Seeing is Believing

Virtual home design software makes a visible difference for builders and buyers

20 Clubs
Councils and Committees
Contact: Kari Tamminga
Product Director, Paradigm


It’s easy to see. Virtual home design and visualization technology is leaving a mark on the homebuilding industry.

Accelerated in part by the need for social distancing during the pandemic, advances in virtual design software are streamlining the design and selling processes for builders. At the same time, virtual visualization is simplifying and improving home selection for homebuyers, by offering the tools to make confident buying decisions.

Just as quickly as its technical evolution, homebuyer acceptance of the virtual environment is growing. Choosing interior and exterior features online, 3D walkthroughs, virtual neighborhood tours, and lot selection aids are becoming must-haves for your homebuyers.

According to a Google study of homebuyers, 67 percent of survey participants said they want a virtual tour. More than 70 percent of new construction buyers in a Zillow study said 3D tours, rather than still photographs, would help them feel better about a space – up from 51 percent a year ago.

The same Zillow study found 56 percent of new construction buyers felt they wasted time looking at properties they would have dismissed had they fully understood the floor plan. And 74 percent of new construction buyers agreed or somewhat agreed that “a dynamic floor plan allowing them to connect photos to a specific part of the house would help them determine if the home is right for them.”

Keeping it Real

From Paradigm’s point of view, we’re seeing that builders appreciate and expect the ability to engage buyers in the design and sales processes online. Features such as virtual walkthroughs, neighborhood tours, online lot selection, and configurable floor plansare becoming as much a part of the buying process as model homes, driving through neighborhoods, and in-person design consultations. And in many cases, a blending of the virtual and in-person experience enables builders to improve design and selection efficiency, while elevating the overall homebuying experience.

For example, Paradigm Omni’s virtual neighborhood tours showcase to prospective buyers what a finished community will look like before it’s fully built. Understandably, it’s pretty uninspiring for buyers to see a farm field with empty streets and lots. Showing what that final product will look like in a 3D virtual tour helps them imagine their life in a finished neighborhood, which improves homebuyers’ability to visualize and make decisive choices and move the process forward.

Same goes for interactive maps. While neighborhood maps have been around for a while, Paradigm’s interactive maps can update and show lot availability in real time and allow builders to set restrictions that ensure the selected home and lot are compatible. Once the homeowner picks a model and lot, the map links directly to a configurable floor plan and 3D model where the homebuyer can seamlessly make design selections, knowing their dream home is actually buildable.

Bottom line

The growth and acceptance of virtual home design software and visualization technology is changing the business of new home construction. When integrated with a builder’s website, it gives buyers the ability to confidently find a community, reserve a lot, visualize and price models, pick structural options, and make material selections for the whole home. The result is a streamlined selection process for buyer and builderand increased buyer satisfaction, becausethey can see more of what they’re getting before it’s actually built.

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