With Covid restrictions back on the increase, developers are realising that some of the rushed digital fixes they put in place when the UK went into lockdown this spring, may not be rigid enough to form a long term solution. As winter draws in, local lockdowns are looking more probable and digital solutions must be working efficiently to ensure home builders can make the most of the buoyant housing market.
The good news is that buyers are now much more accepting of the turn to digital. For years, digital solutions have been an optional alternative for those customers who wish to embrace technology, meaning that investment in this area was only benefitting the few. With restrictions on face-to-face meetings and vulnerable people preferring to avoid direct contact, digital has become to go-to method for researching a development and communicating to progress a sale.
Furthermore, developers who preferred to ‘get them through the door’ and used tactics such as withholding some detail online to ensure prospects had to make a site visit, are seeing the benefit of adapting their strategy which includes making as much information available online at the appropriate time.
What tools can developers use to up their digital game? Here are a few ideas:
Virtual house tours
The virtual show home has really taken off in 2020 with more affordable technology allowing developers to deliver the ‘show home’ experience to their customer’s homes. 3D and interactive tours of properties, whether completed or CGI’d for off-plan, give prospects an insight into their potential new home and allow them to conduct much of their initial research independently. With clickable ‘hotspots’ detailed information can be made available to virtual show home visitors and the best part is that they don’t need to be manned and they’re open 24/7, perfect for the surfing night-owl.
Full and detailed micro-sites for developments
Where a printed brochure once sufficed, today the desire for more information has led to an increase in micro-sites for individual developments. With social distancing, these websites are a great way to provide in-depth information about a development and crucially, lots of imagery, CGIs and plans. A good website can be referenced remotely by sales advisors and with good use of video and other media, a truly interactive experience can be achieved.
Interactive site plans
Being able to navigate a development and understand which property position or type will work for a buyer is key. Interactive site plans are also a good tool for developers to show availability and explain development phases if part of a multi-phased development. Linked with the price list, this tool can help a buyer to make a decision without too much additional support.
How to make it happen
The cost of this kind of technology is constantly falling, but furthermore, the investment is often only made once. Most softwares are self-managed and allow the developer to create their own maps and layout, perhaps with a little support from the right digital agency.
If you’re thinking of revamping your digital approach to ensure you’re ready for anything this winter may bring, get in touch with Antler to understand how we’ve helped our clients and how we can help you.