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The heyday of the design centre may be over. Weekends are precious, and buyers aren’t keen to spend their Saturday afternoons out poring over carpet samples when they could be doing so from the comfort of their couch. The Interactive Abode has designed a platform to improve the colour selection process by allowing purchasers to virtually decorate and make their selections at home before their appointments.

The platform, known as the Online Design Studio, can be used across all residential building types — from high-rise condominium projects with three standard design packages to low-rise homes with fifty backsplash options. Allowing buyers to conduct their research at home shortens the amount of time spent at design centres, or eliminates the need for an appointment altogether.

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“The Online Design Studio serves both types of buyers — people who want to touch and see the materials, as well as people who don’t want to come into the design centre at all because they’d rather be able to see what their selections will look like on their unit. They have more time to decide without the pressure of a decor consultant. Just like they do on HGTV!” said Jenna Zaza, co-founder of the Toronto-based company.

Buyers are able to visualize how a colour selection will look in their specific unit. Photo-realistic renderings take the guesswork out of deciding between standard or upgrade options. Island or no island? Dark flooring or light? Plus, there’s no pressure to make up your mind on the spot.

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“Buyers see this type of technology on TV and are disappointed when they go to their decor appointment and are handed a fabric swatch that’s the size of a cell phone,” explained Zaza.“They are used to shopping online and expect an online component when making the biggest purchasing decision of their lives.”

Interior designers can view client selections before their appointment begins to provide a more personalized experience. Builders also receive comprehensive analytics reports that trace user behaviour, selection patterns and trends.

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Once the purchaser has made their selections, they can electronically sign the documents and pay for their upgrades online. This is an huge benefit for investors who live elsewhere or simply don’t have the time to visit a design centre in person. “During the last project we completed, only ten per cent of purchasers visited the design centre for an appointment,” said Zaza.

The Interactive Abode helps with construction reports, feeding information about the material selections directly to the trades via an Excel spreadsheet. The platform can also be used with other applications to produce the reports.

To schedule a demo, contact Jenna Zaza at jenna@theinteractiveabode.com or call 416 420 9576. For more information about The Interactive Abode, please visit www.theinteractiveabode.com.

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