Marketing & Sales

A New Venture Erases Boundary Between Model Home And VR

Builders Design teams with Focus 360 to fuse physical world design's emotive power with the everywhere-ability of virtual reality -- giving builders a more direct digital thread to the minds, hearts, and purses of homebuyers.

Marketing & Sales

A New Venture Erases Boundary Between Model Home And VR

Builders Design teams with Focus 360 to fuse physical world design's emotive power with the everywhere-ability of virtual reality -- giving builders a more direct digital thread to the minds, hearts, and purses of homebuyers.

November 29th, 2021
A New Venture Erases Boundary Between Model Home And VR
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As young young kids, learning our ABCs was a rite of passage. The alphabet, which one of my little rugrat-at-the-time brothers called the "alfalfa bit," starts us on a path. The path's steps forward were about decoding mysteries. Reading, to understand how our lives work, was a beginning.

Today, learning our ABCs takes on added freight of meaning, for that path of learning, of understanding how our lives work, never stops. Who would have imagined, two Thanksgivings ago or so, that so many of us would now be learning our ABCs in Greek. Omicron, the 15th ordinal letter of the Greek alphabet, suddenly means something to far more of us than it did this same time last week.

W, for Wanda, so far the last named storm of the 2021 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, also means something more to more of us than it might have 10 years ago.

Whether it's Omicron for its role in giving meaning to a pandemic era we mortals must still learn to decode, or Wanda and the way that the frequency and perilous power of named storms will be phenomena we need to learn to live with, learning our ABCs continues.

Our ABCs simplify what is complicated and allow us to understand complexities by giving us tools to unpack their parts and get our minds around what they are and how they operate.

Omicron may rattle the markets, or may set them at greater ease when discovery and learning allow us to see that human protections and defenses will keep in step with the virus's attempts to elude our immune systems. Each letter down the Greek alphabet may signify both that the virus has become cannier at evading, and that the energy and intelligence it expends in evasion may weaken the level of harm it can do to our bodies.

All this by way of saying what 2020 and 2021 have really changed about us, with huge implications for both who homebuilders can evolve into in their customers' lives and how those customers derive value in our pandemic times, comes down to our continuing to learn our ABCs.

For example.

The News

Two award-winning trust-marks in homebuilding, multifamily, and masterplan community development's pantheon of sales and customer experience enablers, BuildersDesign and Focus 360, this week introduces a new platform, Boundless, which takes aim at unlocking the fuller sway and impact of physical world design in an increasingly digital and device-based new home-seeker's journey.

What Builders and their partners need to know

Here's how principals – TBD Dream Teamer Joe Duffus, ceo of Builders Design and Steve Ormonde, president of Focus 360, together with their marketing strategic advisor Jennifer Cooper, Fractional cmo with Evolution Marketing for Homebuilders –  involved in the Builders Design/Focus 360 map the intent of the new power partnership:

  • The housing market at large is ripe for disruption and new ways to do business.
  • Turn-key solutions that bring interior design and virtual design together are the ticket for stronger and more integrated customer service experiences
  • Timelines must get re-imagined! Technology can help sell and visualize products for customers when construction and model install times are a moving target.
  • Builders and developers should be able to offer new home construction customers a more seamless community launch to advance customer and brand experiences.
  • All of the industries we serve need to help their future customers and investors see the future vision of their clubhouses, communities, amenities, lobbies, senior living facilities and neighborhood streetscapes. That vision needs to match the tangible final product!
  • We wanted to offer solid, seamless team partnerships that streamline marketing and sales VP’s time with consistent customer service and high-quality solutions that work together.

Boundless fuses into a single-digital-and-physical-world thread the discrete value chains of model merchandising, community placemaking, and livability, virtual touring and a robust UX that removes distance, time, and uncertainty from buyers' engagement runway in an era still being defined by constraints the pandemic era continues to unfold.

What It Means

As builders and their developer and investor partners contend with the whack-a-mole world of supply chain disruptions, choke holds, and non-stop tactical challenges impacting both schedule elongation and the farther-reaching decision sets having to do with the timing of lot take-downs, new community openings, and higher-level land acquisition investments, the ABCs of generating value to consumers in their home-preference navigational paths have been upended.

Builders Design and Focus 360's Boundless platform, which imagines a seamless, self-service oriented homebuyer's journey from first-engagement to move-in, with greater "say," fewer moving-parts of complexity, and a more complete sense of "homecoming" when he, she, or they actually take ownership,  

Here's how Joe Duffus and Steve Ormonde outline the benefits of their new partnership platform, which they've piloted in work for Maryland and Virginia-market homebuilder Miller & Smith's Patapsco Crossing and Dream Finders Homes' Reverie at Trailmark community.

This is a formal collaboration where the virtual model home world meets best-of-breed interior design, then a strategic relationship where we introduce one another’s clients to world-class interior design and virtual models. We have served thousands of clients over the course of our 30-plus and 40-plus (respectfully) years of operating our businesses. Both companies each have over 300 active clients."

Earlier this year, Builders Design teamed up with Houzz on its "Inspired homes" platform which gave new-home buyers direct access to the professional design and interior home finish services they'd encounter in builders' model home installations.

Builders Design culls a deep ongoing knowledge base of consumer data on home livability, interior design, and insight trends that have created new streams of moving targets for homebuilders and their developer partners. The alliance with Focus 360 serves both as a value-generator for consumers in their home finding pathways, and as an ongoing listening and learning platform for the two organizations, tapping both physical world new model infrastructure and engagement levels in VR tour environments for cues as to preference, behavior, and value at the consumer level.

This way – using the Builders Design-Focus 360 platform – homebuilders close the distance and reduce the number of divisible boundaries homebuyers need to cross to acquire, enter, and begin experiencing the sense of sanctuary and well-being they want in a new home these days.

As homebuilders continue to enhance their portfolio of physical model homes with virtual models, solidifying a strategic partnership with a leading design firm of Builders Design caliber became a key component for Focus 360," says Steve Ormonde. "This will insure that our award-winning virtual model homes will continue to reflect current interior design styles. I personally am very excited to formally work with Joe and his great team!”

Net, net given the kinds of prioritizations and navigational choices builders and their partners will need to pursue to lean in to their greatest capability areas and mitigate where they're weak or vulnerable, a platform like Boundless becomes a tool they can use to zero in more precisely on product, location, and processes that customers value most, cutting away waste in design, materials, and time that goes into doing what they don't value.

Why It Matters

Even before the Covid Omicron variant began spooking global financial markets and raising a new spectre of uncertainty – both economic and logistical – for the hive of businesses and producers who finance, plan, develop, and build America's new single- and multifamily homes and communities, the ABCs of engaging, sparking value, and providing solutions to people in search of their next new dwelling had pivoted.

The pivot has evolved value itself to where customers want to see, feel, and experience what they buy with a sense of erasing obstacles and adding more supportive forces that lead them home, with a sense that it's they who matter most.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

MORE IN Marketing & Sales

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