More About This Episode
The Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insights on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.
On this episode, we're talking with Craig Foy from ALY VR about builders and building brands, and the expectation that their customers have when it comes to winning their business. Listen to learn how virtual reality and technology are getting builders closer to their customers and the sale.
Getting Closer to Your Customer
We’ve all witnessed how drastically the real estate market has changed in the last few years. Even the number of bathrooms built in new homes has shifted for homeowners recently.
And there are technologies that can help builders stay on top of even bigger shifts ahead in homebuilding. Craig Foy is President of ALY VR, a technology platform that gives builders and construction brands a way to connect more deeply with tomorrow’s homeowners and future customers.
ALY is a visualization tool that renders 3D models of a project in real time. “We've really created a fun environment,” says Craig. “Anyone on any device, with no app and no software, can be a contributor on the design schematics that are being looked at on any project.”
Building a new home has long been an arduous, challenging project — for the designer, builder, homeowners and everyone in between. “Normally, you had to wait for an architect to do a rendering, or you had to wait for your designer to get some swatches,” says Craig. That process can drag out the timeline of not only the sales process but the construction project and the time that it takes to get customers into their new homes.
“People want to see the assets and application, and they want to share it with someone and collaborate and look at schematics as a team in private,” explains Craig.
By giving customers an engaging, hands-on experience with their product, builders can showcase their expertise, work more closely with customers and speed up the sales process.
Building More Fun (and Speed) Into The Sales Cycle
The way we sell homes has changed since the pandemic, and with the rise of technology like digital marketing, drone photos and virtual reality applications, we expect to see the sales process change even more in the next few years.
Builders and developers have often relied on slower methods for finding customers. “If you look at the design time, you pick your lot, you pick your house and … they're driving you to some type of a design center or a lot of times,” explains Craig. “The other thing is, as we all get older and the millennials come into sync, you don't always need a model home built.”
ALY VR’s mission is “to democratize the design process so that anyone, anywhere can collaborate and make design adjustments whether on a laptop, desktop or mobile device.” It’s a disruptive approach to how homes have traditionally been sold.
Even today, tech-savvy professionals run into issues with sharing files of home designs with customers. “Today with software, a lot of times, you get into a very complicated process just to share a file,” says Craig. “So this technology kind of revolutionizes how easy you can share files with coworkers, family, friends, etc. and get a decision made quick on a project.”
We’ve talked recently about the demand for visualization on construction projects. “People are going to want to look in some sort of virtual reality or some sort of tool like that,” explains Zach with Venveo, “so that [they] can make a purchase decision more quickly and easily.”
Enhancing the Home-Buying Process
Visualization makes your product and processes more fun for your customers. “It facilitates what I think is a fun energy on a project,” says Craig. “That really facilitates quicker decisions and helps the home builder, the product provider, anyone involved — because everything is right there at your fingertips, easily shareable.”
That means clients can share their potential new home with their coworkers, family and friends. In fact, visualization tools like ALY VR make customers a bigger part of the project, which can instill more confidence in their buying decision.
When there are inevitable changes or updates needed on a project, customers can see them in real time. “As you use technology, I just think it opens up so many doors as far as cultivating the sales process, cultivating the decision-making process,” says Craig. “So it's really just a fun experience.”
Visualization offers everyone in the building industry big benefits: And virtual reality can even be more realistic than real life in some cases. “If you have a red wall in the ceiling's white, it's going to put a pink hue on that ceiling. And you can't see that when you're looking at a static rendering,” says Craig.
Giving customers a clearer picture of their finished product can go a long way. “There's something to be said about creating a more immersive experience that gets people excited and delights them,” says Zach.
And more professionals in the construction industry are adopting new technology and digital tools to help them advance their business and brand. “Doing something with a digital perspective helps you be able to sell quicker, sell more and get that competitive advantage because it saves you a conversation,” explains Beth with Venveo.
Want Even More Insight?
We asked Craig if he had any other tips for builders and manufacturers who want to create better experiences for future clients. “Make sure any image enhances your asset, doesn't depreciate [it],” says Craig. “You actually can share an immersive experience. It's going to create a whole new level of excitement.”
Be sure to listen to the full episode for more exciting insights into virtual reality.
Learn even more about how visualization tools are helping today’s building materials brands, and be sure to subscribe to the Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast for more tips and strategies on building your brand.