If you asked Daniel McCarthy what virtual reality was all about a few months ago, he'd say it's technology his 12-year-old son uses to play games. Now, McCarthy uses VR to boost business.
"As soon as I tried it, I knew immediately fun and games in VR would translate into real estate quickly," he said.
McCarthy said his Peoria-based real estate brokerage, DeLex Realty, is the first in the Valley to offer virtual reality tours of homes. Strap on the goggles and you can essentially tour several homes in minutes by standing in the DeLex office. No traffic to fight, fuel to burn or time to waste by driving to several houses. McCarthy said the technology is revolutionizing the industry. He saw worth in being the first in the region to buy the cameras and goggles to give customers the out-of-body experience.
"Real estate is the largest investment most people make, so with that becomes ambition and entrepreneurs. The real estate industry is just riddled with some of the best entrepreneurs there are in any industry," McCarthy said. "This is going to be part of the culture for the industry. At some point this wont just be a DeLex thing, this will be a universal thing at some point in time."
According to web-based real estate research company Redfin, nearly one in five people make an offer before touring the home in person. Virtual reality may not take the place of walking through your potential dream home, but McCarthy said you may be able to cross some off your list. Plus, it certainly beats your standard online photo gallery.
"You can eliminate so much of that up front process with this technology," he said. "I would just encourage you demand receive these types of services. That's what makes an industry evolve and become better."
Want to check it out for yourself? DeLex realty is located at 20783 N 83rd Ave, Peoria.