UPDATE: The St. Leslieville Church Lofts have broken ground and began construction!
In hot markets where condos are priced to sell in hours, a traditional marketing approach with just renderings and videos may be enough to reach sales targets.
St. Leslieville Church Lofts was no such development. Renderings alone could not communicate the luxury, architectural design, and unique charm of the units. Consequently, a conservative marketing campaign led to zero sales over the course of a year.
Something new was needed, so Invent Dev was invited to help with our Digital Model Homes- stunningly realistic replicas of the entire development. With our technology, buyers could interact with, walk around and experience the appeal of luxury lofts both online and in person.
The result? 70% of it units sold within four months following the re-launch.
Beyond Traditional Real Estate Renderings & Videos
The major problem facing the St. Leslieville Church Lofts was not in the product, it was in communicating everything fantastic about that product to potential buyers. The unique design was difficult to visualize. Coupled with the highest per square foot price points in the neighbourhood, the development was not connecting with its target demographic of seniors. After a year, change was necessary.
As a result, project developer DCDC Corp partnered with Lifestyle Custom Homes and invited Invent Dev to try a completely different approach. Together, they redefined the project in three key ways:
- change the target demographic
- introduce a flexible modular home design for more customization options
- invent a new type of visualization called the “Digital Model Home”
Originally, the St. Leslieville Church Lofts were three-story units with a basement – a hard sell for aging populations. By shifting the focus to younger demographics, Invent Dev could connect with people using technologies that showcased the development’s unique approach.
Invent Dev and Lifestyle Custom Homes then introduced highly-flexible floorplan designs that let buyers change the width and even number of levels of their units. By giving customers space to create units that suited both their needs, wants, and price, the development now appealed to different customer profiles and budget ranges.
Customizable units meant physical model homes could not do the development justice. Instead, Invent Dev created Digital Model Homes: dimensionally-accurate, interactive 3D models that could be experienced in sales locations using virtual reality technologies and large touchscreens. Mobile virtual reality and 360 tours were available online to connect with the mobile-preferred, research-heavy buying habits of today’s home buyers. Buyers could step into the most popular builds to see what their custom home would be like before it was even constructed.
Check out one of the experiences we created: http://stleslieville.inventdev.com/
Our Digital Model Homes let users swap out finishes, see the available upgrade and floorplan layout options, and engage in fun activities that appealed to the new demographic of young artists and professionals. More than a static rendering or guided video, these immersive experiences fostered the creativity of potential buyers for a memorable, engaging experience.
Replacing Physical Model Homes
The initial project had a disconnect between the target demographics and the design so Invent Dev created a new marketing experience that put the home buyer in control of the space in a way not seen before in Toronto. This experience appealled to better demographics while showing off the space’s uniqueness. And, by giving the buyer the power to create their dream home, Invent Dev reached a new target market of creative professionals that wanted the ability to express their uniqueness in their home.
Our strategy consisted of four steps:
- Change the floorplans from narrow 4-level units to modular stackable blocks that could be changed by potential home buyers.
- Create dynamic, changeable floorplans that appealed to a wider net of customers. Changes were not just removing a wall or changing the finishes – customers had the ability to select how many levels they wanted and the size of each level.
- Change the product instead of reducing the price. After our relaunch, the price was 13% higher than other developments in the area, yet the development sold over 70% of its units within four months of our relaunch.
- Design a relaunch event focused on the immersive digital model homes and unit customization. Old leads were invited to the event, as well as local press, and several units were sold during the relaunch event.
You can check out a video from our builder partner’s president describing the project and results right here: https://vimeo.com/198288448