Technology has become a ubiquitous part of the user experience across nearly every industry. Take television as an example – viewers are now able to select when and where they watch programs and subscribe to various services to meet their individual preferences. Users expect to watch what they want on their personal schedule.

Similarly, the new generation of home buyers is interested in having a say in the design process. They want to work with builders to efficiently select products that meet their needs and aesthetic preferences. In fact, a survey conducted by the Bokka Group found that in 2015 more than 95 percent of potential home buyers considered a virtual design center influential in making a purchase from a particular home builder.

This suggests that the vast majority of home buyers consider digital content to be an important part of the home buying process. More so, when builders provide a digital portal, it not only can contribute to more conversions to sales, but also can help make each sale more efficient. Informed home buyers have more time to review appliances and consider upgrades on their schedule, then enter meetings with designers with an understanding of what options are available to them.

Overall, this increases client satisfaction, speeds along the design process and gives builders an opportunity to bundle more products into each sale.

One system available to builders is Envision. With a manufacturer consortium including Whirlpool Corporation, Kohler, Progress Lighting and Hearth and Home Technologies, among many others, Envision gives home buyers access to product info and marketing content for the products that can be installed in their homes. This enables builders to promote products that specifically apply to an individual home sale and gives buyers the power to educate themselves on their own time.

According to Envision, builders can experience a 15 to 30 percent increase in option sales on average after the design center is implemented. Providing a digital portal will also help reduce operational costs and improve client satisfaction.

For today’s consumers, technology is no longer a novelty. Instead, digital resources that provide a unique user experience are the new status quo. In general, the housing industry has lagged behind in meeting this demand from buyers. By transitioning to digital, builders have a distinct opportunity to give clients more insight into decision­making processes and to develop a closer emotional connection to their homes, while simultaneously improving their business operations.

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