Toronto condo project uses Augmented Reality to reach global buyers

By using a free Augmented Reality app from developer Lanterra, investors from around the world can see 3D views of new Toronto condo project, 11 Wellesley

A go-ahead Canadian developer is using 3D augmented reality to promote its new Toronto condo project around the world.

FitnessBy using a free augmented reality app, real estate buyers of the recently-launched 11 Wellesleycondo project can see realistic 3D images when scanning embedded photos on the computer or those included in the New Homes & Condos supplement of the weekend’s The Star newspaper.

Lanterra Developments says the augmented reality app allows brokers and buyers to get an idea of what the development looks like long before construction work has started.

Augmented Reality is ideal for overseas buyers who could otherwise not get to see a 3D representation of the site of the 60-storey building at 11 Wellesley, which will include  742 suites, ranging from 300 square feet to 878 square feet and starting at CAN$199,900.

poolAugmented reality superimposes computer-generated images, videos or sounds using computers or digital devices including tablets, smartphones and smart glasses.

The Lanterra AR app, which can be downloaded at, enables brokers and buyers to go on virtual tours of suites and see 3D views from various floors and admire the fitness room, pool room and more.

Adelino Hilario, a vice-president and partner with Toronto-based Klokwerks Creative Production Studio, the firm that developed the app for Lanterra, told the The Star.  “Talk about epic experiences. A broker can place buyers in front of the building, or go inside and show them the amenities. It empowers the broker as well as the buyer.”

UK-based real estate technology expert, James Dearsley, says only around 20 developers around the world have used Augmented Reality to market their products globally.

Using an Augmented Reality app, home buyers do not need to attend a sales centre to learn about a project. “They’ve got a complete sales centre on their iPad,” says Adelino Hilario.

The app is certainly helping sell units at 11 Wellesley. “In 15 years we’ve never sold a project that quickly — it’s crazy,” says Joe Latobesi, of Montana Steele, the Toronto advertising agency that oversaw development of the Lanterra app.

He believes it is the first time that a Toronto condo development has been sold in this way, but says that many more developers are set to follow.  “I’d say within a year most major developers within this marketplace will have an app like this to augment their projects.”

Toronto is in the middle of a building boom and has more condo towers under construction than any other North American city, according to industry researcher Emporis GmbH.

Foreign investors are still active, but are not as important as local investors at the moment, says Simon Mass, a founding partner of real estate investment manager The Rosseau Group LLC, speaking at last month’s Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit.

“Overseas investors have been a strong foundation for our company originally, but we find that locals right now — especially mom and pop investors — are really looking at condo investments as a new type of investment versus the stock market.

Foreign investors are seeking larger returns and so their interest in the condo market has gradually declined in the past five to six years, he says.

By Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect
Twitter: @oppnews

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