Radical Galaxy Studio founder Matthew Shaffer had the pleasure to speak at the January lunch talk for the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) in Seattle, Washington.  CREW was founded in 1989 and has over 10,000+ members globally.

Alongside Mr. Shaffer, Marlo Dowell of Katerra and Jenny Moshea of Sellen Construction also spoke at the event.  The main topic of conversation at the conference was technology and its positively disruptive shakeup of the real estate industry. Each spoke about the benefits the technological innovations can bring to clients, whether in saving them time and money in the case of VR or increasing safety in the case of exoskeleton vests.

With VR, Shaffer illustrated the added benefits the technology could bring to the industry.  “Currently, a lot of firms using VR are using advanced VR/AR technologies just for marketing purposes.  In my opinion,” Shaffer said, “that’s a complete under-utilization of the product.  The proper way to use VR is from the beginning, during the design build phase, through city council, into sales and marketing.”

To put his views into a more practical perspective, Shaffer drew a comparison between real estate professionals and end clients and the way each party approaches key aspects of the building process.  “Architects, engineers and interior designers are accustomed to looking at a design and interpreting how the finished results will look. The same often is not true for the end clients, whether it’s a developer or home owner, as they don’t focus on deciphering blueprints on a daily basis and being able to create a visual of what the project will look like in their head, “ he noted.  “A few misinterpretations can lead to clients being unhappy when the project is complete. “

VR tools present a viable option to expedite the project and get groups on the same page.

Sellen spoke about how they partnered with Ekso Bionics, which makes exoskeleton vests that lessen arm fatigue in workers, thereby reducing potential injuries and increasing worker efficiency.  Katerra spoke about how they are an end to end provider for the development industry, building components in their factories to help save clients’ costs.

The event wasn’t all talk.  Radical Galaxy had a virtual reality booth setup where CREW and media members had an opportunity to demo different real estate experiences. Options included the ability to manipulate different finish materials for interior design projects, change structural elements and even visit tropical locations.

The CREW Network Convention will be in San Diego at the Grand Hyatt Oct. 17-19.