To say the pandemic has rewritten the home selling playbook is understatement. The slow fade of the model home seems all but inevitable as online shopping conquers all. It’s no secret most millennials would consider making an offer on a home they toured only virtually. Nearly 40% said they’re comfortable buying a home online.

But how far should homebuilders carry the online experience after the home is sold?

The nation’s largest privately held homebuilder believes new homebuyers should also expect a rich, immersive online experience, post-sale.

To prove their point, California-based Shea Homes supercharges their network of in-person Design Studios with a virtual home design platform that goes far beyond the expected computer rendering of a generic kitchen.

Selection Challenge

“We focus on a great customer experience,” explains Janet Benavidez, national vice president of sales and marketing for Shea Homes. “It’s difficult and stressful for customers to review hundreds of choices in a 6x6-inch countertop tile and then visualize how it looks with the backsplash they just selected.”

It’s one thing to use computer visualization to see how flooring, countertops, cabinets, backsplashes and appliances plays together in a computer-simulated generic kitchen. How does it look in the homebuyer’s house? No guesswork. No make-believe kitchen. A photo-realistic view of the homebuyer’s actual kitchen, bathroom, dining room, any room.

Next-Gen Visualization

Shea Home’s next-gen visualizer uses the homebuyer’s floor plan to present wow-moment virtual tours, high-resolution renderings and video fly-throughs to showcase the new home.

The visualization platform – called Roomored, powered by ILG – reinvents the homebuyer selection process. “Roomored presents the entire home, every single room, as it appears on the floor plan. Customers have the flexibility to tour their home and design each room as if they were walking through it. It makes the selection process more enjoyable and less stressful.”

For Shea Homes, that’s just the beginning:

  • Appointment Time Reduced up to 50%. “Our customers love the tool. They come into our Design Center so much better prepared. Some appointment times have been reduced in half because they know what we offer and have already identified their preferences,” reports Benavidez.
  • Designers Better Prepared. Roomored provides a valuable heads-up to Design Center staff about selections. They’re able to gather samples in advance of the meeting helping streamline the process even more.
  • Fewer Change Orders. “The visualizer is a game changer for us,” Benavidez says. “Many times customers second-guess themselves. Now they’re better able to see the full impact of their design decisions. They select materials with more confidence. We’re seeing less rework and tear-outs.”
  • Stickier Customer Engagement. In Shea’s recently opened communities in the San Diego market the homebuilder has recorded 98,000 customer sessions on Roomored since the first quarter of last year. The average session time: 20 minutes. “That engagement with customers has been huge for us,” Benavidez observes.
  • No Model Home? No Problem. Roomored helps do the heavy lifting on pre-selling in markets where the model home isn’t finished. Photo-realism helps spur selling excitement.

Shea Homes is delighted by Roomored’s competitive edge and performance. But technology doesn’t stand still. Benavidez and her team are now hard at work considering even more powerful customer engagement solutions.

Learn more about how Roomored can help differentiate your brand with homebuyer convenience, selection confidence and wow-moment excitement.