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As Austin becomes more of a hub for virtual and augmented reality companies, real estate companies are buying up some of their business. According to the 2017 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, virtual reality real estate tours are potentially a $2.6 billion industry by 2025 alone.

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While virtual reality tours have been available through some high-end real estate companies for quite a few years, augmented reality is just getting its start in Austin. Some companies in cities like Los Angeles and New York City have been leading the charge with augmented reality tours.

“Augmented reality is not a brand-new phenomenon: the technology has been available since 2012,” said the report. “Augmented reality projects or overlays a digital image on the physical world itself. More than that, the image can be modified by the instruction of the users.” 

Virtual and augmented reality technology lures high-end brokers and realtors alike because it makes the process for clients to view a property much simpler. Potential buyers could tour a property without stepping foot on it.

“Brokers have been able to use virtual tours for quite some time now, but AR brings the quality to a much higher level,” the report said. “Prospective purchasers or tenants can customize the experience by visual “what if” alterations. As a marketing tool, it is a definite enhancement.” 

Aside from showing a property, augmented reality programs for real estate would also allow for closer collaboration of developers with architects and designers.