HTML5-Based Home Selections
October 15, 2012
Allowing buyers to customize home design plans online puts the power into the hands of the customer. Having that data live and linked back to workflow and accounting systems gives a bit of that power back to the builder. In essence it can create a draft and design environment that provides the best of both worlds.
The Contrado Group, www.thecontradogroup.com, Phoenix, Ariz., is a company that provides Web-based homebuyer engagement technology. The company offers a full suite of architectural services, 3D animation, interactive floor plans, and other services to help builders deliver an interactive and engaging experience to buyers and potential buyers.
Last week the company announced the debut of two new features that hope to take this level of efficiency for builders and buyers to the next level. With Interactive Floor Plans and Customer Discovery Centers, the company is offering a single-platform that combines homebuying and home-option processes.
The company calls this consolidation IPM (integrated process management), and helps to coordinate all drafting, renderings, elevations, images, and options. This is done for the builder on multiple fronts, including builder-branded, Web, and kiosk-based interactive tools. In addition, The Contrado Group is offering commercial printing services from the same platform. This includes brochures, direct mails, and fliers, among other collateral.
One of the keys to this product is the fact it leverages HTML 5, which allows it to link images of new-home plans and options libraries directly to a builder’s CAD (computer-aided design), estimating, pricing, and sales databases. This layer of integration helps creates accurate BOMs (bills of material), and can help reduce errors involved with managing the data that often occur throughout the process.
The process goes as follows: As a buyer customizes their home plans on a builder's Website, the HTML5 technology allows images to link to databases in the builder’s backend. This means that as a buyer is customizing plans they are not simply interacting with an image, but rather with true data that is tied to a builder's workflow and accounting systems. Each time a change is made on the customer-facing side, it is reflected instantly on the builder’s backend using true data.
The Contrado Group is offering an interesting solution that should help speed the process of customizing a home. The process almost becomes production-building like and has been justified by the fact that some heavy hitters in the homebuilding industry, such as K. Hovnanian, www.khov.com, Red Bank, N.J., and Maracay Homes, www.maracayhomes.com, Scottsdale, Ariz., are using the technology.
Bringing all the pieces of the puzzle together is no easy task on the homebuilding side. A technology such as HTML5 is making such an integrated process more of a reality, and it’s anyone’s guess as to where such innovations might take the homebuilding process next.