The property industry knows how to spend a lot of money on marketing! That is a simple fact. As an organisation that has done business in Dubai and the Middle East for many years, I will never forget the excesses of the marketing undertaken by Developers promoting projects in the Middle East. This was most fully demonstrated at the wonderful exhibition – Cityscape Dubai. Here is a link to a walk through video of some of the models that were built for Cityscape Dubai in 2007. I think it would be fair to say that millions of dollars was spent on models alone.
I would argue that models, and this kind of excess, has to be confined to the pages of history. In the modern world of reduced budgets, mobile customers and international markets, physical models such as these just do not cut it. Why? Here are a few reasons:
– 1. Deadlines. When was the last time a physical model was supplied on time? Almost never. The process simply is extremely time consuming and inevitably something that must be completed by a small number of staff with the suitable skills. This makes delivery painfully slow.
– 2. Cost. Physical models, for all of the reasons mentioned above, are expensive.
– 3. Physical constraints. It is very difficult to simply bundle up your physical model and throw it on a plane to Hong Kong, or Milan or anywhere for that matter. Worse still it will often turn up damaged. Physical models simply are very difficult to move.
– 4. Evolution. We all know about DA changes, extra levels being added, masterplan changes and so on. If any of this occurs, your physical model is pretty much a throw away.
And yet a model provides some fundamentally important information to a prospect. When selling property off the plan, there is no doubt that visualisation of the final product is a huge advantage in selling a quality product. The majority of us are more visual learners (up to 65%) as opposed to auditory and kinaesthetic learners – so we love to look at things and learn more by doing so.
So the question is how do we overcome the limitations of a physical model, and yet deliver a sales medium that educates (sells!) to our prospects? We believe that interactive touchscreen models are the answer.
Let me be clear that I don’t necessarily mean a physical 60″ touchscreen. This technology will work as equally as well on a tablet, however when it comes to visualisation, big is better. If you need convincing check out that Cityscape Dubai video again.
With the evolution of technology over the past 5 years, touchscreen can now deliver a fantastic representation of a property development, delivering many of the same benefits of a physical model, and also adding in a few new ones. With the rapid reduction of the cost of TV’s and the rapid increase in their physical size, large scale touchscreens really have come into their own. It is now very affordable to have one or even two large touchscreens in even a smaller project’s display suite – and certainly affordable enough to have a touchscreen at seminars and exhibitions. With the inherent ease to setup and install the underlying program, it really is realistic to say that a touchscreen solution can be deployed at all significant events – notwithstanding the physical location. This in itself opens up a whole new world in the way that Developers and Project Marketers can run Seminars and Exhibitions, and of course set up a Display Suites.
So to summarise the benefits:
1. Mobility. A touchscreen solution can be easily deployed to multiple locations. We have clients that have touchscreen solutions in their display suites, the corporate head office, take it to local and international seminars and even place them in the offices of key stakeholders and business introducers.
2. Adaptability. Making a change to a touchscreen solution is possible, and far easier than a physical model. We recently had a client who added a further 2 levels to a building. Not an insignificant amount of work to change the touchscreen solution, but it was possible without having to start again.
3. Cost. Cost of touchscreen solutions in my experience is generally lower than building physical models. This price differential increases as the size and complexity of the project increases. In other words touchscreens become proportionally less expensive for larger projects/buildings.
4. Faster to produce. It is a simple fact that the production of physical models is a bit of a specialist art. Whilst quality IT people may be relatively hard to find, they are certainly more abundant than quality model builders. This makes production easier and inevitably faster. Deadlines are therefore far easier to hit.
5. New Features. With a touchscreen we can introduce a whole heap of new features that can enrich the experience in a way a model simply can not. Live availability for one is a fantastically powerful way to get a prospect deeply involved in exploring the project, and progressing down the sales track. Interactive location maps, travel times, floorplans and more all add to these multi-layered ‘exploratory’ process.
6. VAK’s learning. As I touched on above, most people learn primarily through a visual process. However auditory and kinaesthetic learning are all used as well to differing degrees and are the primary learning styles of a significant % of people. A touchscreen solution stimulates all of these learning styles – kinaesthetic through the physical touch exploration process, and of course audio by taking advantage of the speakers in the device. A well constructed touchscreen solution can therefore extend the learning process and lead to a far deeper level of interaction with the prospect than physical models can.
To have a quick look at some of the touchscreen solutions that we have been developing click here. If you are interested in implementing a new and more innovative ‘model solution’ for the launch of your next project, we would love to talk to you.