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Garden City Homes are part of the large and well established housing association Wythenshawe Community Housing Group.

Garden City Homes are a sub-brand within the company that focus purely on the new home sector for private residents.

The majority of their customers are first-time buyers or young families, looking to get established on the property ladder. Most of the homes Garden City Homes build are 1 or 2 bedroom houses, apartments and townhouses located in up-and-coming areas of South Manchester.

North Made Studio have regularly provided architectural visualisations of GCH upcoming development sites over the last 3 years. Usual deliverables for these projects are house-type visuals, street scene CGIs and a handful of interior visualisations that showcase the main living spaces such as the kitchen, lounge and bedroom. However for this specific project things were different…

Due to the impact of COVID and numerous lockdowns it became impossible for Garden City Homes to market their new-build homes. Their traditional method of selling units off-plan once buyers had visited the site to view a show-home wasn’t possible, buyers could not come to view and without the option to view, few were willing to buy.

Garden City Homes needed a solution to this problem, and that solution was virtual tours. North Made Studio were approached to help and assisted by creating two types of virtual tour that would allow Garden City Homes to promote 3 upcoming developments via their website and social media.

The first type of virtual tour created was for a development called Scholars Fields. The show home for this site was already constructed and ready for viewings when COVID lockdown struck. The best solution for existing pre-built locations and spaces such as this is a Matterport tour. We created this Matterport tour and provided a link to allow for it to be embedded on the Garden City Homes website, posted on their social media channels and also shared with any potential buyers via email or text.

The Matterport tour worked so well that Garden City Homes didn’t want to wait to start marketing two upcoming developments that were under-construction and opted to have North Made Studio create two virtual tours in CGI.

The sites were called The Orchards and Portway Road, both developments were stuck in construction phase due to lockdown and the show homes were not due to be ready for several months. North Made Studio created two 360 VR tours in CGI of what would be the show homes. Using the architect’s drawings and materials schedules for the homes, our design team created realistic depictions of the interiors of these two homes in CGI, viewable in 360 degrees. The interiors were styled using reference imagery of previously furnished GCH show-homes.

 

Garden City Homes are a housing association, we work closely with many housing associations and know how their internal structures work. Specifications on their properties are always very tight; exact tiles, flooring, fixtures, fittings, wall colours, etc, are all detailed in materials and build schedules. North Made Studio strive to match these as closely as possible, with the aim to produce very accurate representations of the homes.

The 360 VR tours were setup to work very similar to the Matterport tour of Scholars Fields, with a similar intro splash page and navigation tools to move around the homes.

On all three tours users/viewers have the ability to navigate around the home, visiting all key rooms and gaining a visual understanding of how they could live there. No virtual tour can be as good as the real-thing, but our virtual tours are close.

 

To round out the COVID response solutions we provided to Garden City Homes, our team put together several virtual handover videos that would allow the sales team to carry out new home handovers quickly and in a COVID-safe manner. Communicating all relevant information that they would convey during a face to face handover, but via a video link. This solution allowed for much safer new-home handovers, increased the number of handovers that were possible to complete per day and left the buyers with a link that they could re-watch over and over should they be unsure about something within their new home.

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