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It's no secret that the spread of COVID-19 has impacted nearly every type of business. But some companies have used it as an opportunity to change how they function. For example, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Virginia is turning empty tables into theatrical displays. And now real estate brokers are looking for unique ways to sell houses from a distance. The result? Using augmented reality.
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COVID-19 has resulted in social distancing mandates making it difficult for real estate agents to show homes since prospective homebuyers are not allowed on-site. But Vuzix, a Rochester based augmented reality company, came up with a solution. They are working with many real estate firms across the nation to help them use the M400 Smart Glasses to host virtual open houses amid the pandemic.
The virtual zoom open house enables house hunters to see all the details of the home and asks questions in real-time. The camera or real estate agent hosting the tour could instantly provide the answer.
"The Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses are creating new ways for businesses to operate in real estate and other industries," said Paul Travers, President, and Chief Executive Officer at Vuzix, in a statement. "The broadcast-quality streaming video capabilities that can deliver hands-free operations over popular video conferencing solutions like Zoom make the M400 Smart Glasses easy to use and effective with little or no technical expertise required."
He added, "With over 2 million active real estate agents in the U.S., according to real estate company HomeLight, smart glasses usage to sell homes could represent a significant opportunity for Vuzix."
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The company just revealed the first virtual open house conducted by Howard Hanna Lake Group in upstate New York on April 18 was a success. Now, the augmented reality glasses are being used weekly to host virtual open houses.
"I will use the Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses as much as possible going forward given the opportunity," Mark Moon, franchise partner broker of Howard Hanna Lake Group, said in a statement. "I had a property listed off and on three times, and right after the first virtual open house was conducted with the smart glasses, I received a written offer the next day, and the second house was just as successful."