May 3, 2011
The following is a guest post by Tim Ng. Tim is a Partner at ADhoc – Real Estate Visualization Studio. They’re the people responsible for many of the cool interactive displays you’ve seen at presentation galleries everywhere, not to mention many of the super cool renderings all over the highrise and lowrise scene across the GTA.
You don’t have to search far for evidence that digital information is king in retail. Take a look around you and chances are someone is using a tablet, smart phone, laptop or desktop to check out a product, and buying a home is no different. Today’s homebuyers not only begin their searches on-line, but also expect that digital journey to continue in the sales office where more and more are relying on simulated three-dimensional images and interactive sales tools to provide answers to their questions.
For builders, that means it’s time for a renewed focus on providing compelling, lifelike visuals. Otherwise, it’s like posting a boring silhouette placeholder as opposed to a candid profile shot on Facebook. There’s no doubt you’ll pale in comparison to competitors and you’ll have difficulty attracting prospective buyers, whether on-line through the Internet or off-line in your showroom. Up until now, many developers have relied on static images to sell their visions, leveraging one primary marquis rendering and lifestyle photos across their brochures, website, newspaper ads, and show room collateral. In an information-rich, digital world, that’s no longer enough.
If you really want to sell your project, you need interactive imagery that showcases the real thing months before construction begins, including aerial shots of neighbourhoods with buildings or subdivisions super- imposed into them, virtual walk-throughs of floor plans to supplement blueprint drawings, 360-degree virtual spins, and simulated views from balconies. You can even extend your visual reach by providing digital content to a growing number of on-line resources like BuzzBuzzHome, a database of new homes that serves as a one-stop shopping site for homebuyers.
With 36,803 new homes and condos sold in the Greater Toronto Area alone, one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors is by giving your audience what they’ve come to expect, and that includes access to visuals that eliminate guesswork. After all, one of the top demographic groups buying new homes and condos are young professionals who grew up with the Internet and video games. The more visually rich your website is, the more likely you are to get them to pay you a visit in person.
With realistic digital images as part of your selling arsenal, you’ll also be able to create a sales environment in your show room that entices people to stay. Just as consumers linger in the Apple Store, checking out the latest technology gadget, you’ll be surprised by how much time they spend in your sales centre once you provide interactive displays, whether on large, wall-mounted touch screens or smaller, handheld iPads used by sales representatives.
The ultimate benefit to using digital technology is a faster sales cycle. But remember, the consumer connection starts on-line in a digital world where information is not only king, but is now the key differentiator. So next time you launch a new project, ask yourself: “Am I visually prepared?” If you’re at all unsure of the answer, it may be time to talk to a digital technology specialist.
Our thanks to Tim Ng for the post!