Augmented Reality: Bridging The Gap

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This past weekend, we saw the digital world explode after the thunderous launch of the much-lauded Pokémon GO. Its footprint was so massive that four days in it surpassed a billion dollars in value, and bested Twitter for daily active users. It’s also a hyper example of how quickly the general public can adopt AR technology, and the possibilities it offers both brands and consumers. For those unaware AR refers to augmented reality, a playful interaction between the game/software and the real word; in the example of Pokémon GO, Pokémon appear on your phone’s display, overlaid into the real environment as captured by your device’s camera.

Ikea has recently been playing with AR. They introduced new technology that allows you to use their catalogue and app to overlay furniture into your home so that you can see exactly what it looks like in your space. You can even snap photos to share with family and friends to get their opinion. It’s this creative use of AR that should be of particular interest to our industry. Whether it’s allowing you to visualize flooring samples in the actual space, or give more depth to a home’s layout while still at the framing stage, the technology is widely available and requires less learning curve [for users]. As well, unlike VR, it doesn’t need any third-party hardware to enjoy it, which is especially important if your client or customers are at home, instead of at your site. They can grab an app and press go.

Augmented reality could change the way we visualize presentation centres and model homes. Imagine using oversized custom screens to explore the space, or perhaps supplied glasses, not unlike those you’d find at a 3D film. If Pokémon is any indication, the floodgate for AR is about to burst; now is a great time to ride the wave.

Next Level Townhome Sales At Triumph

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If you’ve been following BAM over the past year, you’re aware of the strides we’ve been taking to help change the way buyers purchase homes. Earlier this year, we introduced a revamped Pine River website that included an online home reservation system that allowed potential buyers to choose the home and lot of their dreams and place a hold on it. Well, we’ve kicked things up a notch with the newly redesigned Triumph Phase 3 website for our client Highmark Homes. Not only did it let users book their appointment for the grand opening, but it featured an option that allowed VIPs to skip the line, and secure a home (for a nominal fee).

Buyers who were serious about starting a new life in one of Highmark’s stylish, modern townhomes in central Whitby paid a $500 fee – using PayPal – to become part of the VIP Advantage program. This allowed them to reserve their choice of home and lot online before the public, view, and lock-in, preview pricing, access a private VIP Advantage Event (with no line-ups) and view/download the APS and condo docs ahead of time. Now that’s next level. The program was a huge success with 20 customers selecting the option, and 17 making a purchase!

We’ve since extended the program, although customers no longer have to pay. They can visit the website and lock in their choice of a lot and home design online, similar to the Pine River site.

With the success of the launch, we can easily see this becoming a standard when it comes to launching new communities here in the GTA. Not only does this make the experience even more seamless for buyers, but also it’s a giant step closer to facilitating an entirely online purchase. We couldn’t be more excited — or proud!

Facebook Is Changing The Game With Live Video

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Facebook has changed the world in many ways. It’s revolutionized the way we communicate with our friends and families. Not to say that they were the first social network ever, but they have ultimately become the most prominent network – and one of the most successful tech start-ups in history. They’ve made some tremendous strides over the past few years, adding new tools to enhance the ability for both brands and individuals to share content, but recently, they’ve kicked things up a notch with the introduction of live streaming video.

Live streaming offers a few exciting options. Firstly, it allows the host to receive comments and feedback simultaneously, facilitating a conversation. Secondly, it delivers notifications to all your followers/fans that you’re going live. This is huge. Lastly, it archives your live content. The significance of that feature is that if – for example – if a builder were to host a live walkthrough of a home, or facilitate a conversation with the staff at a Presentation Centre, they can easily share the video after the fact for potential homebuyers who may be interested in the same community.

This new feature could become an extremely valuable tool for agencies and realtors to keep in their toolbox, as it takes a lot of the costs and third party headaches often associated with live streaming away. All you have to worry about is delivering the best content possible. Evidently, as Mark Zuckerberg is demonstrating with his live chat with astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station, the platform’s possibilities are truly endless.

Supporting BILD

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Here at BAM, we’re big on helping builders to be the best they can be; from green design within their communities and homes, encouraging better building practices, and – overall – just providing better products and service to their customers. In the end, helping them to put their best foot forward is a great thing for everyone, right down to the family who is purchasing their first brand-new home. It’s this same desire that drives BILD, which is an essential lifeblood of our industry. A product of the merger between the Greater Toronto Home Builders’ Association and the Urban Development Institute of Ontario, BILD is the voice of the land development, home building, and professional renovation industry in the GTA. Currently, it represents more than 1,400 member companies.

They provide a necessary link between the industry and governments, helping to promote both fair and effective policies. They also encourage innovations and excellence in the planning and building of sustainable communities – all while simultaneously protecting the best interests of homebuyers. Through home shows, their print publication, members-only workshops, courses, and seminars, they keep us abreast of everything that affects us. As well, through the sponsorship of university courses in planning, and their work with community colleges and unions to promote building trades as a career choice, they are strengthening our industry for years to come.

They are the backbone of the building industry here in the GTA, and we strongly support them as an active member. It was an honour for us to design their most recent advertisement, at no-cost to BILD, which celebrates the 64 BILD Award winners this year, and the amazing things they’re doing; from innovation in sustainability to affordable home design. It was our way of showing gratitude for everything they’ve done for our homebuilding community.

BAM at The BILD Awards

Untitled.pngLast week, the BAM team was dressed to the nines and in attendance at the 36th annual BILD Awards, which recognizes excellence in sales, marketing, design and construction of new homes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). As we had previously written, we were excited – and honoured – to be nominated for Best Digital Marketing Campaign — for three of our most exciting projects to date, in addition to Best Sales Video and Best New Community, Planned or Under Development for Queensville.

We were ecstatic to join our clients Zancor Homes and Lancaster Homes on stage to accept the Best Digital Marketing Campaign award for Pine River, which was one of our most ambitious digital projects to date. In fact, if you haven’t explored the website – complete with online reservation system – you can learn more about it here. We were also excited to join builders Countrywide Homes, Aspen Ridge Homes, and Lakeview Homes, on stage to accept the award for Best New Community, Planned (for Queensville). Queensville is the largest and most ambitious new project in Ontario, and we couldn’t be happier with what we’ve achieved there. Especially since the project recently sold out its first phase.

The results we’ve helped our clients achieve over the past year is something we’re very proud of. We’re lucky – and grateful – that they see our vision, trust, and allow us to take the risks we do. These awards are just icing on the cake. They’re truly a result of the hard work the entire BAM team has put into these massive projects.

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