Nathan Maclean, Managing Director of Virtual Worlds interactive 4D design technology, discusses ‘buyer remorse’ and how to avoid it.
When it comes to selling houses, kitchens and bathrooms can make all the difference, with the power to swing a yes to a no and vice versa. For most people, their kitchen and bathroom choice will all come down to personal taste, and whether these key spaces have the look and feel they were hoping to find.
Our love of kitchens has definitely grown and evolved over time. No longer merely a place to cook, kitchens are a showpiece for the whole house and an important living space for eating, relaxing and entertaining. According to property expert Sarah Beeny, the kitchen is now the most valuable room in a house and can add up to 10% to the value of a property.
With that in mind, property developers and housebuilders rightly invest significant time and money to get the right specification to ensure a design which appeals to the property’s target market, whether that be families, foodies or anyone in-between.
The bathroom is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance too and, after the kitchen, is the room most potential buyers will gravitate to. A recent survey by a national DIY chain revealed that 3.7 million Britons see their bathroom as a retreat, a refuge from modern living and the busier parts of a home. It’s an important living space and one that housebuilders need to get right if they are to sell their property promptly.
Demand for high quality
Testament to this, bathroom retailer sales are currently at an all-time high, surpassing the £1 billion mark for the first time, thus signalling to builders and developers that consumer demand for high quality bathrooms is on the increase. And it’s worth the investment, as a stylish and modern bathroom can add up to 3% onto the value of a home.
So, we understand the importance of a dream kitchen and bathroom in selling a property, but clearly this is much more difficult if the property is still being built or renovated. Buyers will of course have a checklist for what they want in a home but most people rely on their instincts and whether they can imagine themselves living in the property to decide whether to buy or not.
What can developers and housebuilders do to sell the dream off-plan? The key is to ensure potential buyers are given the tools to imagine the space – and them in it – as this goes a long way to selling the dream and the property.
In the past, the use of an overhead, 3D plan or flat render have been used to present property plans to a potential buyer. However, most consumers struggle to grasp what they are being shown and this creates a problem – buyer remorse – whereby what the buyer imagines they are getting is in reality not to their liking or doesn’t meet their needs, causing major issues for the developers.
Given that kitchens and bathrooms are so important to a potential buyer, there needs to be a clearer way of communicating the developer’s vision to avoid disappointing the buyer. This is where 4D virtual reality technology can be an invaluable tool.
4D CAD technology
The first generation of 4D CAD technology allows users to experience a realistic 4D simulation of physically being in their dream kitchen or bathroom design via an avatar set to their appearance. This virtual walkthrough allows them to see exactly how much space there is between the island units and the oven and to ensure there is sufficient storage for their requirements. The technology is fully interactive and users can extend drawers and operate functional fittings such as magic corner units – as they would in a traditional viewing – to get a true representation of what being in the room will be like.
Giving buyers the opportunity to understand how the design of their kitchen or bathroom will work in the ‘real’ world, can really help developers deliver the wow factor and seal the sale off plan. It also allows them to plan work with confidence, knowing that the new owners will be happy with the chosen specification.
Interactive buying experience
For property builders and developers looking to invest in this kind of technology, it is already available on the market. Launched on pre-order in October 2015, the Virtual Worlds 4D delivers a high quality, virtual reality and an interactive buying experience via a futuristic headset. The 4D feature is part of our comprehensive ONE package which includes an innovative range of design and selling tools designed to enhance the buying experience and, in turn, improve sales conversion rates for the seller.
Never underestimate the power of bringing plans to life in 4D. Our customers in the retail field have reported an average 50% increase in sales conversions since using our CAD technology – with some reporting a conversion rate of 80%.
In a fiercely competitive property market, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. By investing in the latest technological innovations, housebuilders and developers can dramatically enhance the buyer experience, sell more homes off plan and create a tangible ‘wow’ factor that will not only get customers in the door but help close the deal.