Mosaic Student Communities, the property management arm of Mosaic Investment Partners, has opened its first virtual reality lounge to facilitate tours of its houses in local neighborhoods for USC students. The company manages properties throughout University Park; and its offices are located on Hoover Street.
The use of virtual reality has become increasingly popular among real estate firms, as well as at college campuses across the nation. According to Mosaic, this is the first time that USC students will interact with the technology to tour prospective housing near campus.
The VR lounge allows students to tour homes by wearing goggles, navigating through the homes by using handheld remote controls. Once the goggles are on, students will be able to look around and see an exact simulation of the properties.
“One of the things that we’ve realized is that actually touring all of the houses is intrusive,” said Troy Dodgion, Mosaic’s director of operations. “People don’t like to have people come in and look at their house all the time during leasing season.”
The remote controls are easy to use and allow students to walk up and down stairs and into a variety of rooms in the house, instead of having to attend an in-person tour.
“Also, [walk-in tours are] really time consuming — applicants have to come to the Mosaic house first and then we have to drive them around to look at the six or seven houses that they want to see,” Dodgion said. “This way, they’re able to come in here and look at some of the houses to get an idea of what they’re looking for without us bothering the tenants and the incoming residents. They get an opportunity to see a wider range of houses and get to pick one that’s the best suited for them before we actually go out and start looking at the physical houses.”
Mosaic paired up with Transported, a company based in Santa Monica that films all of the virtual reality footage. It also uses a virtual reality system called Oculus Rift to create the tours, which Dodgion describes as the “highest-end VR equipment that’s out there,” according to their website
So far, Mosaic has applied the technology to around eight of its Victorian-style homes. Not only does it aim to eventually implement virtual reality to tour for its whole housing portfolio, but it is also always looking to acquire new properties for students to rent.
The company aims to renovate poorly maintained homes and homes in need of development, and it manages a variety of homes at Cal Poly Pomona and UC Berkeley.
Mosaic Student Communities will host a launch party on Nov. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. to celebrate and reveal its new lounge and services.