This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Richard Penny of homeAR joins Greg and Kevin to discuss the capabilities that augmented reality technology has to significantly enhance the home buyer customer experience.
The home building industry as a whole is lagging behind other industries when it comes to technology. Richard says,
“When you think about the customer experience of buying a new home relative to pretty much anything else you purchase … those experiences have been transformed out of sight by technology. So, relative to anything else you purchase, the buyer experience for a new home is, I think, objectively garbage. And that’s not to, you know, knock anybody out there. I just think we need to do better, and if we do better, we will get the rewards.”
Augmented reality allows builders to show potential buyers a virtual home in the context of the world that it’s going to be built. Richard explains,
“But this is quite a different experience, being able to walk around it in life-size. It gives, you know, a real perspective of the home, a feel for the dimensions in the space…the ability to be able to view corridors and be able to appreciate ‘What is the view going to be like out of my bedroom window?’ ‘What’s it going to be like when I’m sitting having a glass of wine on the back porch?’ ‘What’s it going to be like when I’m making dinner? Can I see the kids playing in the yard when I’m preparing food?’ Those are the things that people are trying to get a feel when they’re looking to buy a new home and they’re using whatever tools they can to try and imagine themselves in that home.”
The utilization of augmented reality tools can improve customer experience, help strengthen builder brands, and advance the entire home building industry. Richard says,
“Over the last few years, it’s been possible to use fear and FoMo to sell homes, right? People have been whipped into a frenzy. I’ve got to get in now cause I’m going to miss out. Well, that might work in boom times, but it doesn’t build a brand experience that endures and it doesn’t move our industry forward. This industry can be much bigger. We can build more homes, we can put more people into homes they want if we do a better job of delivering a great buyer experience, and that’s ultimately what we are here to try and achieve.”
Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about how augmented reality tools can help home builders show and sell more homes.
About the Guest:
Richard Penny is Founder & CEO of homeAR, the experiential sales and marketing platform for new home builders. homeAR uses the unique capabilities of augmented reality (AR) to bridge the “understanding gap” between builder and buyer – to help sellers sell and buyers buy. Founded in New Zealand in 2018, homeAR was born from a combination of Richard’s personal frustration with his own new build experience and the emergence of important technologies that have the power to solve the previously-unsolvable challenges faced by the construction industry.
The initial insight that AR can eliminate uncertainty and friction that holds back new home sales has since evolved into homeAR’s mission – to unlock the powers of digital commerce for new homes.
homeAR’s customers now include some of the world’s most forward-thinking builders and property developers, creating homes from Auckland to Austin and from affordable housing to high-end luxury real estate.
Richard is a long-time marketer with self-confessed “geeky tendencies.” Prior to founding homeAR, Richard co-founded a digital marketing agency where, in addition to doing work for great clients such as Microsoft, they had an active R&D program that focused on technologies such as progressive web apps, beacons, and augmented reality.
Richard is fortunate to live on New Zealand’s Hibiscus Coast with his family and their numerous pets.