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How the commercial real estate sector is becoming more tech-savvy

Residential real estate developers and brokers are certainly not shy when it comes to adopting tactics designed to help them sell more units. Indeed, the industry as a whole has proven itself to be an early adopter of all things technology from harnessing the power of the Internet to the mobile capabilities of the smartphone.

Interestingly enough, however, the normally staid commercial real estate sector may for once be far ahead of its residential counterpart in its adoption of an entirely new technological advancement: virtual-reality tours.

While many people might scoff at the notion of virtual reality, the truth is that this technology has come a long way since the clunky and less than impressive platforms of the 90s and 2000s.

Indeed, thanks to highly-advanced headgear like the Oculus Rift, GoPro cameras and sophisticated 3-D modeling software, commercial real estate developers and brokers can now take clients on virtual tours of completed buildings that are still under construction back in the real world.   

According to industry experts, these virtual reality tours, which cost anywhere from thousands of dollars to upwards of over $1 million, are really just a drop in the bucket considering the hundreds of millions sometimes spent developing commercial property.

Indeed, some indicate that they are an indispensable tool in helping increase sales and leases among tech firms and tech-based advertising companies, two very highly profitable sectors in today's marketplace.

Furthermore, some are touting the ability of virtual reality tours to boost sales and leases among parties located overseas.

"Think about CEOs overseas [who] need to make the real decisions, and they can't get on a flight for another two weeks," said one broker. "The level of detail in imagery we capture, because of the quality of cameras, really does give somebody the ability to purchase from afar."

The use of virtual reality has proven to be such a hit that some developers and brokers are now ditching the headsets altogether and erecting large-scale high-resolution video screens, which are portable and allow more people to view the property at a time.

It will be interesting to see how popular these virtual-reality tours become over the next decade and whether their use expands to the residential sector.

If you have questions or concerns regarding a commercial real estate transaction here in Florida, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can explain the law, outline your options and handle all of the details going forward.

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