How a leading national developer reinvented homebuyer choice


To say the pandemic has rewritten the home selling playbook is an understatement. The slow fading of the model home seems all but inevitable as online shopping takes over everyone. It’s no secret that most millennials would consider making an offer on a home they’ve only viewed virtually. Almost 40% said they enjoy buying a home online.

But how far should home builders carry the online experience after the home has been sold?

The country’s largest private homebuilder believes new homebuyers should expect a rich, immersive online experience even after the sale.

To prove their point, California-based Shea Homes is expanding its network of personal design studios with a virtual home design platform that goes far beyond the expected computer rendering of a generic kitchen.

Choice Challenge

“We’re focused on providing a great customer experience,” said Janet Benavidez, national vice president of sales and marketing at Shea Homes. “It’s difficult and stressful for clients to review hundreds of choices in a 6″x6″ countertop tile and then envision how it will look with the backsplash they’ve just chosen.”

It’s one thing to use computer visualization to see how floors, countertops, cabinets, backsplashes, and appliances interact in a computer-simulated generic kitchen. What does the homebuyer’s house look like? No guesses. No mock kitchen. A photorealistic view of the homebuyer’s actual kitchen, bathroom, dining room, or any room.

Next generation visualization

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

The visualization platform – dubbed Roomored, powered by ILG – is reinventing the homebuyer selection process. “Roomed represents the entire house, each individual room, as it appears on the floor plan. Customers have the flexibility to tour their home and design each room as if they are walking through it. This makes the selection process more pleasant and less stressful.”

For Shea Homes, this is just the beginning:

  • Appointments reduced by up to 50%. “Our customers love the tool. You come to our design center that much better prepared. Some appointment times have halved because they know what we offer and have already identified their preferences,” reports Benavidez.
  • Designers better prepared. Roomored provides design center staff with valuable selection guidance. You are able to collect pre-meeting samples to further streamline the process.
  • Fewer change orders. “The Visualizer is a game changer for us,” says Benavidez. “Many customers question themselves. Now they can better see the full impact of their design choices. They choose materials with more confidence. We see less rework and tearouts.”
  • Stronger customer engagement. In Shea’s recently opened communities in the San Diego market, the home builder 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 tremendous for us,” notes Benavidez.
  • No model house? No problem. Roomored helps with pre-sales in markets where the model home is not yet ready. Photorealism helps increase sales excitement.

Shea Homes is excited about Roomored’s competitive advantage and performance. But the technology does not stand still. Benavidez and her team are now working hard to consider even more powerful customer retention solutions.

Learn more about how Roomored can help differentiate your brand through homebuyer convenience, confidence in choice and excitement with wow moments.


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