Guest Blog – Building Emotional Engagement with Tenants using Virtual Reality

By David Gull, CEO & Co-Founder, Outer Realm

People are funny. They make decisions based on emotions and justify their decisions with logic. Well actually, it’s a bit more nuanced than that.

According to a Harvard Business Review article by Michael D. Harris, major decisions are made subconsciously, and these subconscious decisions are based on a deeply empirical mental processing system that follows a logic of its own. This subconscious/intuitive decision is then communicated to the conscious mind via an emotion. The conscious mind then searches for rational reasons, and that’s how we complete the circle: We justify our emotional signals with logical reasoning. 95% of our decisions, such as a major purchase, according to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, take place unconsciously.

This understanding is critical when it comes to commercial real estate. While it is typically companies that lease commercial real estate, the actual decisions are still made by individuals. Connecting with these individual customers at an emotional level is key to winning their trust, motivating them to action, and yielding better results for them and you.

For most companies, committing to lease office space can be one of their most significant investments. After all, in addition to the financial commitment, the office space also represents achievement - that the business has arrived, or is growing. The location and look of the office space make a statement about the brand of the company and impact employee attitudes.

So it’s only natural that the company decision makers want to feel completely confident in their decision. That not only is it a wise monetary investment but also has a positive emotional impact.

Now, if the building is already built, and the office space a pre-built fitout, potential tenants could walk through it and make thorough observations, explore the details of the construction, the furnishings, and the fixtures. They can stand in the middle of the lobby or the conference room, and experience how it makes them feel.

But what if the building is under construction, or undergoing major capital improvements, or the specific floor of interest is filled with a worn-out installation that has been there for 20 years?

Enter Virtual Reality (VR). VR is perfect for real estate because prospective tenants not only see what the building is finally going to look like but also get to feel the property at a deeper, subconscious level. They can experience how it will feel to actually move around in the space. Would they feel good walking in to the lobby every morning? Does it make them feel energized and productive?

This is the promise of room scale, immersive VR experiences for unbuilt properties or properties undergoing renovation - speaking to subconscious desires and needs, and making real estate customers feel good and confident in making those significant decisions and investments. And leading to better business for developers and brokers.

To get a feel for what a room scale, immersive VR experience could look like, visit

About Outer Realm:

Outer Realm, based in Marina Del Rey, CA, builds immersive software to help brokers and developers showcase unbuilt properties in highly realistic, first-person experiences (people really feel like they're standing in the finished home or commercial space). Outer Realm’s mission is to lead the world’s transition from 2D Screens to immersive worlds and to help people share their vision of the future with others as realistic representations rather than abstractions open in to interpretation.


David Gull

CEO, Outer Realm, LLC


To read more from David, click here.

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