CINCINNATI – A new Cincinnati-based company is putting virtual reality to test in real estate – and it could change the industry forever.
That startup, 513 Oval Room Group, is helping bring today's listings to life with 3D.
Using scans shot with a specialty camera, viewers can take a virtual stroll through a home or apartment without ever leaving their couch. It's like the Google Maps of real estate, and you've got to see it to believe it:
Ted Dahmus, who owns Petermann Properties and Petermannville USA, a rental management firm, is the brains and investor behind the startup.
The 3D tours - which can be booked by local real estate agents for their clients' listings - are powered by specialty Matterport cameras that each come with a $4,000 price tag.
"It just brings the property to life," said Dahmus. "I was fascinated by it myself, so I started using it, because I think that's where we're trending."
For consumers, it takes the guess work out of house and apartment hunting, he said.
"It answers all the questions," he said. "There's no, 'Well, what does this look like? Or we want to see more pictures of the bathroom.' There's no in between. This captures the whole house, with all the angles and sizes, so you really can get a much better idea of what you're renting or buying."
Others are buying in, too.
It's "hands down" the best thing in real estate "since sliced bread," reads a testimonial by Cincinnati Comey & Shepherd agent Karen Schlosser.
For those looking to book a 3D shoot, here's how it works:
First, 513 Oval Room has completely streamlined the booking process – customers can both schedule and pay online
Prices for shoots range from $249 to $349. And, lastly, the company guarantees an fully edited product, which also includes a 3D model, within hours.
There's nothing to download. Oval Room stores the tours on the Cloud and provides various links for access. Completely turnkey.
"Right now, real estate is very hot, and it's very aggressive," Dahmus says. "We're designed to be fast and responsive."
Since launching Oval Room on July 1, Dahmus says they're been "very busy."
"It just shows the demand in the city is there," he adds.
When it comes to local businesses – like hotels or restaurants – those in the 18- to 34-year-old age range are 130 percent more likely to book a reservation if they see a virtual tour, he said.
"From what we've seen, millennials, especially, want this technology introduced to the market," Dahmus says.
The 3D tours are great for residential listings, but it's also a fit for apartments and commercial spaces, or to show off event venues, restaurants, bars, salons, or vacation homes/rentals, he said.
"This is good for appraisers or insurance companies – and they don't even know it yet," Dahmus says.