iStock

Let’s play a new game. It’s called Life Values, and it lays out a whole new paradigm for envisioning, realizing and living in a new home.

The object of this online game is to enable home buyers to configure everything they want and dream of in a new home based on specific life-stage and life-style conditions, habits and future needs. Just plug in personalized options for space, style and finishes, and play.

Like most online games, Life Values is programmed with artificial intelligence. It automatically calculates affordability and conjures a monthly mortgage scenario from basic financial data. It warns against wasted square footage and unnecessary embellishments that don’t suit life-stage and lifestyle parameters. It won’t let players spend money they don’t have.

It also accounts for a builder’s baseline level of performance specs that underpin safety, comfort, health, security, resiliency, energy and water efficiency and sustainability. All that stuff is standard, of course – buyers won’t play unless it is – and reflected in lower mortgage rates and insurance premiums depending on how far the builder goes beyond code minimum.

Once everything is selected, confirmed and calculated, the game’s virtual reality mode kicks in, creating the house in photo-realistic CGI experience from the curb to the countertops and everything in-between. As buyers walk through their dream home, they get a true sense of its functionality, spatial relationships and the finishes they selected – and can make (and see) affordable changes to their initial choices on the fly.

They also get educated about their home’s performance qualities along the way, as a simple click causes walls, floors and roofs to peel away and reveal detailed depictions of their assemblies and systems, complete with descriptive call-outs and links to short videos showing how they were built … and why it matters.

When buyers hit the “confirm” button at the end of the tour, their pre-approved, construction-to-permanent mortgage loan through a lender of their choice is set in motion while the building schedule is plotted in their PC’s calendar.

That’s also when their relationship with a builder begins. And in Life Values, that connection is approached in an entirely new way.

You see, in Life Values, the purchase of a home is not viewed by the builder as a one-time sale, but rather the cultivation of a “customer for life” that provides multiple layers of value. It requires an extraordinary level of customer service and a commitment to keeping track of every new home through its entire life.

In this paradigm, the builder is all about providing dedicated, comprehensive services that make the lives of their homeowners easier and enhance their living experience. The builder’s team has complete command over every detail of each home’s performance and maintenance in a non-intrusive way that delivers freedom, peace of mind, and total satisfaction to the customer.

Example: A home care portal and online dashboard set up by the builder educates homeowners on every aspect of their home down to the nail and provides an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator (read: Siri) with answers to any question. The portal alerts owners to routine maintenance, complete with model numbers and photos, nearby suppliers, DIY videos, and certified service providers, as needed.

Performance is monitored and reported in real time to minimize monthly utility costs (such as they are for a net-zero energy and water-use home) and address anomalies immediately. Regular check-ups scheduled by the builder in sync with the owner’s schedule act like preventive medicine to avoid catastrophic conditions.

The good news is that no one loses at Life Values … unless they don’t play. There are only winners – your business and your home buyers. One thing: The game doesn’t exist yet. But you’d better believe it’s coming.