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Does a virtual showroom increase business?

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Does a virtual showroom increase business?

By making online meetings, shared files, and pinboard accounts readily available, you will be able to provide faster service for them, and save time for yourself.

January 3, 2014
This article first appeared in the PR January 2014 issue of Pro Remodeler.

Our use of a virtual showroom continues to be one of the main reasons clients want to do business with our company, Design Build Pros, based in Toms River, N.J.

In the year since the article, “Tips to create a virtual showroom,” appeared in the February 2013 issue of Professional Remodeler, several remodelers have contacted our firm to find out how to start their own, how to outsource, and/or how to improve their existing virtual showrooms. I believe the importance of 3D design and a virtual platform to review projects in development will continue to grow in the years to come.

Requests for 3D design from homeowners have also increased significantly in the last year. In years past, we had to sell our clients on the benefits the service provides. Homeowners today have already seen 3D design on HGTV or the DIY network, and sold themselves on the notion that they want to “see it before they build it.”  They are now actively seeking 3D design. 

3D design increasing project size

In 2013, we also saw the average project size increase in scope and overall investment. Many of the items in the scope that add cost do not have the same impact on a 2D plan that a 3D view can provide.

For example, a “bypass shower door” and “frameless shower door” listed in your work scope may not have a visual impact to the client, but a 3D image of their bathroom showing the difference will help justify the additional cost of the frameless door. The additional costs for upgraded trim packages are easily depicted as well.

Homeowners are becoming more tech-savvy each year. Older generations are adapting and now accepting new technology. Millennials also are rapidly becoming a part of our client base. Both ends of that spectrum want easy, fast, and virtually on-demand service. By making online meetings, shared files, and pinboard accounts readily available, you will be able to provide faster service for them, and save time for yourself.

In addition to our standard Design-Build Development Agreements, we have expanded our design services in additional areas. Real estate agents are a perfect connection to any remodeler with design ability. Most cannot see the hidden potential in a home. We create design books for homes on the market to show changes like simple paint and flooring, as well as kitchen remodels and additions.

We place our logo, contact information, and cards in the book, so all prospective buyers see our information, and contact us to work on that, or any other home they purchase.

If the real estate agent works with 203k loans, you may be able to sell a project with the purchase of the home.

House lifting has become a major factor in many coastal areas. Even if the home design does not change, how high it is lifted, the foundation finish, and the new entryways will affect any home’s aesthetics. Creating a good design for a homeowner will give you a significant advantage when securing an order for the non-lift items that go into a house lift.

Numerous visual design options

One of the most significant impacts our approach has made over the past several years has been to offer design options. Providing only one design leads to a yes/no conclusion.

By offering three different options, the conclusion should be yes—one of the three, or a portion of each.

We have enhanced this approach by making the third option our WOW plan. We candidly tell a client that we are going to show a plan that is above their budget (within reason for the client, neighborhood, and home) to showcase some potential upgrades. Any upgrades can be added to the first two plans, or taken away from the third to bring it back in line with the budget.

This allows our clients to upsell themselves proving that a virtual showroom can increase a remodelers profit margin. PR
Jason Parsons is a remodeling project designer for Design Build Pros, which provides in-home sales services throughout N.J., eastern Pa., and remote design services nationally. Parsons can be reached at 800.451.2066 or jparsons@designbuildpros.com. Follow Parsons on Twitter @jpremodeler.

By making online meetings, shared files, and pinboard accounts readily available, you will be able to provide faster service for them, and save time for yourself.


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