Without the benefit of model homes, The Legends at Half Hollow in Melville, N.Y., managed to presell 15 high-end homes for an average of $1.6 million, about twice the price of its nearest competitor. "We needed to set the tone for luxury," says Gabe Pasquale, vice president of marketing for Spectrum Skanska in Valhalla, N.Y., the project's builder and developer.

With a mix of marble and faux finishes, rich colors, columns, and a domed rotunda over a large topographic table, the 2,223-square-foot sales pavilion invites, educates, and initiates the sales process.

But the real differentiating point is a screening room where prospects take detailed virtual reality (VR) tours of any or all of the project's six models. Treating the VRs like real model homes, Pasquale hired a merchandiser and interior designer to map a buyer profile, set color palettes, and place furnishings and artwork in cyber-reality.

The VRs, burned on a looped DVD and displayed on a large plasma screen television, allow sales associates to take prospects through the overall project and its amenities, around the exterior of each home, and progress room by room through each model, or just those of the buyers' choosing. About half of Legends buyers to date attribute their purchase to the VRs. "It's by far a cut above the market," Pasquale says.

Spectrum Skanska's inviting 2,223-square-foot sales pavilion features a screening room where prospects can take virtual reality tours of the luxury homes.
Courtesy Spectrum Skanska Spectrum Skanska's inviting 2,223-square-foot sales pavilion features a screening room where prospects can take virtual reality tours of the luxury homes.

Campaign Details

Program: Sales office; Builder/Developer: Spectrum Skanska, Valhalla, N.Y.; Price: from $1 million; Interior designer: Lita Dirks & Co., Englewood, Colo.; Sales office designer/Sign company: Twin Visions, Howell, N.Y.