By BUILDER Magazine Staff. Shea Homes for Active Adults, a division of Shea Homes, had such a positive experience using Alpha Vision's virtual presentation system for sales presentations during its initial 18 months using the tool that the builder integrated Alpha Vision into its overall sales process for its Trilogy at Rio Vista, Calif., project.

Sam Nail, Shea's sales and marketing technologies manager, says the virtual presentation system helped Shea save $750,000 in model-home maintenance costs. Alpha Vision lets Shea salespeople take customers through a virtual walkthrough of a model. Staff show customers a view of the front of the house and a 360-degree view all around the house. They can also show customers each room, including different color packages, elevations on floor plans, and structural options such as bay windows versus regular windows.

"This system takes the guesswork out of what the option will look like,'' explains Nail. "It's easier for customers to spend more money on an option when they can see the benefit.''

Despite the company's positive experience with Alpha Vision, Nail says Shea went back to building some model homes for new communities after business dipped following the Sept. 11 attacks. Now, customers view the virtual version of the model before they visit the real thing. Nail adds Shea will use Alpha Vision's virtual presentation tool on other new communities, depending on how receptive each local market is to doing business with virtual reality technology.