Many have said that the real estate market is ripe for disruption and that is exactly what one new Idaho company is hoping to do. Epic Realty, opening in Meridian this month is the first VR real estate storefront of its kind. Their goal is change the way we buy and sell real estate by leveraging virtual reality; making it a more pleasant and efficient experience for all parties involved.
Co-founders Chad McCloud and Sheridan Hodson are childhood friends and entrepreneurs at heart. They came together to form Epic Realty in a bit of an odd twist of fate and great timing. Chad has been a licensed real estate agent for twelve years, but left the industry in 2007 when the market crashed to pursue a career in medical device sales. After eight years and a lot of time on the road he decided to come back to real estate. One of his first observations upon returning was that nothing about how homes were being bought and sold had changed. While at a networking event shortly thereafter he had an epiphany while watching a 360 video production. At that same time Sheridan was working at Micron as a financial analyst doing financial modeling and listening to a podcast called “start up”. One episode in particular piqued his interest on the topic of VR/AR and commercial applications including real estate. Chad and Sheridan met for coffee shortly thereafter and the idea for Epic Realty was born.
Things moved fairly quickly from there. Sheridan purchased a 360 camera within two days and they decided to test their theory out on an out of state client Chad was working. They went and shot several listings the client had submitted and sent him a headset with 360 footage. The client chose one of the properties they filmed and was confident with his decision. Although he was purchasing site unseen he was more confident in his choice since he felt like he had done a walkthrough. This confirmed for them how powerful the technology could be.
Epic Realty has come a long way since that first sale. They are opening a storefront at the Village in Meridian this month with a soft opening on September 27th. The location features seven booth spaces for clients to view properties. Each area has a 50 inch 4k high definition TV and iPads and/or Gear VR. Right now they are leveraging the Gear VR for most viewings, but long term they’re looking to leverage the HTC Vive. They are mostly showcasing their own listings and new builds right now, but their camera guy is busy shooting properties every day to continue building out the number of listings buyers can view in VR. They see the ability to come into a storefront and view listings in VR as a real benefit for both buyers and sellers. Buyers can save time by viewing multiple properties in VR and then determining which ones they want to see in person. (I know I would have loved this during my house hunting days as there were several properties viewed that within several minutes knew they weren’t the right fit.) Plus, for sellers, this helps weed out the buyers that wouldn’t be truly interested in the property anyhow. Win/Win.
We are very excited to see how Epic Realty is going to change the real estate process here in Idaho and beyond. If you would like to get more information about Epic Realty and their services feel free to stop by their storefront in the Village at Meridian at 3525 E Longwing Lane #110 Meridian, ID 83642 after September 27th. Or feel free to reach out directly to Sheridan at 208-861-8052 and Chad at 208-576-4717. http://homesbyepic.com/