With property nothing short of a national obsession in the UK, it’s no surprise that the industry has embraced digital, with homebuyers looking at properties across devices whilst on the move. In this blog post, we discuss how augmented reality is set to become a natural extension of this, and that by applying AR to marketing activities, property companies can gain a unique competitive advantage.

Max Dawes, Partnerships Director, Zappar

If there’s one thing we know about us Brits, it’s that we love our property. With the issue nothing short of a national obsession, it’s no surprise that estate agents large and small have invested heavily in all things digital to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour. Digital has well and truly disrupted the way we buy, sell and rent homes.

We’re not just flocking to our laptop or PC to browse for homes, though – today’s house-hunter is more mobile than ever before. In fact, research by property company Rightmove earlier this year revealed that smartphones and tablets account for an impressive 40% of page views, and drive up site traffic by 27%.

With property-seekers going mobile (a trend that, no doubt, will continue to skyrocket), what’s next for estate agents? We think that augmented reality is set to have a real impact of the property market, enabling companies to gain a unique competitive advantage in an increasingly heated market – and all while providing a valuable experience for the end-user. In fact this shift is already well under way with the more enlightened and innovative businesses in the sector.

As anyone who has gone through the process of buying a property will know, access to information is everything. With the move to mobile, having the right information at your finger tips at the right time is a real value-add for the consumer. It’s perhaps why QR codes were so keenly adopted within the sector as a short cut to an agent’s website and property details in the past. Unfortunately the act of scanning QR codes and poorly optimised webpages for mobile meant that the user experience was far from perfect. (A case of right idea wrong execution). With AR and our proprietary zapcode technology it's now a different story. With our easy-to-scan zapcodes and tailor-made experiences that deliver the content you need  instantly through our Zapcode Creator platform: be that floor plans, additional photos of the property, video tour, street map, the agent’s contact details saved direct to your device or open days as calendar reminder.

As an agent it means that all your marketing real estate (see what we did there!) becomes a multimedia portal transforming print materials into an interactive wonderland, helping yourwindow displays, for sale boards and business cards all work harder for you delivering greater engagement and dwell time. And all at the most affordable price on the market.

Take what we’ve done with forward-thinking estate agents like Spicerhaart and Felicity J Lord as an example. We partnered to bring augmented reality to their signage and magazines, giving readers access to details like floor plans, complete and up-to-date specifications and the opportunity to connect with agents directly.

Our work in the sector has also made estate agents re-think traditional media. Regional newspaper advertising remains a really important avenue for estate agents to secure instructions. We’ve worked with ad creation software specialists Drag+drop to re-think traditional print advertising in the sector and bring it into the digital age with augmented reality capabilities using our Zapcode Creator API embedded into their systems. This makes it as easy as possible for the advertisers and publishers to Zappar Power their advertisements through the brilliant EZAdsPro platform.

The property market is one that has already seen extraordinary disruption with the likes of Zoopla and Right Move changing the dynamics of search and advertising forever. Augmented reality offers another digital utility mobilising the physical world of estate agents marketing mix to benefit end users. With the benefits and value our Zapcode Creator solution brings to the market we’re delighted to be pioneering this exciting new opportunity and look to see it grow not only in the UK but in other markets around the world.