How Millennials and Virtual Reality Are Changing Real Estate
"According to new data from Apartment List, 80% of millennials do have the desire to buy their own homes. However, it's economic factors that are delaying the process, sometimes by as long as two decades," reports Forbes. This comes as no surprise to those in Seattle, as often the millennials who are buying their first homes are those in positions where they are receiving help from family, or in careers with companies like Microsoft or Amazon and have considerably larger paychecks than the average millennial.
As with many things millennials are engaged with, the real estate experience is much different for them from their parent's and grandparent's generations. The instant gratification and tech-savvy millennials have created the popularity of web based real estate companies like Redfin, Zillow, Realtor.com, and more. With sites like Redfin, homebuyers can do their own real estate searches and have minimal interaction with an actual agent, in the flesh. (I can go into detail about why this often backfires, but that's a whole other blog!) As soon as a home is listed as "live" it gets populated onto sites like Zillow and buyers can check new listings without getting out of their pajamas.
Additionally, the rise in popularity and accessibility of virtual reality (VR) is now creating immersive home tours. Sotheby's is already engaged in using VR as a means to show homes without the buyer ever needing to step foot onto the property. According to Forbes, "95% of buyers use the internet to look for homes and 51% buy homes they have found using the internet." This, coupled with sites like Redfin, is seemingly pointed towards a shift of buying homes without any help from a realtor. The inability of many millennials to buy a home may be keeping this option at bay for now, but in my opinion, it's only a matter of time.