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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the new home industry as developers close sales centres and cancel in-person appointments. But this new reality doesn’t mean developers can’t rise to the challenge and continue to make sales.

Real estate is an essential service and there are homebuyers who are still in the market for a new home or condo. Some developers have turned to Zoom video appointments and model home tours through FaceTime, but a company from Mississauga, Ontario wants to help developers take their virtual sales process to a new level.

NEEZO Studios is a digital studio that specializes in new home builders’ sales software, scale models and architectural visualization tools. The company’s new LiveSite™ virtual sales centre application has been gaining popularity with new home builders during the pandemic, becoming a sought after tool in supporting the digital sales process. In the past, homebuyers would typically visit a builder’s sales centre to peruse floorplans, wall displays, walk through a model home and then sit down with a sales representative. With LiveSite™, this process is brought online, offering the same user experience homebuyers would find inside the sales centres — but from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

“Since the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve noticed a significant spike in inquiries about our LiveSite™ sales centre software,” said Lisa Reis, Director of Marketing and Client Success at NEEZO Studios. “We understand that there are homebuyers out there that still need to buy a home and it’s a nice feeling to know we’re helping home builders continue to do business.”

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Whether it’s through a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device, LiveSite™ allows homebuyers to access comprehensive details about a development, including photo-realistic visuals like 360-degree tours. Users can explore and compare floorplans in 2D or fully-furnished in 3D, while filtering selections by unit size, geographic placement or number of bedrooms. They can even get a glimpse of the development from day-to-dusk, allowing them to see sunlight patterns and shadow placement.

Sales professionals also benefit from real-time data analytics through LiveSite’s™ back end interface, enabling the sales team to reserve phases, unveil units as they’re ready to be released, adjust pricing, print sales reports and produce stats.

“In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus has changed the world economy and how businesses connect with customers,” said Reis. “With LiveSite™, builders can continue emailing clients and alerting their database of a site’s upcoming launch while bringing the sales centre directly to them.”

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Even as provinces begin to ease lockdown restrictions, Reis doesn’t see virtual sales experiences as a ‘temporary fad’ but rather, a part of the new normal.

“The COVID-19 quarantine may have highlighted a builder’s need for a virtual sales centre, but it’s hard to imagine not offering these conveniences to your homebuyers in a post-COVID world,” said Reis. “In fact, I’d argue what will go away are the crowds of homebuyers congregating at a sales centre, waiting for hours to get in and obtain priority preview pricing — something that can easily be handled virtually.”

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