Help Homebuilders Help You

by Salem Baer

From the pouring of the foundation to the selecting of bathroom hardware, and everything in between, the road to a finished home is filled with an infinite mix of exciting, tedious, and daunting decisions homebuilders walk their customers through. Building materials and home finishes vendors have a massive opportunity to distinguish themselves by easing that decision process, both for the builders and consumers. Several manufacturers are levering digital to elevate their brand by helping home builders better engage their customers, offer more selections, and make the decision process faster.

Engage Consumers

Many of the decisions a consumer faces require a meeting where the homebuilder either shares drawings or physical samples, or coordinates time with a designer or specialist. As excited as a customer may be about a new kitchen or back patio, these meetings can be time-consuming, tiresome, and, sometimes, plain boring. New technology offers a more effective, engaging ways for customers to visualize their product offerings than traditional samples or drawings.

Cambria Quartz recently released an augmented reality app that allows consumers and contractors to virtually sample Cambria’s countertop and surface options in a space. The app uses Apple’s newly launched ARKit technology to allow homeowners or contractors to virtually map countertops and then overlay them with Cambria surfaces. Tools like these provide a far more compelling experience, differentiating manufacturers in the industry.

Offer More Selections

Having more product options readily available and easy to visualize can significantly improve builders’ close rate. Digital tools can play a huge role here. In the case of Cambria AR, the app lets users choose from over 50 Cambria designs and swap back-and-forth to see how the design will look.Similarly, Sherwin-Williams has made it easier than ever to browse and find the perfect paint color from their thousands of selections with their Color-Snap Visualize. The app lets users filter through their color cards or match a color from any photo and see how the paint reacts to lighting change in a sample scene.

Make Faster (and More Accurate) Decisions

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a 3D online configurator is worth several hour-long meetings. This is what Organized Living, one of our partners, discovered after we built their Closet Selector. The Closet Selector is an online tool that allows builders, dealers, or consumers quickly specify closet dimensions, play around with color schemes and different storage products, and then purchase the entire custom closet with a simple click. Builders using the tool to sell closets have reported a significant reduction in time needed for customers to understand and purchase a solution. In addition to the time-savings, the Closet Selector removes the chance of ordering the wrong quantity, type, or size of a product with built-in closet assembly rules (you can read more about the behind-the-scenes technology here.)

From the start to finish of a renovation project, builders have countless meetings and decisions to walk their customers through. And for each of those decisions, there are several vendors they can choose from. Differentiate your company with digital and become builders’ vendor of choice by helping them engage their customers, offer more selections, and reduce time spent in meetings, on paperwork, and fixing errors.

If you’re looking for ways to bring digital into your business, we’d love to help. Differential is a digital innovation agency that uses a startup-like approach to enable partners to invent, prototype, test and build digital products to drive growth and keep them ahead of the innovation curve. You can learn more about the way we work here or, feel free to reach out and tell us about what you’re working on here.

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