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  • Blog: MediaLab 3D Perspectives

    The New Standard in Exterior Renderings

    Front DoorWe recently released our new rendering processes to meet home buyer demand for higher quality images.

    Here’s a look at the data behind the need for sharper exterior renderings…

    Sharpness Sells

    Analysis from Redfin shows that homes with the sharpest 10% of images sold at or above list price 44% of the time, while listings with average sharpness sold at or above list only 13% of the time.

    Additional Analysis by Redfin indicates that getting the sharpest images for your property may result in the following advantages:

    • Receive an average of 61% more views than their peers across all price tiers.
    • Have a 47% higher asking price per square foot.
    • Have an increased likelihood of selling homes priced above $300,000.
    • Stay on the market an average of 10 days less.

    [Read more…]

    14 Reasons Why Homebuilders Must Invest in Mobile [Infographic]

    14 Reasons Homebuilders Must Invest In MobileWe already know home buyers have gone mobile, but we also know the amount of time people are spending on mobile devices is increasing. This means homebuilders must have a mobile strategy in place to provide the information new home buyers are looking for.

    A recent joint study conducted by Google and the National Association of Realtors uncovered the following eye-opening facts about today’s new home buyers:

    • 89% use a mobile search engine
    • 68% use mobile applications
    • 51% read general home information
    • 48% get directions to visit a home
    • 44% compare prices

    Plus, with Millenials having the highest smartphone penetration rates, homebuilders looking to attract these future home buyers need to pay attention.

    Creating the Best Mobile Experience for Home Buyers

    To establish a competitive edge, your mobile site needs to be:

    • Mobile-friendly
    • App-friendly
    • Easy to navigate – especially for mobile users searching for important info like directions and new home prices

    See why homebuilders must invest in mobile…

    [Read more…]

    What’s Hummingbird and Why Homebuilders Should Care

    Hummingbird BuilderAh, Google – always changing.

    Its most recent algorithm change (called Hummingbird) is the next step in Google’s move toward semantic search — a change that should help it better understand what users are searching for. Rather than just indexing pages and scanning sites for relevant keywords, Google’s latest tweaks will allow it to better infer context and intent.

    The result? Superior, highly-accurate search results.

    Google will now consider the following:

    • Who searchers are connected to (with a bias toward members of Google+, Google’s version of Facebook)
    • Searchers’ geographical location
    • The type of device being used to search

    What Does This Mean for Homebuilders?

    With Hummingbird, it just became even more important to have quality content on your site — content that’s easy for everyone to understand — including search engines.

    First, Fix the Foundation

    Hummingbird & Homebuilders: First, Focus on the Foundation of Your Website & Take Care of Your SEODespite the changes, one thing remains the same. Quality content is still king. But in order for that content to serve you well on the search engines, you’ll have to do some basic keyword optimization.

    Tidy Up Your SEO

    The best content won’t do you any good if no one sees it, and that means impressing the search engines first in order to get maximum homebuyer eyeballs on it.

    Don’t be tempted to neglect the SEO elements on your website. Making sure your SEO is in order is no different than putting the final touches on a model before you invite visitors to take the tour. You want to make the right impression.

    [Read more…]

    Take the Test: Will You Sink or Swim in “The Year of the Tablet”?

    Take the Test: Will You Sink or Swim in the "Year of the Tablet"?You’ve heard the hype: 2013 is being hailed “the year of the tablet”. There’s no question that tablet adoption and use is on the rise. The questions are: what will it mean for your industry and most importantly, are you ready?

    We’ve compiled a few links and stats around what we see coming, and what it means for the Consumer Products & Retail and Homebuilding industries in particular. See what the tablet surge holds for your industry and then take one of the tests below to see if you’re poised to sink or swim.

    What’s Coming

    Tablet Prices Will Drop

    Apple’s latest 16GB iPad2 and Mini are $399 and $329 respectively – an over $100 drop since the iPad’s 2010 release. Rising competition from Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Sony, Acer and others is helping to drive tablet and e-reader prices down. You can already pick up Lenovo’s IdeaTab for $299 or Amazon’s Kindle Fire for $199. And, if you’re willing to sacrifice a few GBs or features, you can snag others for under $200. But an even bigger indicator than today’s price is tomorrow’s tech – already developing in and for “emerging markets.” Acer plans to launch a $99 tablet in China called the Iconica B1. India’s $40 Ubislate tablet could drop to $25 by year’s end. While these aren’t due to touch US soil at these prices just yet, they put the reality of low-cost tablet production in clear view. [Read more…]

    Model Home Cost Comparison: Build or Go Virtual? [Infographic]

    3D Virtual HomeFor the traditional homebuilder, the model home is an essential selling tool that lets prospective buyers see, touch and experience a home before it’s built. But, as the cost of building and merchandising multiple models continues to rise and homebuyers go increasingly more mobile, builders must cut costs and create the online experience savvy buyers demand. 3D virtual technology accomplishes both – making it possible to demonstrate an entire home, including alternate floor plans and premium kitchen and bath upgrades, without breaking ground. Virtual models start selling before anything is built and can even be demonstrated on a mobile device.

    Already, top 10 homebuilders have begun supplementing a single physical model with 3D virtual tours to sell into additional floor plans and options from the sales center and online.
    [Read more…]

    It’s Official: Home Buyers Have Gone Mobile [Infographic]

    Mobile Phones and the Home Buying ExperienceZillow.com, the leading real estate information marketplace, recently announced record numbers of homes being viewed by mobile devices, and smartphone sales have overtaken PC sales. Interestingly enough, recent studies also show that mobile users may be more aggressive decision makers, three times more likely than desktop users to contact a real estate professional following their mobile search. Can you imagine tripling your call volume?

    It all begins with an evaluation of your website and digital content:

    • How does your site look to mobile users?
    • Is it optimized in HTML5? Or are your visitors hit with blank screens due to Flash?
    • Can all mobile users view your site, regardless of platform?
    • How does it engage home buyers?
    • Is it easy to share video and photos of the communities that pique their interest?

    Now that the mobile “trend” has clearly become a pattern, it’s important to implement the types of features and apps buyers have begun to expect. As printed materials and static presentations become passé, you’ll need to offer newer, interactive, mobile-friendly content in order to keep home buyers engaged.

    See why mobile matters for homebuilders and real estate professionals…

    [Read more…]

    Why You Still Need a Flash Fallback with HTML5

    Why You Still Need a Flash Fallback with HTML5When it comes to web-based interactive content and cross-browser compatibility, the future is here and it’s HTML5. The problem is: not everyone’s on board yet.

    In a previous post, we dove into HTML5 – a programming language built into the latest browsers to support multimedia and graphics display without the use of third-party plugins like Flash. It’s recommended to ensure that your interactive content is accessible by the rapidly-growing population of iPad and mobile web surfers whose devices typically won’t display Flash. With mobile devices driving nearly 7% of US web traffic currently and projected to surpass desktop usage by 2014, mobile users can’t be ignored.

    But you can’t neglect desktop users and slow adopters either. There are still a significant number of desktop users with outdated operating systems and browsers – especially in corporate offices where many people access the internet during the workday. Companies who invested in machines running the Windows XP operating system can’t upgrade beyond Internet Explorer 8 (IE’s last non-HTML5 version) because IE stopped supporting XP with its version 9 release (CNET).

    Corporate users running Windows XP and IE8 are a top reason that you still need a Flash fallback. For many reasons, a whopping 31.4% are still holding out with XP and haven’t upgraded to Vista or Windows 7 (w3Schools). And Windows XP means no HTML5 capabilities without an operating system upgrade or a switch to Firefox, Chrome, or another compatible browser.

    [Read more…]

    Why You Can’t Ignore HTML5 Much Longer

    HTML5 LogoGot questions about Flash®, HTML5 and cross-browser compatibility? You’re not alone. Since we began rolling out our interactive solutions in HTML5, we’ve received quite a few questions. So we’ve decided to address some of them on our blog but feel free to keep the questions coming.

    Why can’t I see my interactive content on my iPad or mobile phone?

    Interactive presentations, games and applications have traditionally been designed in Flash – which requires a downloaded plugin for display. But most of today’s mobile devices and tablet PCs can’t play Flash – leaving your web content inaccessible to many users. Manufacturers like Apple® cite performance, security and drain on battery life as reasons for abandoning the Flash mobile plugin.

    Why mobile users can’t be ignored:

    • Mobile devices are driving nearly 7% of US web traffic and growing. (Cnet) Tweet It!
    • That non-computer digital traffic is made up of tablets (1.9%), mobile phones (4.4%) and “other devices” (.5) namely the iPod Touch. (ComScore) Tweet It!
    • Apple’s non-Flash mobile devices (iPad®, iPhone®, iPod Touch®) account for 43.1% of that mobile web traffic. (ComScore) Tweet It!
    • The iPad accounts for 97.2% of tablet traffic specifically. (ComScore) Tweet It!
    • By 2014, mobile internet usage is projected to surpass desktop usage. (DigitalBuzz) Tweet It!
    • 44% of Americans already own smartphones (redOrbit) Tweet It!
    • 75% of consumers use a mobile device in the retail buying process. (Verve Wireless) Tweet It!
    • More stats

    [Read more…]