Image marketing technology specialists BoxBrownie.com have launched an innovative cloud-based offering that can provide realistic CGI renders and virtual tours from only a floor plan, elevation or architectural drawing.
Its 3D renders and virtual tours have already proven to be a popular marketing tool for agents, builders, developers and project managers, particularly in the US, and following a soft launch over the past few months, the company is ready to spread the word.
Based on the Sunshine Coast, BoxBrownie.com launched just over five years ago producing inexpensive online image-enhancement solutions – from $2 a photo – and the company also offers services including virtual staging and floor-plan redraws.
With this latest offering, BoxBrownie.com is able to swiftly create a detailed and sophisticated representation of the final build in 3D renders and immersive virtual tours, injecting all the features and fixtures that accurately showcase the completed property or project, regardless of the size or complexity of the design.
BoxBrownie.com’s Strategic Relationship Manager, Peter Schravemade said the renders and virtual tours were fast becoming the go-to offerings for those in the industry who wanted to fast-track potential investors and buyers to purchase off the plan.
“Agents, project managers, builders and developers can be ahead of the pack in garnering and securing interest in pre-construction sales when they have captivating and detailed renders and virtual tours to entice potential customers,” he said.
“Our 3D virtual tours enable prospective buyers to walk through a CGI version of your finished product. The buyer can explore all the rooms and view different finishes.
“A full visual walkthrough gets your buyers emotionally invested and ready to buy ‘off plan’.”
As Mr Schravemade told Elite Agent, before the COVID pandemic had become a global concern, he had been in the United States pitching the company’s render technology to America’s largest home builder D.R. Horton.
“I was over there talking to them about our existing product range and pitching renders, which is the static imagery, and the 360s,” he said.
“After COVID hit they came back to us and they said, ‘we’ve just lost all our display homes, everyone’s in lockdown. How do we now go about selling these things to people who cannot get through properties – and really don’t want to be there?’”
The request quickly led the team at BoxBrownie.com to adapt their existing technologies to meet those needs.
“It probably took us about four months to do it,” Mr Schravemade said.
“But then once we figured out how to do it, we launched it as a product in about September of last year across the US and that was just a soft launch.”
Despite initially not wanting to “make a big song and dance about it”, as Mr Schravemade put it, once word of mouth spread, demand in the US spiked, with the company now having produced more than 1000 renders and virtual tours in less than six months.
“Now that we’ve achieved scale and we’re actually sure that this thing works in its own right, we’re really comfortable with the results of the ones that we’ve done and the amount of inquiries that we’ve had. So now we’ve decided to actually make a big song and dance about it and tell people.”
Mr Schravemade said the photorealistic 3D modelling examples “don’t just show how a project will look, they invite prospective buyers inside for a tour, immersing themselves in the project”.
“Once inside, a buyer can experience your project down to the most minute detail. Or, we can showcase different interior styles, creating a precise ‘end result’ experience.”
The cost for the 3D rendered virtual tour is still affordable on a relative level, costing $500 per “hot spot” area created, and importantly, the copyright then belongs to whoever has commissioned it.
“it can be texted to someone instantly. It can be sent through Facebook Messenger, in an email, it can be embedded in a website – if you really want to you can put [VR] goggles on and stroll around and check out what it is,” Mr Schravemade said.
Luke Dzufer of Nexus Development Group engaged BoxBrownie.com to create render virtual tours for his most recent Botanica Riverside development in Maroochydore, Queensland, and said it was integral when it came to showcasing new units to potential interstate and overseas buyers who weren’t able to visit the site due to travel restrictions.
“The virtual tour generated interest and excitement for the project, including attracting a sight-unseen purchase from off-shore,” Mr Dzufer said.
Despite originally being formulated as a tool to enable virtual sales and inspections of off-the-plan properties during the pandemic, Mr Schravemade said he believed the innovation would prove to be a game-changer for the industry going forward.
“I can’t see a builder lashing out 50 grand on a [physical] display that they then have to get rid of,” he said.
“And although it’s impossible to see what the future will hold, I believe that this product will be driven forward by purchasing demand, not necessarily by the builders themselves.
“I think they’ll have to include it, because by default, it’s now available on the market and as soon as one person starts doing it the rest of them are going to have to follow.”