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Luxury development skips the showroom in favour of Virtual Reality

A new Queensland development is changing the way off-the-plan properties are sold, with the sales team embracing Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology and doing away with the traditional showroom.

The beachfront development in Palm Beach, known as Ophira, is being marketed with an interactive display that gives potential buyers an immersive experience of what life will be like in their new property.

Commercial builder 5Point is behind the development, which is being marketed by ARC Project Marketing, with the help of PropTech EnvisionVR.

ARC Project Marketing Director, Dylan Molloy, said VR has allowed potential buyers to understand every aspect of the project.

“Our discerning buyers get the complete picture; they can advise what they like and identify aspects of the finishes they would like to upgrade or change to meet their specific requirements,” Mr Molloy said.

He said the flexibility of VR allowed potential buyers to view the property from anywhere in the world.

“Being a small boutique development, we didn’t need a traditional display suite, instead meeting with buyers onsite, at coffee shops, at their homes, and online,” he said.

Mr Molloy said the technology allowed buyers to walk through the entire apartment and out to the balcony in real scale, appreciate the spectacular ocean and hinterland views they will have from each window, and review finishes throughout. 

“The experience leaves them confident in the project and the product that is going to be delivered,” he said.

The unique marketing approach so far hasn’t deterred potential buyers, with more than 50 per cent of the $7 million-plus apartments already sold.

5Point’s Development and Design Manager, Chris Wayman, said Ophira was a boutique, beachfront development and the time and cost of a display suite were too onerous for the project.

“A high-end product requires a high-end experience to present to well-placed buyers and EnvisionVR’s Ophira Virtual Experience takes them through the project perfectly,” Mr Wayman said.

“A high-end product requires a high-end experience to present to well-placed buyers and EnvisionVR’s Ophira Virtual Experience takes them through the project perfectly.”

Along with marketing the development, 5Point has also used VR to inform their design team and educate sub-contractors on the project. 

“Using EnvisionVR’s Virtual Experience internally, contractors have been able to quote on the project more accurately,” Mr Wayman said. 

“Better interpretation of the project has helped communicate expectations on things like joinery, kitchen, painting, and tiling.”

EnvisionVR Chief Executive Officer Michael Shaw said they had created a completely mobile sales platform, allowing property developers, sales agents, and buyers to engage onsite or offsite, in-person or remotely, in real-time.

“The interactive display includes virtual property experiences, floor plans, and other digital assets, with stock management and CRM functionality for applications such as multi-level residential developments or project home design options,” Mr Shaw said.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.