Property development marketing is essential in the world of real estate sales for seducing potential customers and investors.

Developers use it to highlight the distinctive qualities and advantages of their properties and pique target audiences’ interest with the use of effective marketing techniques.

However, successful property development marketing calls for a blend of original thinking, sector knowledge, and a profound comprehension of market trends and consumer behavior.

george nicola

By George Nicola (Expert Stager)

In this post we will explain how developers can improve the likelihood project success, maximize their return on investment by taking the time to meticulously plan and carry out a comprehensive marketing campaign using CGI property images.

What CGI is?

CGI stands for computer generated images. A method where one builds models and objects in three dimensional environment with a special software. 

What Property CGI is?

Property CGI is a sales tool for property developers or a real estate sales team to present a property off-plan. It is a photorealistic 3D rendering built with 3D application.

CGI (computer generated imagery) is used to display internal and external areas of a house or entire complex prior to construction. It is also used to make property marketing flyover animations, property walkthroughs, and 360-degree property walkthrough tours.

Let’s find out some costly mistakes developers make and how they can be evaded.

We reached out to fifteen CGI companies in the property development CGI industry. The average pricing for exterior rendering CGIs ranges from £310 / $380 to £700 / $800 per rendering, with most services falling within the £410 / $495 to £530 / $640 range. Excluding modelling and additional revisions.

Have a project to render? We’d love to give you a price estimation!

Getting the CGI for property done

In property sales visual representation is key.

Prospective buyers have narrow attention spans, so you must be able to catch their interest immediately.

Studies show, a prospective buyer’s attention span is not even 8 seconds. As a result, it is critical to ensure that your property advertising is clear and that you can provide all relevant information in a clear and concise manner.

It is also a good idea to include a few eye-catching images of your property.

This is the role of the cgi images for new developments. Helps  to pique a potential buyer’s interest and increase the likelihood of them seeing your development.

Property CGI for Planning Application by TALLBOX

When property developers have CGI made for their new property, they often make the following mistakes: 

It is important to include important people in the CGI process, like architects and possibly investors, to make sure that the final product matches the vision for the property. 

CGI is a labor- and time-intensive process, so it’s critical to allot a sufficient budget for it.  Making compromises in order to save money can produce inferior results.

Giving the CGI artist precise instructions can help ensure that the finished product lives up to your expectations.  Make sure you are clear and direct about your vision and any specific needs you have. 

The secret to giving potential customers a powerful and immersive experience with your project is to carefully craft a compelling story to go with it.

To make sure that the final CGI product lives up to your expectations, it is crucial to carefully review it. If necessary, don’t be afraid to request revisions.

Have a project to render? We know how to tell a story with our renders!

Are CGI renders mandatory for property marketing?

In some cases, property marketing can benefit from CGI renders.

Renders allow developers to create detailed, realistic representations of a property or new development before it is built, which can be useful in many ways:

storytelling in a cgi images for property works well and visually aids buyers in dreams of their lifestyle in the property.

use CGI imagery to showcase property finishes, materials, and layout.

this tool is used for planning approvals by showing the proposed development.

architectural CGI saves money on physical models and show houses.

However, not all marketing strategies rely on 3D renders, some decide to use architectural illustration either hand sketched or digitally, depending on the development’s style and goals.

Storytelling for property CGI

The most crucial step that every developer should take before even thinking of marketing a property is:

Tell a story with CGI narrative and sell the dream for clients’ lifestyle.

Five tips to tell property marketing story

Unless you are marketing savvy, of even if you have used CGI for property, the below tips fit every property development marketing.

  • Location is important for both residential and commercial projects.
  • Show location and how it’s connected with its features.
  • Use architectural language.
  • Potential buyers care about what others thinking of their house, community and location.
  • Show a 360 virtual photo, drone photography to demonstrate the location or neighborhood of your development project.

Selling properties off-plan that are yet to be built requires a compelling brochure and marketing materials packed with features and information like outdoor spaces, kitchen and bathroom, pools, and views.

Interior CGI shows the interior of your property, decorating options, different materials, furniture and appliances. Real estate agents love picturing a family home perception on their meetings.

Quality matters. Create stunning static images, with realistic virtual furnishing will bring your unbuilt development to life.

Helpful especially if the project is redeveloping of existing property.

A quality architectural visualization will depict the property’s exterior, which can help buyers visualize the finished new development.

Highlight a property’s exterior architectural features, materials, or landscaping.

CGI property images on a budget?

Attractive presentation or pitch for investors requires exceptional proposition.

In case this is your first CGI marketing try, it’s understandable that you’ll be watching the budget spending.

Using low-cost CGI services, it’s not the end of the world, but may do more harm than good.

Below are five tips we’ve prepared if you need CGI for marketing, but stay on the cheap side.

High-quality 3D Interior models
Inteiror Property CGI by TALLBOX

There are many low-cost rendering programs that can make basic CGI images for property of good quality.

Some of them are Lumion, Twinmotion, Enscape and other.

The good thing about them is that creating CGI images is even quicker and in addition most of them have built in export for animations and virtual reality.

Instead of trying to make a complete, all-encompassing CGI image, you might want to focus on the most important features or angles of the property.

In addition to or instead of 3D CGIs, developers can use 3D floor plans to represent the layout and flow of the property.

Depending on the stage of the development, it may be possible to use real photos of the property rather than CGIs.

In case the buildings are done but unfurnished, virtual staging is the cost-effective alternative, allowing complete staging for exterior and interior. It requires good quality photos.

Instead of CGI virtual tour, hire a photographer with a 3D camera to capture every room of the show house. Even if it’s not furnished, virtual staging can do the job.

Virtual tours won’t do here, as they are typically more expensive than imagery. Instead, include detailed written descriptions of the property and its features.

Overall, creating property CGI campaign with basic rendering tools for visualization opens up the possibility for experiments on budget.

Key in this strategy is to pin-point the right amount of information and detail.

Have a mini budget? We’d love to put a proposal for your project!

When hiring a CGI company

CGI companies must step in as experts and educate their clients.

Getting CGI visuals is a close collaboration process requiring a straightforward workflow.

Consider these short tips when looking to hire someone for your project:

  • Check Behance or Google
  • Check the company’s portfolio and client reviews to determine its quality.
  • Look for the ones who has similar type of projects or interesting style
  • Compare CGI service quotes from multiple companies.
  • Check if the company offers add-ons
  • Ask about revision policy and adjustments to meet your expectations

Find out what exactly is Property Marketing in this blog post.

Missing detailed Scope of Work inquiry

Timing and costs are one of the top priorities in real estate. Costs questions are among the top ones addressed to the CGI companies, by property developers.
To accurately build a inquiry, vendors need to have the following information:
  1. Scheme: The specific requirements or guidelines for the project.
  2. Timing: the timeline for completion, including any deadlines or milestones
  3. Description: location, size, and type of property.
  4. Marketing plan: the strategy for promoting and selling the property, including the target audience, desired results, and main competitors.
  5. Strategy: additional resources produced by a third party (if any)
  6. Construction plans: exterior site CAD plans, architectural BIM plans, environment analysis, landscape, and elevations. Interior design: Detailed plans for one of each property, including sections.
  7. Design plans: mood boards (if available), including finishes, materials, and overall look and feel.
  8. References: Similar references of the style and direction required for the project
  9. High-quality photos of the existing site

Without appropriate outline of the inquiry, quotations will not reflect the total amount of fees for the project

Reality vs CGI - Cheating over Designs

Because it’s easy, it does not mean it’s alright.

In architectural visualization, requests to cheat in projects over reality are common and sometimes justified.

Extending walls, removing columns, making ever-green fields, sparkling pools, unrealistically bright rooms, and so on, the list is long.

Indeed, the purpose of the marketing visuals is to showcase the most significant features and achieve the best sales results off-plan (if possible).

The developer and CGI provider should have at least one or two preliminary meetings to set a clear plan of what the result should be.

Below is a structured plan for all details that goes into the work for just one cg image:

  • 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

Take the list and apply for each part of the marketing visuals.

Wrong timeline

One of the valuable resources that are never enough – time.

Another mistake we often see is shortening the deadline mid-way trough by skipping necessary checks and draft revisions.
Facts show this is not the fastest, cost-effective and surely not a productive way of getting cgi project done.

Property CGI timeline by TALLBOX

By shortening the time of a 3D project, few problems occur in result:

  • bad quality
  • mistakes or wrong details/concept
  • additional expenses for revisions
We divide each project into two stages, and each step has its sub-stages and it is a cycle.
Stage 1
  • building the 3D models
  • camera composition
  • setup of the lighting
  • applying materials
  • building 3D environment
  • building 2D environment
Stage 2
  • revisions
  • refining details
  • adjustments
  • rendering
  • post-production and editing of the final images
Between each sub-stage, we expect communication channels to be fully open between architects, design teams and developers.
By allowing enough time for the 3D project to be completed professionally, it cost less time, money and hassle.

Have a project to render? We’d love to give you a price estimation!

Delivery and misinformation gaps

The culmination of all the hard work. 

At this stage, clients often make the costly mistake of changing significant details in the final days of the project rendering. Therefore, be sure to request changes before the last day.

It may seem insignificant work, but it often results in extra delays and fees.

A project is like a puzzle of delicate clockwork, one thing is broken, and everything else may not work correctly.

Especially with animations any significant change, it may be a major blow-up.

3D Interior perspectives render
Exterior Property CGI by TALLBOX

Animations are an array of images that takes days of rendering on a professional clusters of computers called – rendering farm.

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, manual work, and fees.

  • Know your actual limits: Stay within limits as definitely, as this will become an issue.
  • Find the right company: The most crucial step that developers should take before approaching any architectural visualization company.
  • Don’t fall cheap or on easy offers: That is the phase where most of the property developers make a mistake by not hiring the right visualization company. Low-cost CGI Visuals often come with negatives. If it sounds too magical, it’s not real.
  • Hire the right CGI company. Ask for instructions or example projects of their workflow.
  • Make a phone call. This step is one of the most important ones. Make sure always to phone your chosen company. Check if they are local or speak your language.
  • Set at least two preliminary (physical or online) meetings to iron out a clear plan of what the result should be.
  • Be ready. Preparation is another important aspect of each 3d visualization.
  • CGI images and animations are similar to an architectural or construction project. Without an appropriate outline and description, each image costs more, may be delayed, or can affect the results.
  • Crossing the line. Less is more and it leads to great images.