Marketing Real Estate is about helping clients envisage the satisfaction of their own dwelling. Whether it is a home for a family in the suburbs, an impressive office in a downtown skyscraper, or a government-commissioned monument, the buying decision is not trivial. Marketers used a variety of techniques, from miniature models to beautifully drawn mood boards and even model homes to simulate the actual user experience. However, full-scale models aren’t always possible, and mood boards, drawings, and floor plans simply fail to fire strong emotions in potential buyers.
With the advent of computer graphics and powerful, cheap computers came the first CGI models of Real Estate. Over the years, techniques and technology have evolved to such an extent that expertly created models are indistinguishable from the real thing. In this article, we understand some of the main reasons for how CGI is revolutionizing Real Estate marketing.
1.Visualizing flexibility- When it comes to CGI, there’s no “one size fits all”, and that’s a good thing! With modern software and powerful computers, CGI renders can fit all sorts and purposes of Real Estate marketing, from basic renders for concept art to awe-inspiring, photorealistic imagery from multiple views. Renders can be easily manipulated to create cut-outs to show interiors, partial wireframes, or even “blended” with a real-life photo or video content that includes real people. This versatility allows marketers to reuse CGI renders with small tweaks for a large variety of marketing communication across a broad audience.
2. Convergence with new consumption paradigms- This is the age of drone photography, virtual reality, augmented reality apps, and mobile-first strategy for Marketing. CGI renders fit beautifully into these new frontiers of Omni-channel marketing. Especially for the more popular augmented reality apps (e.g., the IKEA app), CGI renders of furniture can be invaluable to Real Estate marketers when helping clients visualize what an empty space might look like. On the other hand, in a virtual reality experience, prospective buyers can visualize what the finished property might look like in different seasons, at different times of the day, and even be able to see what the property might look like a few years down the road as the landscape and neighbourhood changes. CGI renders can move seamlessly between the smartphone, marketing brochure, a fully immersive VR experience, and an AR app.
Figure 3: AR App to visualize a home from a floor plan
3.The Interiors Revolution- While exteriors are important, the interiors of space are possibly even more so- after all, most people spend more time inside their properties than outside them. CGI is already making major changes to the way people make Real Estate purchase decisions based on their perceptions of their indoor experiences, based on CGI renders of furniture, the light in the room, the view from inside the space, art on the walls, etc. This is known as “virtual staging”, and it beats actual “staging”- a common practice in open houses. With more people making at least initial purchase considerations remotely, virtual staging can be a major money saver. Other, more limited use of CGI is the visualization of kitchen cabinets, beds, bathroom furnishings, and so on.
Figure 4: Virtually staged office space
Figure 5: The before and after of a virtually staged home.
Whether you are a Marketing firm specialized in Real Estate or a Real Estate agency, you probably already realize by now you need to incorporate CGI renders in your workflow. Whether you are a novice or a firm that already uses renders, you’ve probably faced a situation or two where the results were not quite what you expected. This usually happens when the CGI artist is either not very experienced with the expected quality of the render, with the software itself, or with the Real Estate industry in general. It is important to know what you want and to make sure the CGI artist is able to deliver what they’ve promised. It’s always considered a good idea to look at past portfolios as reference and to give a couple of small tests. The larger firms like Manipal Digital Systems will generally give you ready references and be more than happy to do a test file before starting on the real thing. They usually also have good inputs if you need to brainstorm.
If you are just getting started and/or need to consult with an expert with loads of expertise in making CGI renders for Real Estate Marketing, Manipal Digital Systems can help!