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Norwich house hunters use VR to find dream home

PUBLISHED: 14:25 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:25 20 May 2019

Going hi-tech; Charlie Webster of Websters Estate Agents on Unthank Road, Norwich. Photo: Archant

Going hi-tech; Charlie Webster of Websters Estate Agents on Unthank Road, Norwich. Photo: Archant

An independent Norwich estate agent is hoping to make moving house more fun after transforming his office into a virtual reality 'ilounge'.

The new-look office at Websters. Pic: WebstersThe new-look office at Websters. Pic: Websters

Charlie Webster, who runs Websters in Unthank Road, is putting the finishing touches to an office with a difference.

After investing thousands in the latest virtual reality headset equipment for people to tour homes without leaving their seat, Mr Webster has rebranded the firm with a hi-tech new-look.

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The new virtual reality 'ilounge' at Websters in Norwich. Pic: Websters.The new virtual reality 'ilounge' at Websters in Norwich. Pic: Websters.

He has created what is thought to be the first estate agency 'ilounge' where you can see virtual tours of properties for sale beamed on to a big screen - the idea being an agent can 'walk' you around a house without you actually going anywhere.

A virtual reality headset is also available to take a visit around a home as well and the entire area of the office is separated from the rest which has also been completely refurbished.

The rebranding of the Websters for sale and sold boards now depicts the Norwich skyline in different colours and this image has been replicated in a gigantic mural across the entire width of one office wall.

The new look i-lounge at Websters. Pic: Websters.The new look i-lounge at Websters. Pic: Websters.

Walls have been re-painted in Farrow & Ball colours and desks have been replaced with more modern ones which also cater for a new member of staff. A new negotiator will bring the total staff to five, not including Mr Webster or his father-in-lw, Peter Sargeant, who has worked in estate agency for 35 years, who now works part-time.

The refurbishment will be finished shortly with an eye-catching 'moss wall' from acquascaping expert Scaped Nature in Norwich.

Manager Alex Penny said: "We want people to remember us and technology really is a buzz word - we need to find ways of staying ahead of other agents and offering something different. The new 'ilounge' means we can properly present homes using the technology - it can save people time but it's also incredibly fun too."

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He said the agency currently around 80 properties on its books including those sold subject to contract.

"We've kept the original Websters logo but rebranded with the city skyline to give it a more modern look," Mr Penny said.

"As for Brexit, we have found that it's smoke and mirrors - it's not really putting people off from buying."

The new Norwich city skyline which is part of the Websters rebranding. Pic: Websters.The new Norwich city skyline which is part of the Websters rebranding. Pic: Websters.

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