Virtual Reality and Student Housing Marketing
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are quickly becoming more widely used and accepted. With this digital frontier coming to the masses, how will it be used in student housing marketing?
SWITCHING FROM IN-PERSON TOURS TO VIRTUAL REALITY
Let’s begin with virtual reality. VR headsets are becoming more popular and many manufacturers have introduced them to the consumer market at varying prices and for different intended uses. See our Rift vs Cardboard: A Difference? blog for more information. Companies are starting to leverage the growing interest in VR in their marketing strategies. In student housing, it is important to have the consumer connect with the building in some way to increase the likelihood of them renting a unit. Traditionally this was done through storytelling or virtual tours on a computer screen. Now, the virtual fly thoughs and walkthroughs of a building or of a particular unit can be done on a headset. The viewer will be completely immersed in the viewing experience and will truly feel like they are inside the building without having to leave their home. This is especially useful for buildings that are not built or are still being built. This will impact consumers in a more memorable way by giving them a more intense viewing experience and keeping it in their memory longer.
TOURING THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH AUGMENTED REALITY MAPS
Augmented reality will also have its place in marketing student housing. Since AR blends the real world with digital graphics, it works well with programs using GPS. Students and other consumers will be able to see where the new student housing buildings will be, and through the map on their phone, get a 2D perspective of the building, what it will look like and where it will be in relation to buildings that are actually built. Also, since many college students are not from the area where they are studying, they may not be very familiar with the neighborhood. AR could fix that. While a student is traveling through the neighborhood, they would be able to move the mobile device around and view the different “hot spots” for food, entertainment, and outdoor activities. Informative pop-ups next to those buildings or landmarks would appear on the screen and help the student learn more about them. Having a student connect with the building’s surroundings will also increase the chances of that student getting a unit. While the future is not here yet, it will be soon. Be ready for a more interactive experience with the world around you.
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