Erin Ward loves technology.
“I grew up having technology in my face,” she laughs. Ward’s dad built his own computers and her mom had a Palm Pilot, the precursor to today’s smartphones, before most folks had even heard of them. Remember that, because we’ll come back to it.
When Erin married a military man, she moved away from home, more than once.
“We just quickly started moving and moving and moving,” she said.
After nineteen separate moves, Erin had become very skilled at building new communities in each place while at the same time learning the real estate business from the inside out.
“Real estate became part of my blood,” Erin notes.
But the house hunting process was never easy. No one ever has enough time to visit all the houses they would like to consider buying. Appointments make it even harder to get into a house when you want to.
Now imagine how much harder it is for a military family. Trying to buy a home while you are living somewhere else, dealing with deployment schedules and government contractors creates a special kind of stress.
That’s when Erin decided to merge her love of real estate and technology. At her HRVA Homes office at Keller Williams Town Center in Virginia Beach, Erin and her team stock pairs of virtual reality (VR) glasses, one for each client they work with.
“When you work with us to find your home, at no charge, you receive a complimentary pair of VR goggles for viewing home tours,“ explains Erin. If you live out of town, she will mail them to you.
“The goggles are not required for viewing the homes, but they make the experience that much more realistic. What better way to visualize yourself in your new home?”
Erin’s clients look online or through suggestions sent to them of homes to consider, then favorite the homes they want to “virtually visit” using the HRVA Homes proprietary technology.
“To save time, we visit those properties for you, take 360° videos, upload them, and email the viewing link to you,” she says.
After watching the videos, you choose only the homes you want to see in person and HRVA schedules an appointment.
“Visiting multiple homes in person can be time consuming and exhausting; this process easily eliminates homes that don’t appeal to you, saving you time, money and frustration.”
Erin points out that national real estate sites can be very misleading, and they rarely show you much of the outside of the home, or the street, where you get a real sense of the neighborhood. HRVA’s tours include a walk around the house and a look at the houses next door to give a better feel.
For Erin, combining her two passions to help people is a dream come true.
“We’re a small company, really mostly dealing with all military affiliated folks. We have a personal approach. We don’t pass you off. And we don’t have 20 agents, but we are backed by a very strong, quality company in Keller Williams,” Erin explains.
“It’s about making everyone’s real estate transaction smooth.”
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