The Apple Vision Pro has the potential to change the way Australians view properties and drive engagement and inspections for agents.
Released in the US over the weekend, the Vision Pro looks similar to a pair of ski goggles, but offers the latest in spatial computing.
Users can control the Apple Vision Pro with their eyes, their hands and their voice, with the ability to do things like transform any room into your own personal theatre and capture spatial photos and videos and relive them.
You can also view your existing photos at scale and have panoramas wrap seamlessly around you, while meetings through apps such as FaceTime feature life-size video tiles and you can also use apps to collaborate with colleagues on the same documents simultaneously.
But what does the Apple Vision Pro mean for real estate?
According to REA Group Executive General Manager of Consumer Product, Jonathan Swift, the Vision Pro could change the way buyers and sellers interact with online property listings and provide agents with a tool to drive further engagement.
“I think the game-changer about the Vision Pro is, it allows you to take a standard iPhone picture and feel like you are there,” he said.
“You can turn and look and it will follow your gaze… you almost feel like you’re standing in that room and looking around.
“It will definitely give you that feeling of the dimensions of the room, what the light feels like in the room, and all those things that we know people find really interesting and drives engagement.
“We know that you’re more likely to inspect a property if you’ve interacted with this kind of functionality.”
Mr Swift said tools such as 3D walk-throughs already existed and featured on many of the listings on realestate.com.au.
“It’s about 6 per cent of buyer listings that have that kind of capability, but the interaction from the actual buyer, the person who buys the property, is through the roof,” he said.
“Typically, if you have a 3D tour on a listing, about 20 per cent of the consumers are going to use that interactivity.
“But the person who actually buys the property, that goes up to 60-plus per cent.
“Buyers are very interested (in this type of technology).”
Mr Swift said the Vision Pro, coupled with the capabilities of an iPhone, had the potential to make creating high-quality, interactive content much easier.
“I can imagine real estate agents doing walk-throughs using their mobile phone to create these kind of spatial 3D experiences not just on the buy side but also rent,” he said.
“And then being able to use something like an Apple Vision Pro to make it available to all consumers.”
Mr Swift said REA Group data showed that buyers are more likely to inspect a property with more information available on the listing and the Apple Vision Pro fell into that category.
While the Apple Vision Pro is now available in the US for US$3499, an Australian release date is yet to be announced.
Mr Swift said the realestate.com.au app was available in the Vision Pro app store in the US.
When deciding what technological trends to invest in, Mr Swift said REA Group put its customers at the forefront of their thinking.
“What we try to do is ask, ‘What is the real world use case that this will solve’,” he said.
“‘Do we think this will make the listing experience more enhanced’?
“‘Will it help our customers in actually being able to present properties in the best possible way?’
“We try not to put the technology first, because there’s so much out there and a lot if it is just noise and not real.”
Once launched in Australia, Mr Swift expects the price point of the Apple Vision Pro will keep the take up low, but as more versions and competitors come into the market he said the price will come down and purchases will rise.
He said one early adopter could be developers who could use the technology with their display homes.
“The obsession for property in Australia continues to be ridiculously strong,” Mr Swift said.
“And, as a country, we’re very early adopters for technology as well.
“We have some of the highest penetration of smartphone usage in the world.
“Aussies love their tech, they love their properties, so I think it’s definitely a case of
‘Watch this space’, as this emerges in our market.”