Less than a year ago, real estate professionals speculated that virtual and augmented reality would soon improve the process of buying and selling homes — now luxury realtor Sotheby’s International Realty is bringing AR into its international listings. Working in partnership with VR/AR developer Rooomy, Sotheby’s today launched Curate, a virtual staging app that enables an empty home to be filled with the prospective buyer’s choice of interior decor and furniture, then viewed in real-time 3D.
Built with Google’s ARCore, the Curate app solves a major problem faced by realtors and their clients: Most buyers find homes hard to visualize with their own decor, regardless of whether the home is empty or filled with its original furniture. Historically, agents and sellers have used pricey professional staging services, filling a home with sample furniture that is chosen for inoffensiveness to prospective buyers.
As an alternative, Curate provides a curated collection of different AR furniture and decor sets that have been properly measured against the home’s rooms, so sellers can remove their furniture and buyers can fill rooms with whichever customizations they prefer. Sotheby’s notes that this step lets buyers “see a house as their own home, increasing confidence in any purchasing decisions.”
“Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty solves visualization problems without making costly, time-intensive and cumbersome changes to the physical space,” explained Sotheby’s global VP John Passerini. It “also allows sales associates to connect with their clients beyond the point of purchase, and homebuyers can easily shop for new furniture and home décor on select retailers’ websites.”
The Curate app is available for free download now from the Google Play store, and runs on all ARCore-compatible Android devices. An iOS version is planned for release this spring.