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Smarter real estate marketing using virtual reality to influence potential homebuyers' emotions and purchase intention

Athira Azmi (Faculty of Design and Architecture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia)
Rahinah Ibrahim (Faculty of Design and Architecture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia)
Maszura Abdul Ghafar (Faculty of Design and Architecture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia)
Ali Rashidi (Future Building Initiative, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 25 May 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the potentials of virtual reality (VR) for residential real estate marketing to influence house purchase intention.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the relevant literature in consumer behaviour, this study hypothesised the relationships between atmosphere with pleasure and arousal emotions and the subsequent influence of emotions towards house purchase intention in a virtual environment. A within-subjects experimental design was conducted with 60 real potential homebuyers to test the hypotheses. Data were analysed using paired samples t-test and partial least squares-structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM).

Findings

Results revealed that there is a significant difference in the atmosphere and house purchase intention between real and virtual environments. On the other hand, pleasure and arousal emotions evoked in real and virtual environments showed no significant difference. The results show that the atmosphere significantly affects pleasure and arousal, where pleasure, in turn, has a significant effect on purchase intention, and arousal showed an insignificant effect on purchase intention in the virtual environment.

Research limitations/implications

Due to budget limitation, this study was constrained to the use of HTC Vive as the VR equipment and evaluation of only one type of housing design.

Practical implications

This study contributes to facilitating the revitalisation of real estate marketing with the integration of VR by providing notable empirical results and recommendations based on the research findings.

Originality/value

This study extends the current knowledge from the stimulus-organism-response framework for a smart real estate marketing strategy using VR.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper is part of the PhD requirement by the first author in the field of Integrated Design Studies in the Built Environment Informatics Research Group at Universiti Putra Malaysia under Tenaga Akademik Muda (TAM) scheme. The study has been approved by the university’s Ethic Committee for Research Involving Human Subject (JKEUPM-2020-028). The research team would like to acknowledge the support of Sime Darby Property Sdn. Bhd. for their contribution to this project.

Citation

Azmi, A., Ibrahim, R., Abdul Ghafar, M. and Rashidi, A. (2021), "Smarter real estate marketing using virtual reality to influence potential homebuyers' emotions and purchase intention", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-03-2021-0056

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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