property and seeing it from afar. You may also show the neighborhood and even the significant features and landmarks of the town. When the property has a beautiful garden at the back it’s good to include it in the virtual tour.

5. You have to Stage the Property

You can start it by doing a thorough cleanup of the property. You may hire professional cleaners to do the job. You need to keep all the knick-knacks and exposed cables to keep the place tidy. You can then start to stage each room by placing furniture and objects that can give life to the room but don’t overdo it. Overdecorating can shift the focus of the buyers from the house to the objects inside it. If you want some more tips on how to do an effective home-staging, read this article: 6 Effective Ways to Do Home Staging.

6. You Have to Make Sure the Virtual tour is Optimized for the Mobile Devices

It is crucial for virtual tours to be easily optimized for different electronic gadgets. It needs to have a fast loading time when the video is watched on any gadget. You must not compromise the resolution as well. It is recommended that you talk to the web hosting service to make sure that potential buyers will have a smooth VR experience.

Make your own virtual real estate tour today. Sign up for a FREE Account!

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Real Estate Home Staging: The Art of Preparing a Home

Real Estate Home Staging: The Art of Preparing a Home

Many people ask what home staging is. Home staging in itself is an artform that enables your house to look bigger, cleaner, brighter, warmer, and more comfortable. The best thing of all is that home staging will make buyers want to buy your home.

There are professional home stagers, and they are professional artists. They have the skills of a top-performing designer and also a backdrop on theatrical aesthetics that involves the five human senses. However, before you get into coordinating several rooms, here are some tips on doing the initial steps in home staging:

Dealing with Clutter and Color Designs for Home Staging

First things first. You have to arrange all the scattered furniture into some sort of appealing order. This is known as a vignette. You may also need to showcase some soft fabrics like silk, satin, and lamb’s wool. You can also display unusual knick-knacks in a sequence of 1,3, and 5. Window casings can be draped with simple lines to make it attractive. It’s better if you can add some distinctive elements to the bookcases, shelving, and fireplace mantels. This will draw more attention to those areas that are pre-arranged.

Colors can be used to express creativity. You can use it for pillows, on unique art pieces, and other decors. A shot of colors can be a huge help in making your home more artistic. You must also abide by the minimalist principle. Don’t clutter your furniture by having too many pieces of them. Consider arranging the core pieces in a different way and you will see a huge difference.

There are professional home stagers that you can hire to ensure that your home will be sold fast. When you look for these professionals, it’s like looking for any other service provider. You have to ask around for referrals. You may start with a real estate agent that you trust. There are many real estate agencies that have a list of professional home stagers. These companies have been pre-screened by real estate agencies.

The Price of Home Staging Service

When you are able to talk to a home stager, you can ask for some estimates. This service is free. It is only an estimate, but when the actual cost and the expense are too different, you better check on that immediately. You can also do your own calculations. Be mindful that home staging professionals may have varying ways of rating theirs services. There are those who charge for an hourly rate and others will set a fixed rate. You can ask them how they calculate their rates, so you have an intelligent decision. You also have to consider the condition of your own home, the average length of time homes get sold in the market, and also the asking price of your own.

The asking price will have a huge influence on the amount that you can pay for the home staging services. There are those who bring in rented furnishings which can increase the rate tremendously. That’s why you have to be smart to know what the home stager is planning to bring in and what the cost is.

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3 Most Important Steps on How to Shoot Pictures of Interiors with a 360° Camera

3 Most Important Steps on How to Shoot Pictures of Interiors with a 360° Camera

The 360° camera does not require rocket science for operation. It’s easy to use. For you to come up with the superb pictures of real estate interiors using the 360° camera, make sure you know the tricks of the trade. Here are some of the most important ones you should not forget:

1. Get the Equipment You Need Like 360° Camera

The first step is to use a high-quality 360° camera. The top performing ones are the Ricoh Theta V, Insta One 360°, GoPro Fusion, and Nikon Key Mission. Compare one another in terms of features and prices first and make sure that it suits your budget before you purchase any. There are rental 360° cameras as well if you are not sure about purchasing at the moment.

You need to use a tripod when taking the pictures. Using a tripod ensures that you can capture everything you want to be included in your virtual tour. This makes it super handy as well to do other tasks when capturing images. You also have to make sure that you pick the right height for the tripod so that the person taking the picture will be part of the photo and not just a quarter of his face. When you take a 360° photo it requires you not to move. Remember that your viewers will want to look around the interior you are covering.

2. Clean the room

It is important to clean the room, make sure that there is sufficient lighting, and that the curtains are open. Set your 360° camera and tripod, considering the best angle and lighting. For the tripod, the height is ideally at 1.20 to 1.50. You need to place the camera with the tripod in the middle of the room. If you don’t want to appear in the video, go to an adjacent room while the shooting is going on. You can start taking the pictures using the 360° camera. Most of these cameras have remote control and can be connected by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. If your camera doesn’t have this feature, you can set the timer instead. You need to check the picture if you are satisfied with it. If not you need to make changes to the physical setting or the camera’s settings. Repeat the same steps for every room.

3. Don't forget to take shots of some parts.

It is highly recommended that you take a photo of the entrance to the property starting from the front door. It is also smart to take the exterior area of the property from the inside. This can be done by placing the 360° camera on the tripod in the terrace, garden, or the balcony. Once you have all the pictures and you are satisfied with their quality, you may then transfer them to your phone, desktop, or laptop. For you to make the most of your amazing 360° pictures, produce a virtual tour out of them. Check the site virtualtoureasy.com for you to turn your excellent 360° photos into high quality virtual tours in only 5 minutes.

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