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Partners In Space: New Programs Help Rent, Design Homes

Meritage Home buyers choose from coordinated options at Design Centers

With all due respect to the casual training offered by the professionals on HGTV, a lot of home renters and buyers simply have trouble envisioning how a space can work. Two new applications can help real estate civilians get a better feel for how they can arrange and decorate their potential living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and more.

For renters, virtual staging, CGI and 3D modeling platform roOomy has partnered with Toll Brothers Apartment Living to create TBAL Staged for Magic Leap powered by roOomy, a custom application for Magic Leap’s spatial computing device, Magic Leap 1, a lightweight, wearable spatial computer that allowing renters to see how a space could be furnished.

“Visualization remains a critical challenge for home renters and buyers but also presents a unique opportunity to tap into immersive technology that allows consumers to envision their dream home,” said Pieter Aarts, CEO and co-founder of San Jose, California-based roOomy.

The adoption of cross reality (XR) technologies is growing in the real estate industry, especially as prospective home buyers and renters demand solutions that bring streamlined convenience to the home search process. According to a 2018 roOomy study, nearly 40% of home seekers have difficulties visualizing themselves living in a space and/or finding a property that meets their preferred styles.

A leader in the adoption of innovative smart home technology, Toll Brothers Apartment Living is exploring how the app could assist prospects in the decision-making process and will pilot the app at select apartment communities.

“TBAL Staged is a prime example of how sophisticated technology can simplify and enhance the decision-making process,” said John Piedrahita, national director of brand and marketing for Toll Brothers Apartment Living. “It adds another dimension to the leasing experience, and by providing a high-quality visualization of the space, we can increase their confidence in their choice of residence before they even sign the lease.”

Homebuyers shouldn’t feel left out: Scottsdale, Arizona-based Meritage Homes has launched Design Collections, an industry-first approach to the design process offering curated options for move-up buyers overwhelmed by the combinations of cabinets, flooring and backsplashes they encounter when buying a new-construction home.

According to a Wakefield study commissioned by Meritage Homes, buyers of new home construction found a few key barriers to the process which centered around three main concerns: the time needed to design the interior of their new home, making cohesive style choices and sticking to their budget.

Nearly 40% percent of buyers responding to the study spent more than 20 hours in the design center throughout the course of the building process, making multiple trips to the design center to finalize their choices. And even then, more than one-third (37%) said that their homes didn’t turn out the way they wanted. Add in the fact that 45% of buyers exceeded their original upgrade by over $21,000 on average and the process becomes an expensive exercise in frustration.

Design Collections by Meritage Homes are designer-curated collections that enable buyers to confidently and efficiently style their home through a streamlined and personalized experience at the Studio M Design Center. Instead of searching through thousands of samples, buyers select from collections built around expertly coordinated flooring, cabinets, countertops and more. Clear, transparent pricing allows them to select high-quality finishes for a greater value.

TBAL Staged for Magic Leap powered by roOomy offers renters ideas on utilizing their space
TBAL Staged for Magic Leap powered by roOomy offers renters ideas on utilizing their space

“I am proud of how our entire organization took a step back to really listen to homebuyers about the pain points of building a new home and then developed an innovative, first-to-market offering that empowers our buyers to select their styles with confidence while streamlining the entire process,” said Steve Hilton, CEO of Meritage Homes. “We’ve coupled the new Design Collections offering with our transparent pricing to ensure buyers understand costs clearly while saving them time by reducing the number of design center trips needed to complete their dream home.”

The curated Design Collections reduce the time buyers need to spend in the design center from more than 20 hours to three hours on average, without sacrificing choice, the company said. At the Studio M Design Centers, buyers can select from a variety of different styles, from traditional to transitional, to modern. The Studio M Design Centers and Meritage Homes’ Design Collections are now available across Meritage Homes’ communities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas and will be open in all of the company’s major markets early this year.

Take that, HGTV.