Estate agents are closing down at a rate of 150 a week because of the current UK financial crisis. The housing market has slumped and properties are not moving anywhere near the rate that they were in previous years. This means that competition between estate agents to stay afloat is huge and any tactics they can employ to be top of their game should be used.
There are the small scale agents that look after the property sales in their own town or village that stretch to one or two branches. They print out house details in sketchy black and white pictures with what look like hand drawn layouts and this has sufficed for a long time. There are the larger scale estate agents also who have got by on better quality print outs of house details with pictures and floor plans.
However, to be top of the game, you really need state of the art technology like CGI (computer generated imagery) to really sell a property. People lead immensely busy lives these days and many do not want to be taking silly amounts of time off work to go house hunting. CGI means that they can log on to the internet during their lunch breaks and take virtual tours of homes without leaving their seats.
This will reduce the time needed to go round and make personal visits and means the choice can be drastically narrowed down to make it easier. A flat picture gives no idea of the scale or feel to a property's interior whereas CGI truly brings it to life. With a choice of still imagery or virtual tours, CGI will give you a picture of an interior or exterior. It will take you on a tour of a room, entire home or the outside of any building giving a realistic picture of how much space is going to be available.
It gives the viewer an indication of how their own furniture would fit into a room, or how it could look if they lack imagination. One of the best applications for CGI is when property is put up for sale before it is built. Working from architect's plans a CGI specialist will construct an image of what the finished product will look like. This is ideal for new builds when there is nothing to physically view. Builders will often construct half the homes on a site in the hope that selling these will provide the revenue to finish the project and CGI is the ideal tool for the job.
Another application is actually in the architect's office itself. Knowing the size of a building is one thing, being able to computer generate it into flat line drawings is also useful. To actually be able to provide builders with a CGI is invaluable and also gives those commissioning the architect a much better idea if the proposed building meets all their requirements, reducing the need for costly changes later on.
An interior designer will also find CGI becoming an important aspect of their work. They can programme it to take into account the direction and amounts of light that enter a room and the effect it will have on furnishings and colours. It also gives a sense of space and is very handy when it comes to deciding on the size of furniture to be purchased.
CGI is very often used when it comes to constructing corporate buildings numbers of staff and equipment need to be housed in certain space. So, whether buying, selling, building, decorating, or planning, CGI is a tool that has moved from useful to essential to be ahead of the game.
Design expert Catherine Harvey looks at how the useful tool of CGI is applied to building work.