5 Ways Builders can Save Time and Money with “Virtual” Model Homes


For decades now, builders have been spending a tremendous amount of time, resources, and money in constructing physical model homes to sell new developments.

While the initial investment is steep, model homes are seen by most builders as their #1 sales tool, because they allow customers to visualize their future home before making one of the biggest purchase decision of their lives.

Despite being a powerful sales tool, building model homes has some major drawbacks. For example, getting approvals and permits alone can take months, and in some cases years, which causes major delays in launching and selling a project. Model homes also require a large up-front cash flow investment which often only large builders can afford.

Fortunately there is a powerful alternative to building a physical model home that avoids these drawbacks — it is called the “virtualmodel home, which is the digital twin of the model home.

Instead of constructing a physical model home, builders now have the opportunity of “building” their model homes entirely using 3D graphics technology in less time, and at a fraction of the cost.

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Here are 5 ways builders can save time & money with virtual model homes

1 - Launch Projects Months Sooner

The process of getting permits, approvals and constructing a model home takes a lot of time. These delays can be further compounded by bad weather, along with material and labour shortages.

In some cases, these delays can last anywhere from months to even years, leading to escalating carrying costs that erode the profitability of a project.

These costly delays are completely avoidable with virtual model homes. From start to finish, a virtual model home can be “built” in 3D in just 4 weeks flat.

Having a virtual model home ready in 4 weeks is a big deal, because it means that builders can launch months sooner save on expensive carrying costs.

Builder’s need to dedicate a team of staff to bring a physical model home to fruition. The time demands of planning, getting approvals, constructing, furnishing, decorating, operating and maintaining physical model homes can require many months of work effort.

This work effort includes countless meetings with architectural design firms, city planning and building departments, project managers, interior designers, manufacturers, trades, etc.

With virtual model homes the months of hours spent on these activities are not required. Since virtual model homes are constructed in 3D, all the headaches of getting approvals, managing trades, staging the model home and so on are avoided.

By using virtual model homes builders can free up their staff to work on other more important priorities.


When building a physical model home, a considerable amount of cash is needed to fund the process of getting permits, constructing, upgrading and furnishing the model home.

With multifamily townhome and mid/high rise projects in particular it is often infeasible to build a model home. 

Unlike constructing physical model homes, virtual model homes are created in 3D which is far less expensive. As a result, with virtual model homes, builders can dramatically reduce the amount of money they spend upfront, and reserve these funds to ensure they have cash flow available to deal with other costly unknowns that happen as a project progresses.

Physical model homes have a wide range of carrying costs.

Carrying costs include interest payments on the land while waiting for the model home to be approved and built. They include construction financing loans on the model home itself. Once the model home is built, carrying costs include insurance costs, operational costs, maintenance and cleaning costs, utility costs, and staffing costs. Often all these carry costs add up to hundreds-of-thousands over the duration of a project. 

Unlike physical model homes, virtual model homes are made using 3D technology and have none of these carrying costs. This results in massive savings for builders, as they can avoid the monthly carrying costs that really add up over the duration of the project.

No matter how well a model home is constructed, it must be beautifully furnished and staged to bring feelings of comfort, enjoyment, and warmth.

A home that is not staged has the opposite effect – creating feelings of emptiness and isolation – which lowers the perceived value of the entire home.

Knowing the importance of staging model homes, many builders spend hundreds-of-thousands of dollars hiring interior designer agencies, and purchasing or renting designer furniture and accessories.

Unlike physical model homes, our virtual model homes, called INVENT MODEL HOMES, are staged virtually, in 3D, using our in-house online Library App.

Our Library App has thousands of high-end designer furniture, décor, and art pieces that builders can use to create beautifully staged spaces. Staging a space is really easy. To stage and furnish spaces, builders just drag-and-drop 3D items onto their floor plan using a web browser, tablet or phone.

Best of all, we give access to our Library App for free when builder’s purchase an INVENT MODEL HOME, so builders don’t need to spend a dime on furnishing, decorating and staging spaces.


Constructing physical model homes comes with many drawbacks. They require a lot of upfront cash. The time and delays getting approvals and constructing the model often leads to months of delays, and often carrying costs grow far beyond initial projections. Builders also need to devote a team of staff to manage the headaches of building model homes. When all these drawbacks are considered it becomes clear that model homes add a lot of friction to a project, and can add months to the entire project lifecycle.

For many builders, virtual model homes are a better option over constructing a model home, as they avoid many of these drawbacks. Virtual model homes allow builders to grow their business faster because they can launch projects months sooner, reduce the up-front cash flow requirements, and save millions in expenses.

Ready to try a Virtual Model Home?

Click here to explore a 360 Virtual Tour of our version of a virtual model home, which we call an INVENT MODEL HOME.

Back Story — This virtual model home was created by Invent Dev for the “Whitby Grove” project located in Whitby, Ontario, for TruLife Developments, a leading and innovative builder in Toronto, Canada.

Instead of constructing a physical model home, which would have delayed the project and been a major upfront expense, TruLife used Invent Dev to create a INVENT MODEL HOME which saved millions in expenses.

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