Innovation in real estate with “VR previews”: Tada from NURVE talks about the potential of “adult startups” from Otemachi
In 2016, the VR industry attracted so much attention that 2016 was dubbed “the first year of VR.” The size of the domestic market in the last fiscal year was 8.2 billion yen, and it is expected to grow to 170 billion yen in the next five years. In this growth field, NURVE Inc. has been steadily opening up new horizons since the “dawn.”
In the VR industry, where most companies provide entertainment-related services such as games and video content, NURVE Inc. is developing “lifestyle VR” that directly enriches people's lives. In particular, it is focusing on “VR viewings,” with a focus on real estate viewings.
VR viewings are a revolutionary system that allows you to do viewings of real estate properties using goggle-type VR terminals. Allowing users to experience more properties is expected to increase contract-signing rates and the ability to attract customers.
Hideki Tada, Representative Director of NURVE Inc., says the following:
“Our theme is ‘From Information to Senses.’ For example, if you have a square room of 38 square meters and a rectangular room of 45 square meters, the former actually feels more spacious. However, since the renter tends to emphasize the numerical area, the mismatch doesn’t become known until the actual visit to the property. If no contract is signed even though you went out of your way to view the property, then it’s nothing but a waste for both the people looking for a place and the real estate company. However, with ‘VR viewings,’ you can ‘feel’ the property on the spot without having to bother to go there, so you can do viewings of more properties. As a result, we are able to provide optimal matches.” (Tada)
On July 1, NURVE launched the "Everywhere Store" service with ultra-small unmanned stores compatible with VR viewings. As part of this process, unmanned stores of little more than 3 square meters are set up in shopping malls and other locations to house various shops and provide various services using VR devices and the like.
For example, if a real estate agent opens a store, it will be possible to “experience” and explain properties in a place where people gather. Moreover, it will be possible for travel agents to sell travel plans, hotels at travel destinations, sightseeing spots, and so forth based on VR device experiences.
“The ‘Everywhere Store’ makes it possible to open stores in places where numerous users come, such as shopping malls and station buildings. In other words, the value of just a few square meters can be expanded infinitely through VR." (Tada)
NURVE Inc. moved into GBHT because they felt that it is a good match for the company, as it continues to grow quickly.
“Our company is growing year by year, and, as the number of people steadily increases, it is natural for us to do real estate leasing with two- to three-year contracts. A company with only 10 people was introduced to a property of 800 square meters [laughs]. So, when I consulted with Mitsubishi Estate, they introduced me to this. There are not many medium-sized incubation offices, so it was really helpful.” (Tada)
Tada goes on to explain the appeal of GBHT:
“The companies here are all full of vitality. There's a sense of tension in a good way. So I feel that can't afford to lose to them.” (Tada)
However, NURVE Inc. has already graduated from GBHT and has expanded and relocated offices to the serviced office of “FINOLAB,” also in Otemachi (4th floor of the Otemachi Building), and their eyes are set on the world.
“If people in their 40s who have accumulated experience and ability at Japanese companies start setting up businesses at a brisk pace, we may be able to catch up with Silicon Valley. There are quite a lot of people who have fought numerous battles at Japanese companies and possess the ability to carry things out decisively, but they don't take on the challenge. I think one of the reasons for this is a lack of success stories. If there are many successful examples of startups by people in their 40s, this environment will change immediately. That's why I want to be a pioneer of that, or rather, a pioneer of ‘adult startups,’ and I want Otemachi to be holy ground for ‘adult startups.’” (Tada)