While builders certainly welcomed back homebuyers to tour model homes and visit design centers once pandemic-driven restrictions on in-person activities were loosened or lifted, the technology for online (or virtual) presentations and tours of new homes continues to improve with more sophisticated features and sharper renderings.
Consider the “immersive” experience of three model homes that Pro Builder created in lieu of its Show Village footprint for IBSx, the virtual version of the 2021 International Builders’ Show.
Built on photorealistic renderings, the self-guided online tours not only allowed a far larger pool of housing professionals to visit Show Village (and for longer than the three days of IBS), but also enabled them to experience various forms of embedded content, from new product pop-ups to a virtual tour guide and insightful audio clips from members of the project teams.
- Show Village 2022: What’s an Immersive Tour ... and Where Can I Get One?
- A New Era of Idea Homes at IBSx
- NAHB International Builders' Show Pre-Show Planner
For 2022, we’re at it again. Sure, IBS is back live this year, and Show Village will be there to anchor the outdoor exhibits, but a duo of immersive home tours continues our new tradition ... with some exciting new features to up the ante of that experience.
The two homes—one designed for the new normal of lifestyle wants and needs, the other showcasing worthwhile smart/connected home technologies—exemplify the evolution of online new-home marketing.
The presentation also underscores the power that a truly “immersive” and photorealistic experience can have not just on homebuyers, but also municipal authorities, community activists, and lenders that appreciate (and increasingly demand) as much visual information as they can get to make (or break) decisions that affect development, design, and profitability.
PROJECT SPECS: BARNABY, the America at Home Study Concept Home
Size: 2,600 sf
Bathrooms: 3 1/2
Extras: Office/flex, guest suite
Builder: Garman Homes, Cary, N.C.
Architect: Dahlin Group Architecture | Planning, Pleasanton, Calif.
Research: tst ink, Encinitas, Calif., Dahlin Group Architecture | Planning, and Strategic Solutions Alliance, San Diego
PROJECT SPECS: THE SMART / CONNECTED HOME
Size: 3,400 sf
Bathrooms: 4 1/2
Extras: Loft/fitness, multigen suite, casita
Architect: KTGY Architecture | Branding | Interiors | Planning, Irvine, Calif.
Research: New Home Trends Institute, John Burns Real Estate Consulting, Irvine
Use your mobile device camera to scan the QR code at left or go to pbshowvillage.com to register for the Immersive Homes Tour when Pro Builder Show Village 2022 goes live on Feb. 8, 2022. Show Village will again anchor the outdoor exhibits at the International Builders’ Show, Feb. 8-10, 2022, in Orlando, Fla., including an Immersive Home Center, live how-to demonstrations and topical discussions, self-guided tours of two built homes, and after-hours meetups and block parties—all in a comfortable, open-air location behind the West Concourse of the convention center.
The Show Village 2022 immersive tour experience allows visitors to explore a variety of content at every stop by clicking on embedded icons. For the Barnaby, the house icon (center, highlighted) triggers alternative elevations of the home created by Dahlin Group Architecture | Planning. Inside, the same icon shows alternative floor plan configurations. Other icons launch insightful audio clips from members of the project team (green), product pop-ups from the project sponsors (red), aerial views of the house (orange), and the ability to engage with an online tour guide (blue). Clicking on an arrow takes you to the next stop on the tour, though visitors also can use an interactive floor plan or a room location drop-down menu to jump from one area to another within the experience.
Throughout the immersive tour of either home, the green icon (above right, highlighted) prompts a short audio clip from a member of the project team, such as William Ramsey, AIA, principal at KTGY, the Smart/Connected Home’s architect. Other icons offer alternative elevations or floor plans (navy), sponsored-product information (red), and the online tour guide (blue). Arrows indicate the next stop on the tour.
Each stop on the immersive tour automatically prompts a tour guide to provide insights about the room or area, such as Barnaby’s primary bath (shown). Users can click on the blue icon (above left, highlighted) to remove or show the tour guide, or to mute her narrative.
Information about the products featured in and around each home (such as the Smart/Connected Home kitchen, shown) are triggered by clicking on the red icon (above right, highlighted). The pop-ups feature an image of a product and a list of all products provided by that sponsor (with + marks to see more detail). Users also can click on downloadable PDFs for an even deeper dive.
IMMERSIVE HOME SPONSORS
The Show Village 2022 Immersive Home experience enables visitors to learn about the project’s sponsors and their products within the tour, including one-click access to downloadable PDFs for additional information.
Armstrong Flooring: Flooring
Broan-NuTone: Fresh-air systems
DaVinci Roofscapes: Roofing
Greenheck Fan: Bath fans
Maytag: Laundry equipment
Mitsubishi Electric: HVAC system
Propane Education & Research Council: Propane energy
Titebond: Caulks, sealants, and adhesives
UFP-Edge: Exterior siding
Wellborn Cabinet: Cabinetry
Whirlpool: Laundry equipment