Virtual reality is the perfect way to deeply involve your buyer in the customization process.
In our earlier blog postings, we spoke about how virtual reality could speed up “time to market” and facilitate pre-sales in weeks, not months. We explored how to use virtual reality to eliminate the need to build a model home and model center by creating a photorealistic immersive experience for potential buyers even before breaking ground. In this post, we're going to explore how VR can be used to accelerate the next phase of the luxury home development lifecycle; the interior design and customization process.
In fact, virtual reality can accelerate the entire development process, from architectural design right through interior design and aesthetic design. Nothing communicates space better than virtual reality. In the past, the process might take months as architectural renderings became blueprints, which then became a model home.
Once the home was sold based on the model, the developer would then need to meet with the homeowner to determine the fixtures and finishes. This entire process could take weeks as the homeowner made decisions about everything from countertops and flooring to bathroom tiles and shower heads. If an element was not what was envisioned, change orders would come into play extending the time and adding to the cost of a project. Today, virtual reality can take months off of the entire process and follow a home through its entire lifecycle.
Finalizing Home Design Choices with Virtual Reality
Virtual reality can bridge communication gaps. For example, architects and designers tend to think abstractly. VR can help developers to bridge the gap between architects, designers and the client allowing them all to communicate from a similar place, reducing the need and expense of change orders.
As you saw earlier, using virtual reality can accelerate the sales process by giving your potential buyer the opportunity to immerse themselves into a virtual world and experience a property before you've even broken ground. Photorealistic three-dimensional renderings allow clients to experience a property in real time, everything from the size of the master suite, to the actual view from the picture windows.
During the design process VR can work to help you get your clients to sign offon design choices more quickly. For example, by pre-rendering several choices for countertops, cabinets, flooring and hardware, clients can enter a virtual world and experience each of these finishes in a more complete way. This is much more efficient than working from physical samples on a number of levels.
First, photorealistic rendering allows VR to accurately mimic the quality and character of materials giving your clients the ability to experience a “finished” space. From gleaming wood floors, to imported Carrara marble countertops, materials can be recreated in a virtual world that accurately captures color, reflectivity and luminescence, veining and more. Just giving your clients the opportunity to see what the finished space will actually look like can reduce or eliminate costly change orders.
VR Designs Delivered Remotely
One of the greatest time accelerators offered by using virtual reality is the fact that it can be delivered remotely. This can save clients the time and actual expense of traveling to the job site to make design decisions. If your client lives in a different part of the country, virtual reality is a means of communicating design choices remotely almost instantly.
VR is viewable using a headset like the Occulus Rift, or a Google cardboard paired with a Samsung, Apple, or Google phone, via tablet or through a website. You can contact your client via email and direct them to a site where they can access the immersive design via any mobile device. This means that design choices can be finalized much more quickly.
As the technology continues to evolve, soon you will be able to connect remotely with clients in a different city and walk them through design choices in real time. Today, you need to limit options somewhat and develop various design scenarios to pre-render for clients based on their taste and needs. As the technology matures and developers create pre-rendered materials databases, design options will expand. In any case, virtual reality is the perfect way to deeply involve your buyer in the customization process, accelerate the build process and significantly reduce delivery time.