Behind the Creativity: Blog 16
It’s my 4 month anniversary working at NEEZO Studios and I thought I’d share some thoughts on the “architectural visualization” industry.
Before working at NEEZO, I worked for various real estate marketing agencies and recall how the staff always wished we had a client budget that would allow us to create a state-of-the-art interactive sales centre.
You know…the kind of presentation centre that makes you feel like you’re walking into the future.
Today’s sales centres are all about open spaces (similar to the homes they sell), featuring: sleek, interactive touch screens, displaying gorgeous, photorealistic 3D renderings (like the ones NEEZO Studios created below) and at the centre of it all, an impressive scale model (as per the image at the top of the page, also created by NEEZO Studios). All of these elements work together harmoniously almost like a visual dialogue, to promote the project and convey the builder/developer’s story.
NEEZO Studios created a series of uber-photo-realistic, 3D renderings featuring the designs of Jane Lockhart for Klein Estates by Lindvest.
NEEZO made sure to echo Jane Lockhart’s fine eye and high-design-aesthetic by paying extremely close attention to the details she and the builder specified for this luxurious Kleinburg neighbourhood. Renderings like these make a statement in a sales centre, setting the tone for the vibe of the lifestyle in one of these exquisite Lindvest homes.
These days, on-trend sales centres have said goodbye to printing, over-sized floorplan-wall displays, that clutter up wall space and become obsolete when a particular floorplan is sold out. NEEZO’s modern sales centres make floorplans an interactive, user experience, viewed on your choice of a: touch screen TV, desktop computer, tablet or smart phone.
NEEZO recently launched their proprietary real estate software LiveSite™ allowing homebuyers to search by:
floor/storey of their choice
number of bedrooms
time of day & all 4 seasons
comparing floor plans side-by-side
features & finishes and more…
LiveSite™ also provides sales staff access to real-time, back-end analytics regarding the sales inventory, complete with reports and charts. Clients can also choose to hide or reveal certain floorplans until they’re ready to be released.
The Costs To Going Interactive
When the interactive sales centre trend began, the costs of even renting touch screen technology used to be a deal breaker, but just as the price of laser-thin TVs has come down with technological advancements, so too have the costs of other interactive services. Buying computers, software and video equipment is more manageable, as such, the cost-savings get translated to our clients. As well, the software used to render images is faster, so you don’t have to pay for the time it takes to manage the rendering of an image.
I remember launching static sales centres the old fashioned way, we would easily spend between $75-150K+ to merchandise a sales centre. NEEZO’s modern sales centres are way more impressive and cost much less than the conventional/static route.
In the static sales centre format when you have a floor plan change or a floor plan sells out, it can take weeks to:
receive the replacement blackline file
prepare the creative
go to print
arrange for installation of the wall display
reprint the corresponding handouts
Not only is it an annoying hiccup, it’s costly. I feel your pain…I know…I’ve lived it, many times over. With NEEZO’s interactive services, floorplans can get updated in mere seconds. No lead time. No downtime. No need for reprinting, re-installing and adding more garbage to the landfill (or equally as bad, hoarding outdated wall displays in the model home’s basement…you know who you are). 😉
Today, budgeting for an interactive sales centre is definitely on par with the conventional, static sales office, in fact it’s preferred. At NEEZO Studios we often hear our builder, architect and developer clients say they enjoy the ROI an interactive sales centre offers. It’s infinitely more engaging, effective and convenient:
you’re saving on printing and reprinting wall displays + saving on installations
you don’t need as many sales admin staff doing paperwork
it expedites the buying process substantially and provides real-time sales reports
homebuyers enjoy digitally navigating through the buying journey, feeling more in-control of their investment.
Not only is the smart technology being embraced by builders and developers but consumers are expecting a digital user experience. Statistics show homebuyers begin their home buying search online (above and beyond any other advertising method). Why not meet them where they are:
99% of Millennials (20-39) used the internet to search for a new home
90% of GenX (40-49) used the internet to search for a new home
85% of Boomers (50-65) used the internet to search for a new home
70% of Retired Generation (66+) used the internet to search for a new home
A Positive User Experience = Confident Buyers (and word of mouth)
Practical, budgetary stuff aside, interactive sales centres help promote a low rise or high rise project. Homebuyers will always be smiling and excited when in an immersive experience.
Whether it’s encouraging homebuyers to pick their features & finishes via an online e-design centre or walking through a seemingly invisible model suite; Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are going to become more and more a part of the homebuyers’ journey to finding their perfect home. After experiencing the interactivity, homebuyers often bring friends and family to have their same user experience.
What’s the difference between Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR)?
I often used to confuse VR and AR and would use the terms interchangeably, ‘til I became a NEEZOnian and got schooled. So, in case you’re wondering, here’s how we explain it:
VR completely covers and replaces your field of vision, wearing a headset to take you on an immersive experience, blocking out real world surroundings. See sample below of what NEEZO Studios storyboarded and created for Sifton Properties.
Augmented Reality (AR) as the first word implies–adds digital elements to a live, physical view, via a touchscreen, tablet or phone. AR effects bring viewers into an immersion experience–in a limited area—right before their eyes (no head set required). Check out the video below to experience a recent AR project NEEZO did for Sifton Properties.
In a nutshell, remember this:
VR (virtually) replaces your vision,
AR adds to (or augments) your vision.
What Happens when AR and VR combine?
…now that you’ve got the definitions of AR/VR straight…there’s also Mixed Reality (MR), which combines all three: VR, AR interacting in the real world. It’s a field that’s evolving…think about the location-based Pokéman Go craze a few years back.
Maybe MR won’t be as relevant in a sales centre, but I can certainly see it being aligned with site signage where a viewer looking at site signage through a mobile app or headset would see something that isn’t there with the naked eye. Imagine taking a group of investors on a construction tour of a dirt-site and having your guests experience your vision for the project, right before them with the aid of MR. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a 3D application is priceless in that type of environment!
There have been so many advancement in the 3D space in the past decade, I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring. One thing’s for sure, NEEZO Studios will continue to be at the forefront of the architectural visualization industry in North America…making sales centres great again! 🙂
If you’re looking for sale centre inspo, please reach out.
In our real estate marketing division, we provide services to builders who want to launch a project/sales centre and for architects and developers looking to convey a master plan to the city hall and the community-at-large. We’re also happy to collaborate with marketing agencies and pre-construction real estate agencies.
Director of Marketing + Client Success
P: 905-306-3437 x 227
p.s. If there’s a topic you’d like to learn more about, drop me a line…it may appear in a future article or post!