A Game Changer for Real Estate Visuals
REinVR, Real Estate in Virtual Reality, is a Canadian company that uses advanced video game technology to create photo-realistic visuals and animation to beautifully showcase real estate projects that have not yet been built. We spoke to founder Nathan Nasseri about the success of his firm, and his unique background in video game design and new home sales.
Established in 2016, REinVR creates stunning visuals and interactive animations for preconstruction real estate projects. Using cutting-edge technology developed for the video game industry, REinVR develops life-like photo experiences and immersive visual environments that help real estate developers with permit approvals, marketing and, ultimately, sales. REinVR’s team consists of many talented designers who have spent their careers making some of the most innovative video games ever created. This gives REinVR a huge technological advantage over its competition due to the speed at which changes can be made. With the simple click of a button (or even a voice command), a floor plan layout or interior design palette can be completely changed – instantly. This provides incredible value, as homebuyers or customers are able to see different colour palette combinations at lightning speed.
Nasseri’s talented team of designers has enabled REinVR to offer a wide-range of visual experiences, and has attracted a diverse client base of high-profile real estate developers.
“Predominantly, our clients are architects and real estate developers of residential, commercial, and industrial projects around the world. We have also worked on several government projects, and we’re always excited to work with new clients who want to showcase their pre-construction project with visual experiences that set a whole new standard,” said Nasseri.
“Our approach to creating visuals is very different from the traditional rendering market. For example, when we create an apartment or home, we make the entire floor plan. Once we’ve created this holistic environment, we can do whatever we want with it, including creating high quality, photo-realistic renders, videos, Virtual Reality experiences, and 3D walk-through tours. We can also instantly change colour palettes to showcase variety to homebuyers, or customise a commercial space with a logo for a specific client like Amazon, Nike, or Tesla. With our advanced technology, pre-construction real estate projects can be showcased with life-like quality that you’ve never seen before. It’s an innovative game changer for the industries of architecture, engineering, construction and real estate.”
Creating visuals using this unique approach is also beneficial when working with a new client. Nasseri explains the method that REinVR uses to ensure their clients’ requirements are met and surpassed.
“At REinVR, the most important work is done in the first 48 hours of a new project. We review all the building schematics and specifications, assign tasks to our team, and create a breakdown of exactly what needs to be done. This is imperative to ensure we utilise our resources efficiently to finish the project on time and with the utmost accuracy. Also, we request specific information from the client if it’s not provided (e.g. what door knobs they want to use, or what towel bars they have selected). These tiny details make a significant difference and provide an accurate portrayal of the visual environment. If the client doesn’t have these details finalised, we simply ask them to show us a sample that is similar to what they will select,” said Nasseri.
“Furthermore, speaking with their architect or interior designer is an important initial step to ensure everything is done right, the first time. If our clients have interior designers, we work with them to determine what furniture they would like. Our furniture catalogue has thousands of options, so there’s always something to suit each project. Also, we include complimentary interior design consultation to ensure the furniture and layout match the target demographic of the project. This can save our clients significant time if they don’t have the internal resources to select furniture.”
With regards to REinVR’s overall mission, Nasseri explains that every team member works together to provide clients with the most advanced sales tool in the real estate market, and this is what the team measures its success against.
“Our mission is simple: provide our clients with the most advanced visual sales tool in the real estate market. We have several long-term goals, however, our mission this year is to disrupt the render industry with a solution that provides both quality and quantity for less than the cost of traditional static renders alone. We have spent the last year perfecting our system, and we have industry-leading visual quality in Virtual Reality (VR), which also translates into our photos, videos, and other applications. As technology advances and AI, cloud computing, VR, and Augmented Reality improve, we will be implementing these into our system. I designed our system to work as a sales tool first, and if it works for sales, it will work just as well, if not better, for marketing,” said Nasseri.
Operating within the competitive technology industry, it is vital that REinVR is able to differentiate itself from its competitors. Nasseri strongly believes in his team’s technological and design capabilities, not to mention his own unique bi-level background and work experience.
“My family has been building homes since before I was born, so I had a lot of exposure to the construction and new home industry. I’m formally educated in video game design, but after graduating I found my true passion was in real estate, and helping people find and build a new home. After spending four years in new home sales, I identified certain areas that could be improved with the assistance of a state-of-the-art sales tool using video game technology as its foundation,” said Nasseri.
However, Nasseri’s unique background is just part of the equation, and he’s keen to praise the incredible skillset and knowledge of his colleague and business partner. He’s adamant that his business partner is a major contributor to the success of the company.
“Aaryn Flynn, who worked at BioWare for 17 years and was the General Manager for nine years, joined REinVR as my business partner. For those who don’t know, BioWare is arguably the best video game studio in the world. Together, we wanted to take a new approach to innovate how the real estate industry showcases pre-construction projects,” said Nasseri.
“Based on my experience, we set out to create a sales tool. This is the biggest difference between us and our competition. I have the experience of actually selling new homes and we have tested our system and made improvements to create the next best option to building the real-life model. We are experts in our field, and we already know how to push the limitations of this technology.”
“Typically, our competitors make traditional static renders, not critically-acclaimed video games. For us, this is a cakewalk compared to the industryleading video games created at BioWare. However, many of the same skillsets are used when we transform our clients’ specifications and drawings into a compelling life-like visual scene. Plus, we ensure our clients’ sales and marketing team is trained, and knows exactly how to use our system to sell more homes, faster. We want all of our clients to have success using our system, and the last thing we want is a system that isn’t utilised to its full potential.”
Nasseri’s formal education in video game design, coupled with his past work experience in new home sales, has provided him with a rare perspective into the customer’s decision-making process. He’s confident his knowledge of the new home sales process has helped spark steady company growth for REinVR.
“My previous experience has given me a unique bi-level perspective regarding the process that homebuyers undertake when purchasing a new home. Buying a home is often the largest investment a family will make in their lifetime, and understanding the customer’s journey throughout this process is absolutely critical. My experience in new home sales has given me a unique vantage point that allows me, and Aaryn, to guide our clients with strategic approaches that focus on the homebuyer’s perspective – and what they typically deem to be most important,” said Nasseri.
“This pinpoint focus allows us to visually highlight particular features in a home that are traditionally viewed as key selling points by the homebuyer. For example, many homebuyers focus on a handful of important features in a new home (e.g. the kitchen, the foyer, the master bedroom and ensuite, an openconcept feel, abundant natural light, etc). Key insight into a homebuyer’s typical perspective streamlines our process and keeps our visuals focused on what’s usually deemed a top priority for the buyer.”
Furthermore, REinVR also boasts advanced technology knowhow. Nasseri says the technology they use is redefining the real estate industry, and is attracting more clients across the sector.
“The technology we use has existed for years in the video game industry. It’s called Real Time Rendering (RTR), and it’s radically different from how traditional rendering companies create their work. The old way is called offline rendering, and it can take days, weeks or even months to render a video or photo, and these become very expensive, very quickly. RTR, however, can reduce rendering time from months down to mere minutes. Our competitors have to charge for rendering time – we don’t. We can do it almost instantly. Personally, I founded REinVR to help new homebuyers actually fully understand what they’re buying using Virtual Reality technology. To my surprise, we found that the market isn’t completely ready for VR just yet, and we’ve had better results offering our system to replace static renders and provide video, while positioning the VR and 3D interactive walk-through tour as a free bonus for working with REinVR,” said Nasseri.
“The amount of time and money dedicated to creating static renders for real estate projects would shock most people. There is a lot of money spent on pictures that don’t convey the full scope of a real estate project. We don’t feel that static renders for exteriors will be going away anytime soon, but for interiors it’s a different story. Our focus has been creating the most realistic interior visuals to help sell a real estate project.”
Nasseri is confident in his company’s ability to meet the ever-increasing demands of clients across the sector, and refers to what techniques he uses in order to ensure his company stays ahead of the curve.
“I spend about two hours every day researching new hardware, software, and connecting with people in the RTR and VR industry. The pace at which the industry is changing is staggering, and without dedicating a few hours each morning, I wouldn’t be able to keep up,” he says.
“As a Canadian real estate design firm, we like to use the term “Hockey Stick” to explain the growth chart of our newly emerging industry. We are in the early days of using RTR technology for architecture, but the results speak for themselves. In a year, we’ve completed over 25 projects, and are setup to handle up to 1,200 projects per year, so we’re prepared for the hockey stick growth. The biggest challenge for us is that architects and real estate developers are typically somewhat reluctant to adopt new technology.
“However, in this circumstance, I think the benefits are so significant that once they understand how it works, they’re compelled to switch. For instance, traditionally, if you had a static render, and you wanted to change the cabinet colour from white to brown, it would take days to re-render this image. At REinVR, it takes less than a second and a click of a button, or better yet, the use of a voice command that simply says, ‘change colour’ and it’s done. Last year, we created a project with thousands of colour combinations including six wall colours, six cabinet colours, 25 flooring options, 12 tile backsplash options, and six countertop options. The speed, flexibility, quantity and quality of our system is helping push the industry to embrace RTR technology, but the majority of architects and real estate developers are still using old-school renders and offline rendering services. However, this is changing quickly and by the end of 2020, I expect to see the vast majority switch to RTR.”
In addition to his advanced technology, Nasseri also knows the importance of a strong company culture that allows each team member to find the perfect balance between work and home life. Throughout the industry, Nasseri is well aware that employees often feel burnt out, and he is keen to ensure this does not happen at REinVR.
“Across the company, we encourage our team to work at home and be with their families. The games’ industry is infamous for working long hours and burning out employees. We have learned those lessons, and we want to create a workforce that sticks with us for the long term, instead of burning out and leaving.”
Nasseri is also quick to praise his business partner and his contacts within the industry, which means the company is able to attract the very best talent.
“Honestly, I am very blessed to have Aaryn as my business partner. He knows the top talent in the video game industry because he spent years working with them, and his praise goes a long way. If he says someone is good, I fully trust his judgment and we bring that individual onto our team. Our approach – to give team members the freedom to work at home and work the hours they want – is very attractive and has resulted in us having some of the best designers in the world working at REinVR.”
In his concluding comments, Nasseri explains how he views the European real estate market, and that potentially entering the market is something he is incredibly interested in doing.
“Moving forward, the prospect of entering the European real estate market is very exciting for us. There are many world-class projects with unique architectural details not seen in North America. It would be a great opportunity to expand our perspective. We’re all about learning, listening and growing, so each new opportunity is something we deeply cherish.”
REinVR charges $10,000 CAD per floor plan, which includes 30 static renders, a video animation, a 3D interactive walk-through tour, and a VR experience as a full packaged offering. Contact us for a quote for your next real estate project: [email protected]
Contact: Nathan Nasseri