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Prudential plans ‘immersive’ virtual tours

CEO: 'This is actually "Avatar" meets real estate'

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Global real estate giant Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services has launched a collaborative, virtual research and development laboratory, the company announced at its annual convention in Austin, Texas, this week. The venture, Prudential Real Estate Collaborative Innovation Partnership (PRECIP), will be a "collaboratory," or virtual lab "without walls," to marry the expertise of outside technology companies and the Prudential Real Estate network, the company said. Owned by Prudential Financial Inc., the network has about 60,000 sales associates and about 1,700 offices. "It's not a traditional laboratory in its own right. It's a combination of three things: innovation, a research and development effort, and collaboration between experts in the (tech) industry and (real estate) practitioners. We think it should allow us to bring new tools to the market even faster," said Jim Mallozzi, the company's chairman and CEO. "It's differe...