How One Management Company Uses Branded 3D Floor Plans to Stand Out
When Jessica Davis took over as Director of Marketing for Ardmore Residential, she saw right away there was something wrong with the company’s existing floor plans. “The first thing I noticed was that the floor plans were just very flat, very neutral. Very blah,” she says.
“They just looked overly standard to me, and they didn’t offer much information. They didn’t contain any dimensions,” Davis says. Worse, she adds, the colors were all neutral tans and browns that didn’t catch the eye. To be effective, sales and marketing materials need to stand out, but everything about these floor plans was boring. Prospects barely glanced at them.
“Also, they didn’t represent our brand at all,” she says. Davis faced the added challenge of trying to pull together all of the various sales and marketing materials to create a powerful, unified brand identity. “One of my goals coming in was to start making things consistent. We had properties doing all different kinds of things, from floor plans to signage, you name it,” she says.
Clearly, they needed a complete makeover. Fortunately, Davis knew exactly who to call. For years before joining Ardmore Residential, she had been ordering all of her floor plans from 3DPlans.com.
Higher sales start with picture-perfect floor plans.
Davis has always been a fan of the virtual furniture collections that 3DPlans offers. She hit on the idea of using that to create a bold new look for her properties. “You know, they offer all of these furniture collections, but that’s not to say that the competitor right down the road isn’t going to pick that exact same furniture collection. So I wanted to take it up a notch and differentiate ourselves from everybody else,” she says.
Davis asked 3DPlans to create a custom branded furniture collection using the official Ardmore Residential colors. “They needed to get our specific colors just right. And they did. You can see a lot of our blues and greens, and our secondary color, which is a really pretty orange,” she says.
“We’re in the business of people.”
But 3DPlans wasn’t done yet. They took the customization idea further to make things even more visually exciting. One by one, they dove into every aspect that made Ardmore Residential properties unique, and found a way to visually represent those selling points.
“All of our properties are pet friendly, for example. To show that, we added a little dog and a food bowl to our floor plans,” Davis says. “Then we added a little welcome mat with the Ardmore tree right outside the front door. Now you can quickly see where the front door is located, if it wasn’t obvious before. It really stands out.”
All of that meticulous attention to detail makes her floor plans even more effective as sales tools. “Personally, I want to see all the little details when I’m looking at a place. I want to see water in the bathtub, clothes in the closet, and all those little things that you don’t necessarily think about. It really helps to get your message across,” she says.
Floor plans represent more than just real estate, Davis says. They are a reflection of people’s everyday lives. For that reason, it’s important that the floor plans help people visualize what it would be like to actually live there.
“If you think about it, we’re in the business of people. Think about what happens in these apartment homes that we represent. People live there, they have birthday celebrations, they have family events, they have friends over. They’re making memories,” she says.
“So we did different holiday scenes in each floor plan. While we didn’t add people in there, we just suggested what it would look like if you decorated for Halloween, for example. We put a candy bowl on the bar, a jack-o’-lantern, and a ‘Happy Halloween’ sign. In another floor plan, we did a Christmas holiday theme. It just helps people visualize themselves in there, having those celebrations.”
The ultimate goal is to transform the sales and marketing materials into interesting conversation pieces. “It gets their wheels turning, seeing how they could set up the apartment. It gets them thinking about having fun. Cherishing the moments they’re going to have with their family and friends. Just having them strike up that conversation with the leasing agent makes us stand out. When they’re looking at five different apartment communities in the area, they will remember us because of our fun 3D floor plans,” she says.
“We have an awesome leasing staff, and the on-site team does such a good job connecting with prospects. But eventually it does come down to these little details in our brochures and rack cards. Our marketing sell sheets always look sharp, because the floor plan looks so good,” she says.
Prospects need to see the layout
Davis believes the attractive new floor plans have had a strong impact on sales. “It plays a big role. You know, you can list all of these community amenities, and that’s important. But where people spend most of their time is in their home. It’s important for them to be able to see what that layout is going to look like, and see if it’s going to work for them. If they have children, for example, it’s important to know whether they want two bedrooms on the same side of the apartment home or if they want them on opposite ends,” she says.
Three-dimensional floor plans are particularly helpful for selling or leasing units that are still under construction. “They are a definite benefit, especially with new developments where you don’t have anything to show. Now people can really feel like they’re in the apartment and can see it before it’s even built,” she says.
When asked whether she would recommend 3DPlans to others, Davis doesn’t hesitate. “What I love about these guys is that they streamline things for us. They make it really easy. And Rachel is amazing. She never gets frustrated with me, even though I’m very particular,” she says with a laugh. “She’s always patient, and she follows up to keep me on track.”
Time is money, she points out, and saving so much time is hugely beneficial. “They are always super responsive, and responsiveness is one of the biggest things for me. And then of course the high quality of the work. I need a vendor that can do a good job,” she says. “But honestly, the biggest thing is finding a vendor that will collaborate with you. I may have come up with the idea, but essentially they put the package together for me. They make it easy to customize and think outside the box. 3DPlans has definitely been a win-win for us.”