I took a quick gander at the $3.1 million house being sold by Coldwell Banker, currently on display in the Second Life (teleport SLURL.) It seems like pretty nice build that accurately represents the scale and proportions of the real house in Washington state. I’m sure that the media buzz (ABC, CNN) created by build will scare up more bidders than who might normally show an interest in the house.
But I’m struck by the lack of imagination that went into implementing the project (despite the praise from this real estate agent). If you are going to go to the trouble of dropping a virtual replica of a real life house for sale in a virtual world, you should try and leverage the strengths of that environment.
At the very least, spend a few lindens to drop some virtual furniture and decor into the
space, so prospective buyers can get an idea of how the house might
look like with occupants. A bunch of empty rooms seems sad and
lonely to me. CNN talks about how you can open the fridge and find food in it. Whoop-dee-freeckin-do.
Beyond that, here are some thoughts I had on how one might use virtual space to sell a home:
- Use a control panel or HUD interface to offer various views of the house. I.e. showing a room as a rec room or a home office or a crafts workshop. Or giving color and pattern options for the carpet, kitchen tile, and molding.
- Host open house parties (perhaps with SL talent performing) to show what the house might be like for entertaining.
- Give away copies of the home, so prospective buyers could play around with it on their own land or a sandbox at their leisure. Let the customer see what the bedroom would look like with his new plasma TV in it.
Really, just creating a virtual replica of a building in SL, now that lots of building design is already done on 3D graphics programs, really doesn’t impress me. But letting the prospective buyer interact with a convincing simulation of the home would really add value, rather than just a boring "virtual pamphlet."