The transformative power of AR in Real Estate: the take of an industry expert

ar in real estate

A new AR product has been recently released in collaboration with Bruce Kulpaca, principal broker at Commercial Venture Group (CVG). Bruce felt the need of enhancing the selling experience in his industry, transforming it into something more efficient for both the seller and the buyer by using AR in Real Estate. 

His will to explore the transformative power of AR in Real Estate led him to us, and we worked together to develop a pilot project and to launch the Ding Dang app about a Real Estate property located in Springville (Utah), named Springpointe. Once again, a new project where the Real Estate Industry and AR-media converged together to create a magnified and transformative experience. 

Keep discovering this project by reading the whole interview with Bruce Kulpaca below.

Interviewing Bruce Kulpaca on how Ding Dang uses Augmented Reality in Real Estate

Q: Hello Bruce, you started your Real Estate career in 1996, tell us something about the beginnings.

A. Well, as you noted, I started my career in commercial real estate in 1996. At that time, I worked in commercial development; primarily retail in Florida. I was based out of Tampa. It was an exciting time. Drug stores were moving out out in-line space and pushing hard for stand alone sites and grocery anchored projects featuring local space; outparcels were very much in demand. The commercial real estate was redefining retail in the context of intersections and population centers.

Q. The advent of the Internet in the 1990s was a great revolution for its impact on commercial real estate. What kind of practical impact did it have on you and your clients?

A. It was evolutionary. The Internet changed how real estate is marketed. If you go back in time and think of how commercial real estate was marketed before the internet, it was very much of an “in market” approach. That is, a tenant or developer spent a great deal of time in the market…driving the streets, going on-site to look at locations, taking pictures from different angles, drawing rings on paper maps and annotating with sticky notes.

During the pre-internet era even taking aerial pictures required a great effort. Once I rented a plane, since I had my private pilot’s license, and my colleague snapped photos. It may seem ridiculous now, using a drone in 20 minutes, for pennies, you can do the same job and even more. Today property ownership information is readily available, zoning is readily available. Also, the reach of our market has really expanded.

Q. What do you mean the market reach has expanded?

A. I used to spend a great deal of time putting together marketing packages that were then physically mailed out. It was a really slow process and depended on a somewhat limited mailing list. Now, we can quickly approach our market through websites and email campaigns. Not only that but social media allows others seeking our product to find us. It’s a significant change; a lot of market inefficiencies have been removed.

Q. Market inefficiencies… How does that relate to commercial real estate?

A. In my view, market inefficiencies are removed as more buyers and sellers become aware of each other. It’s my job to seek out as many buyers and sellers; through this process the best price discovery is achieved for my client or project. I want to take every opportunity to make sure buyers and sellers are given the best information that technology can provide. You never really know what little piece of information will turn a prospect into a buyer.

Even today, much of the marketing is limited to photographs, flyers and renderings. These tools leave a lot to the imagination and can be subject to a whole range of subjective influences….maybe the rendering is not quite as good as another project, maybe the site plan is unclear, maybe the flyer is unclear. If our goal is to eliminate market inefficiencies, then the tools we use should be aboutpresenting the project with minimal subjective influences.

Q. After the Internet revolution, the next one in real estate will be related to 3D and Augmented Reality. You recently founded a real estate app called Ding Dang. Can you explain your vision with respect to these technologies?

A. Well, it’s part of the evolutionary process we discussed. It is the next step in making projects real for our customers and removing subjective influences. For example, we are beginning to see more and more use of 3D technology in commercial real estate. This is a big step beyond renderings and site plans. The goal of Ding Dang is to take the evolutionary step even further with augmented reality. Ding and Dang are Utah slot canyons. The name reflects my love of the outdoors and experiencing, in my view, the sublime power of nature. Hopefully, I can express through the app a sublime experience of architecture. In my view, augmented reality is the next step past 3D. Like 3D, it operates on multiple perspectives or planes.

Augmented reality takes the next step by placing the project in your environment. You are not looking at a movie which is how 3D tends to be presented. Rather, you have an image in front of you in your environment and this image can be engaged with by the viewer. The audience can actively participate. I think anytime you can engage the audience, challenge the audience to participate, the project has a better chance of avoiding the subjective pitfalls of that are prone with non-participating marketing tools like flyers, movies and renderings.

Q. The Ding Dang app has three visualization modes: On-Site; Site Plan and Anywhere Anytime. Can you explain how they differ?

A. Sure. Let’s take the first approach: On-site. Here were are dealing with basically an onsite experience. We can project the proposed building onto the site via an iPhone. The site is viewed on a 1:1 scale. The advantage of this approach over a site project sign is obvious. When you can walk around the site and actually see how it will be sited, the customer is an active participant and is able to view the building as it will actually be built. It is even possible to create an experience where the customer can walk up to the building and even go inside. With community projects, this opens the possibility of having the community give its input on a project before it is ever built.

With site plan, we can project the architecture onto a flat site plan. This approach allows the viewer to experience the project in multiple dimension and how the architecture relates to the site. The last approach, Anywhere Anytime, allows the project to be projected onto any flat surface and can then be viewed from any angle. The viewer can walk around the project or the viewer can remain stationary and use the viewer tools to move the project.

Q. You say project…what does that mean? How is the architecture projected?

A. There needs to a means to view the projection. Currently, the architecture viewed either through the screen on the iPhone or the user can enable the viewer tool and use an inexpensive viewing device such as the Homido Grab for a more immersive experience.

Q. Why did you choose to use an App for this technology?

A. In my opinion, the smartphone is the one device we all carry with us at all times. The app is superior because it is easily accessible. One only needs to open the app, click on the appropriate project and the experience can begin. If the experience is downloaded onto the phone, there isn’t any need for internet. I was demonstrating this technology to a seat mate on a flight recently, We were flying so my phone was on airplane mode. However, I was able to call up the project on my phone and show my seat mate the project.

Q. Where do you see this technology going?

A. As companies develop smart glass, the experience will become more and more immersive. I think within the next 5 years we will be able to put on a pair of smart glasses, call up any project through the app and not only experience the architecture but have access to a host of other important marketing materials such as spread sheets, rent rolls, permitting schedules etc. All of this accessible via the same app and tied together on a project by project basis. As this develops, those that are part of the technology will be part of an ever more efficient marketplace.

Well, thank you Bruce and we certainly look forward to finding out how this technology develops…

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