Every property developer needs to achieve the best return on investments with its property marketing. Property CGI visuals and CGI animations are an immense part of property developers tools for selling property nowadays. Often CGI’s are used when a project is at the pre-construction or design phase, and this is where property developers make most of the mistakes.
Let’s find out some costly mistakes developers make and how they can be evaded.
Mistakes property developers make when getting Property CGI done.
It is not new how PropTech is rising and expanding all over the real estate and construction industry. One of the best steps that property developers can do is to get educated on the current trends and techniques.
CGI visuals have become a mandatory part of each development project.
While being an optimal marketing tool with high ROI, the CGI is like every other part of the property development business; this tool can become a costly investment if it’s not done the right way since the beginning of a project.
Lack of thorough research for
suitable architectural visualisation companies.
The most crucial step that developers should take before approaching any architectural visualisation company.
Finding the right CGI company is vital.
That is the phase where most of the property developers make a mistake by hiring not the right visualisation company, either because of low-cost offers or some other factors like fast turnover, an unlimited amount of changes and much more unrealistic promises.
This article, explains how to perform thorough research for a suitable architectural visualisation company for property developer’s needs: link to my article –WHAT IS AN ARCHITECTURAL VISUALISER AND 7 PLACES TO FIND ONE?
What property developers should be looking when hiring a CGI company?
CGI visualisation companies must step in as experts and educate their current and future partners.
Getting CGI visuals It’s a close collaboration process that requires the visualisation company to have clear work-flow for project execution stated on their website.
A guide on how to a typical CGI the project should be performed is a requirement: check ours below.
As an innovative architectural visualisation company, we continuously provide CPD’s to our current and potential property development partners, by educating them.
Our, CGI visual and animation CPD’s aims to avoid costly mistakes. We develop and deliver custom-tailored CGI investment plans to all of our property developers partners.
Check our Architectural Visualisation CPD page here: LINK
Lacking a detailed plan and preparation when starting the Property CGI project.
Timing and costs are one of the top priorities of the developers. Costs questions are among the top ones addressed to the CGI companies, by property developers.
To find out those answers first, we should be checking what important details your chosen CGI company needs to get:
- scheme criteria
- project timing
- project description
- marketing plan
- execution strategy
- construction plans
- design plans
CGI visuals and animations are similar to an architectural or construction project. Without an appropriate outline and description, each CGI project might cost more, be delayed or can have overall poor performance, which will affect the end product.
Poor design and project preparation.
The preparation is another important aspect of each 3D project.
Most of the projects that consist of exterior and interior visuals require additional photos to take on site.
Let take an example story, by showing how a poor preparation can lead to additional costs or longer time to completion.
Example story: A developer is ready to invest in property — refurbishment and extension of a block of flats in North-West London. Their primary goal is to sell 70 per cent off-plan months before completion.
Selling off-plan means that the marketing team needs an image or series of images revealing how the new development will look and connect with the existing environment even before the actual construction.
For that purpose, the CGI company should receive by the developer or its architects and designers the following:
- package of Design and CAD / BIM files
- location of the property
- photos or videos of the site
- list of materials and references
In most cases, one of these requirements will be missing. Photos and video materials of the existing situation are the winners of all.
The project can be started, but vital aspects are missing.
Typically when information is missing, we receive instructions to start a project, and often this comes as a problem later down the stages.
In most cases, the CGI company should perform a photo shoot on site on behalf of the developer.
Additional costs may be applied if a drone operator needs to be involved in the project if aerial imagery is required.
Some photos can be eye-sight level, while others taken by a drone, capturing not only the plot of the project but the local environment as well. Often for our projects, we make more than 100 photos in all directions from the property.
By doing this, we have all the information required for the surroundings, that will allow us to implement the 3D models accurately later on.
Here comes the issue that is made often.
Some developers while trying to keep costs down, will try to avoid paying reasonable fees for photo or drone shooting, by hoping that this can be avoided magically somehow in 3D.
Inevitably at the end of the project, the results will not be the expected, and an additional photo shoot will be made, which will result as a delay of the product and other costs for the property developer.
Reality vs CGI; Cheating over Designs.
Daily, we get requests from clients to cheat in projects over the reality on what we are showing on the 3D visuals.
Extending walls, removing columns, making ever-green fields, sparkling pools, unrealistically bright rooms and so on, the list is long. These are only a fraction of what CGI is capable.
Indeed, the purpose of the marketing visuals is to showcase the most significant features and achieve the best sales results off-plan (if possible).
But, there is a fine line that should not be crossed.
It is advisable that the property developer and the CGI company should have at least one or two preliminary meetings, to set a clear plan of what should be the result.
Structured plan, revealing all features of a property project is a must.
- main features
- secondary features
- amount of details
- weather conditions
- time of the day
- additional /external environment
- types of materials and their realism
- point of interest objects
- types of perspectives
- stylistic of the project
A capable CGI company should be able to produce visuals or animation that are enlighting all features by the most pleasing way for the end-buyer or targeted client.
Rule of thumbs: less is more, is the right formula that leads to great CGI products.
Timeline and Property CGI projects.
Time. One of the valuable resources that are never enough. Another mistake the developers make is trying to shorten the path, by reducing the time for CGI production.
Facts show this is not the fastest, cost-effective and surely not a productive way of getting CGI done.
By shortening the time of a 3D project, few problems occur in result:
- bad quality
- mistakes or wrong details/concept
- additional expenses
The structure of an architectural visualisation image or an entire project is complicated.
Each project is divided into two stages, and each step has its sub-stages.
- building the 3D models
- applying materials
- setup of the lighting
- finding camera composition
- building 2D environment
- building 3D environment
- revising and adjusting the 3D models
- adding or refining details
- adjustments on camera compositions
- post-production and editing of the final images
Between the stages, there is a lot of communication between architects, design teams and developers.
Often one of the groups delay their contribution, and this comes in a result as overall project delay.
By allowing enough time for the 3D project to be completed professionally, developers can save time, money and hassle.
Delivering Property CGI projects to clients.
The culmination of all the hard work done and preparation. At that time, the project should be really at the end phase, and the only thing happening should be submitting the final images.
Another costly mistake that property developers make is to change significant details in the last days of the project rendering. It may not seem pretty big work, but often the result may be extra days of delay or additional costs.
A 3D project is like a puzzle of fine clockwork, one thing broken and everything else may not work correctly.
When significant changes are introduced to a still images project, it may not be such a major blow up. But when significant changes are presented when a 3D animation is being rendered, this inevitably will lead to delay and some types of problems.
3D animations are essentially an array of images that takes days of rendering on a professional rendering farm. Rendering farm is a jargon term for a company that sells a physical process of rendering as a time for a set price to Visualisation companies or other clients.
If the project consists of 1000 images, these are 1000 renders. When a significant change is introduced, and 500 of those renderings have to be pre-rendered again, this comes out as additional rendering time and costs.
Final thoughts and Key points on Mistakes property developers make when getting Property CGI done
- Know your investment project and its real limits. Never go beyond limits as definitely, this will become an issue.
- Finding the right CGI company is vital. The most crucial step that developers should take before approaching any architectural visualisation company.
- Don’t fall cheap or on easy offers. That is the phase where most of the property developers make the mistake by hiring not the right visualisation company. Low-cost CGI Visuals often comes with negatives. If it sounds too magical, it’s not real.
- Hire the right CGI company. Ask for instructions or example project of their work-flow.
- Make a phone call. This step is one of the most important ones. Make sure always to phone your chosen CGI company. Check if they are local or speak your language.
- It is advisable that the property developer and the CGI company should have at least one or two preliminary (physical or online) meetings, to set a clear plan of what should be the result.
- Be ready. The preparation is another important aspect of each 3D project.
- CGI visuals and animations are similar to an architectural or construction project. Without an appropriate outline and description, each CGI project might cost more, be delayed or can have overall poor performance, which will affect the end product.
- Crossing the line. Less is more, is the right formula that leads to great CGI products.
- Most of the CGI Visuals we make have shown better performance when we deconstruct and remove unnecessary parts, instead of showing more than enough features of the project.
This article can not cover all the errors developers make when making CGI done but surely gives a realistic idea. Our primary goal as Archi.viz company is to achieve the perfect symbiosis between property developers and CGI companies by having real transparent politic and proven management system of 3D visualisation projects.