2D floorplans have been around for a number of years but were only commercially viable for use on properties at the upper end of the market due to the costs. However, with floorplans about £1 each to produce, they are much more feasible for use on properties of all shapes, sizes and price ranges.
Brian Farrell, Managing Director of Metropix, said, “We find that often agents are keen to include floorplans that stand out from the crowd, so we over a range of personalisation options free as part of a standard subscription. This includes adapting the colours of the plan to match corporate colours, plus the ability to add a logo as a ‘watermark’ on every plan.”
But while 2D plans continue to be the best-selling, Farrell reports that more agents are looking for additional ways to differentiate themselves from their main competitors.
Traditionally, many agents opted for a clear 2D floorplan accompanied by a selection of high quality photographs. Times are changing and the technology is improving, with many software packages now allowing agents to incorporate photos within a floorplan, enabling a house-hunter to click on the icon in the plan to see the view from within the room allowing people to immediately see the room decoration with layout and scale. This service is often available free as part of a standard subscription package with major floorplan suppliers.
Our ‘PicturePlus’ interactive plans have shown strong growth over the last 12 to 18 months,” said Farrell. “It provides buyers with a good visual impression of the property.”
With technology in the sector constantly improving, helping to dramatically increase the quality of floorplans, there has also been a steady uptake of 3D plans and 3D walkthroughs in recent years, according to Farrell.
“3D continues to grow in popularity with some agents using them specifically to stand out from the crowd,” he added.
3D floor plans work particularly well when selling new build homes, according to David Bentley, Head of New Homes at Bidwells.
“Floorplans are important to sales details, particularly when they incorporate dimensions and areas,” he said. “With many of our developer clients, 3D is the best form when selling off -plan or even when you have a finished product, as people can really appreciate the living environment, particularly when they are demonstrated fully furnished.”
However, Annabel Morbey of Smiths Gore’s Stamford office believes that an accurate high quality 2D floorplan is sufficient when selling a property, describing 3D floorplans as “an unnecessary marketing gimmick”.
Ray Dowling, Director at Dowling Jones Design, which provide professional floorplans from around £60 each, among other property services, agrees that 3D floorplans are “a bit of a gimmick”, despite the fact that his company offer this service.
“We offer 3D floor plans, but to be honest they are unnecessary for the average high street agent because punters generally don’t expect or want them,” he said. “In fact, 3D floorplans represent less than one per cent
of our floorplans business.”
Whether favouring 2D or 3D floorplans, many agents may wish to consider offering both, with some floorplan software packages charging no extra for this service, allowing consumers to look at the floorplan that most
appeals to them.
VALUE FOR MONEY
There are lots of high quality professional floorplan companies that can help agents looking to outsource this service, while there are also plenty of property design and floorplan software programmes, tools and packages now available to agents – and homeowners – at very cost-effective rates.
“The best bet is to call around and see what products are on offer and at what price,” advised Paul Jaszynski, Country manager at Zentuvo. “We at Zentuvo are market leaders in five countries so we are able to negotiate best rates with the software developers and pass on these great rates on to our clients.”
VIRTUAL ROOM DESIGNER
Jaszynski says that he is particularly impressed with some of the virtual home planning tools available, thanks to advances in computer software programmes, which allow users to get more involved with a property by allowing them to reinvent each room, from top to bottom, with just the click of a mouse.
He continued, “I think this is a great product and helps applicants to make a decision whether or not to move forward with a certain property. If an applicant isn’t sure if they can fi t in their double bed or corner sofa, this is
a great tool to use and makes the decision making process a lot quicker and easier.”
GET THE BEST PRICE
While nothing ultimately beats viewing a property in person, floorplans are undoubtedly a fundamental must-have marketing tool that can significantly boost consumer interest in a property, helping agents sell or let a home – be it a small float or a grand house – at the best possible price.
● Bairstow Eves www.bairstoweves.co.uk
● Bidwells www.bidwells.co.uk
● Dowling Jones Design www.dowlingjonesdesign.com
● Heathgate www.heathgate.com
● Metropix www.metropix.co.uk
● Rightmove www.rightmove.co.uk
● Smiths Gore www.smithsgore.co.uk
● Stevenette and Co www.stevenette.com
● The Mobile Agent www.themobileagent.co.uk
● Zentuvo UK www.zentuvo.co.uk