SEGRO has made a significant investment in virtual and mixed reality by becoming the first industrial company in Europe to use Microsoft’s HoloLens technology to market its properties.
Virtual-reality and mixed-reality headsets have become a popular way to market residential properties, but are a novelty in the industrial market.
The new prototype HoloLens headsets give wearers 360-degree virtual views of SEGRO’s various industrial parks in different stages of development, without the need to travel to the distant sites.
Nick Hughes, director of marketing and communications at SEGRO, said HoloLens gave the business a better way of presenting its properties to the market.
“HoloLens can give customers a very good experience of what a property is like without physically having to visit the location,” he said.
“Using brochures and magazines you have a limited experience, while through the virtual-reality route people experience a product as close to reality as possible.”
Replacing traditional marketing
SEGRO initially tested the technology on a few of its assets in London and the Thames Valley and based on the market’s response has now decided to use the technology in other territories in Europe.
“We are producing our whole German portfolio on HoloLens,” Hughes said. “The cost is on a par with producing a portfolio brochure, while the experience is so much more immersive and engaging.”
Gradually, HoloLens technology would replace some of SEGRO’s traditional marketing tools, said Hughes. However, traditional marketing tools, such as print, would not disappear entirely, he added.
“Some people like the permanence of print,” he said. “So there will still be a place for brochures, but we may produce fewer of them.”