Research, not technology still the key to finding the right investment propety

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Thanks to the powers of technology, prospective real estate buyers could soon easily carry out inspections from the comfort of their own home, no matter how far away the potential purchase maybe.

Developer Metricon last week launched their Virtual Display Experience, which through the use of a headset allows people to take a virtual tour of a property.

Metricon developed the system in conjunction with Melbourne-based Company Scann3D, who used 3D scanners to capture the interior of Metricon houses and then turn that information into a virtual reality walkthrough.

While Metricon is the first company to deploy the technology, managing director Ross Palazzesi said he was more excited about the benefits the system would have for buyers, especially those in regional areas.

“The Virtual Display Experience is not only exciting, because it is a first in Australia, but it is extremely practical,” Palazzesi said

“It’s important that we offer our regional customers a valuable and completely unique experience, all while solving basic geographical challenges. We hope to offer this technology to other regional centres across the country in the future,” he said.

While Palazzesi is excited by the technology, Allister Lewison, director of property investment advisory firm OpenCorp, isn’t ready to crown virtual reality systems as the next big tool for investors.

“I’ve seen a little bit about this sort of thing recently and I think it’s something that will suit owner occupiers looking for a home because it will help them form an emotional connection with the house,” Lewison said.

“But for an investor you don’t want to be caught up in the hype and be buying because of emotion, you want to make sure there are the numbers behind the purchase that make sense,” he said.

Though he wouldn’t recommend using a system like Metricon’s as the deciding factor when looking for a property to invest in, Lewison did say investors should take some inspiration from what the system offers and look beyond their immediate surroundings when trying to find the right investment property.

“One of the biggest mistakes people make is not looking beyond their own backyard when they’re looking to invest,” he said.

“Some of that is people like to be able to drive by and see what is happening with their purchase and some of it is people are just inexperienced and just think it’s easier to walk down to the local real estate agent and see what’s in the window.”

Lewison acknowledged that buying a property that you may rarely see or never visit can be a daunting experience, but there are ways of clearing the mental hurdle.

“The key is not to do anything that’s going to wake you up at 2am worried that you’ve made the wrong decision.

“You need to do your research of the property, but the area as well. What are the population figures, what’s happening with infrastructure in the region and the job market and make sure those numbers support the decision.

“The other thing is partner with the people that you know will help you make the right decision. So make sure you have a good broker or a buyers’ agent who you can really trust.”

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