The cost of marketing a real estate development in a presentation centre alone easily breaks six figures, but a new cloud-based platform is not only revolutionizing the way people purchase real estate, it’s cutting some of the costs.
3D CityScapes is, as its name implies, a digital 3D visualization platform that shows what life inside preconstruction condo units will be like once they’re occupied. Impressively, the platform also shows potential purchasers what it’s like to walk around the surrounding neighbourhoods, and, according to the company’s president and CEO, all it takes is an internet connection.
“We’ve built the world’s first cities on the cloud,” said Raza Jafri, whose background is in urban planning, “Our goal is to help people visualize the urban environment they’ll be living in because people are thoroughly connected to them—everything from their reliance on transportation to their favourite restaurants and their jobs. It’s important for people to understand the look and feel of their neighbourhoods, not just their homes, before they move in."
Condo units purchased preconstruction are rarely delivered as promised. Imagine buying a corner unit expecting an unimpeded skyline view only to move in and discover a giant pillar obstructing that view. Jafri says the purchaser would know if that were the case upon exploring the 3D environment.
“Before they were looking at 2D drawings and renderings, but the problem is you can’t walk in or see that pillar,” said Jafri. “You can’t see how the sun will enter your loft or condo, but with 3D CityScapes’ technology, now you can see your unit from every angle and experience the area around it—everything that’s within five-, 10-, 20-minute walking distance, you’ll know what your life will be like before making that buying decision.”
According to Julian Pucci, a sales agent who specializes in preconstruction condos, his sales have tripled since he partnered with 3D CityScapes a year ago, and he says it’s changed his entire business model.
“The great thing about 3D CityScapes is they break it down floor by floor, suite by suite, and view by view,” he said. “I can take clients into a 29th floor suite and show them the views from their balcony and the views from inside their suite. If there’s a pillar or something in the way, they’re going to see it right away and we can nip that potential problem in the bud right away. My clients love seeing what the views will look like from the 20th floor balcony during the night or during the day. It helps tremendously from a sales aspect."
With the availability of this technology, arguably the biggest winners are the real estate developers, which are already burdened by escalating construction costs, but now they can shave marketing costs, especially in their sales centres. Those savings usually trickle down to the purchaser, too.
“The way a developer markets a project is very expensive, and who pays for that? The buyers,” said Jafri. “There are developers we’ve done projects for that have sold out faster because people got a better sense of what they were buying and felt more comfortable making buying decisions about those projects. Developers will also be able to sell a project to a worldwide audience using this cloud technology, whether they’re in Shanghai or Toronto, because now anybody can visit this virtual sales centre and it speeds up the sales process."
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