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3D Tech In CRE Is Just A Gimmick, Unless Paired With This Service


Ever since "Back to the Future, Part II" premiered in 1989, we have been waiting for hoverboards and wearables to enter our everyday life. It may not be exactly how we imagined, but the future is finally here.

In 2014, Facebook bought Oculus Rift with the vision of putting virtual reality in the hands of all social media users. Facebook is still fighting to make this a reality, but in the meantime we have seen VR become a potentially powerful game-changer for the real estate industry. The question we need to answer is how can real estate professionals monetize their investment in VR so that it leverages their assets?

3D visualization greatly speeds up the process for commercial buyers hoping to quickly view and analyze a potential acquisition, as well as smoothing over the deal for developers. Prospective tenants looking to lease a space can walk through the space virtually. For commercial lessees, this can mean the ability to rule out unsuitable office spaces without setting foot in them, saving time for everyone involved in the process.

“3D has practical use that is not just for marketing purposes,” Real Data Management Chief Operating Officer Ryan Green said. “It saves times and costs by helping you view the specifics of a property and collaborate with your team without having to visit the building in person.”


Finding the return on investment of VR use in commercial real estate is a little trickier. Property managers heavily armed with CRE tech recognize that, to be useful to landlords, 3D technology cannot stand on its own. Augmented and virtual reality tours must be coupled with a greater service, such as an online management platform and software.

RDM recently added a 3D tour component to its software application, RealAccess. After RDM scans a building/space and uploads it to the platform, users can go from 2D to 3D while they are looking at a floor plan. Imagine looking at a flat, 2D plan and then opening up a 3D tour of the actual space, and being able to click through the space to check out fixtures, columns, wall thicknesses, sprinkler systems and flooring.

Property managers, owners and brokers primarily see the value of 3D bundled with other services that offer a definite return on investment, particularly if it can be leveraged internally. For instance, property owners with 3D tech paired with online management capabilities can virtually enter a basement, and scan and tag the existing engineering equipment. If they are installing new sprinklers, they can examine the manufacturer and version of the current equipment, as well as when they were last replaced and maintained. Interpreting data with the visualization of 3D instead of looking at a report or spreadsheet is the greatest use case.

“The realistic 3D tours are a great addition to the [management] platform we subscribe to for our marketing and leasing,” said Adams & Co. Real Estate principal David Adams. “We see this becoming an essential part of every listing in the near future.”

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