Virtual Reality - Porter Davis

Virtual village

Consider building your next display village with the help of virtual reality – providing a unique experience for future home buyers.

Photo courtesy Villawood Properties


Kate Veteri

In a world where virtual reality (VR) is making its way into all aspects of life, one property developer – with the help of Australian builders – has stepped forward to create a display village simulation.

Looking to the future of home buying, property developer Villawood Properties is focusing on producing cheaper and faster display villages for consumers and builders alike. From this target came the birth of a VR display village. They believe this is a world first.

Villawood Properties has developed its first virtual world and Victorian home buyers are presently able to test-drive the new technology. Currently available to users at Rathdowne – in one of Melbourne’s newest suburbs – this high-tech virtual display village brings property designs to life at an electric rate.

Collaborating with CGI specialist Grand Visuals, Australian building companies Nostra Homes, Eight Homes, and HIA members Porter Davis, Simonds Homes and Dennis Family Homes, this display village showcases a three-dimensional (3D) display of homes designed by each company.

Starring everything from spacious, modern family homes to comfortable living, all five builders have a design to impress. Raised ceilings, wooden finishes, living areas, bedrooms, walk-in robes and butler’s pantries are just some of the eye-catching designs, arrangements and finishes that can be seen within the VR display homes.

Users are fully immersed as they explore a realistic 3D computer-generated simulation of display homes, viewing the world through an Oculus Rift VR headset and hand controllers. Villawood Properties executive director Rory Costelloe says ‘Villawood is always trying to improve the experience for buyers’.

‘VR offers the perfect opportunity to be more flexible when displaying products’

The difference between this virtual display village and other virtual-based housing simulator products is the ability for user immersion. The creation by Villawood Properties allows for greater engagement with the simulation, acting more like a video game rather than photographic ‘hot spots’. The video game model provides users with the ability to effortlessly wander through the virtual community and homes.

This VR video game style will ‘strongly appeal to our millennial clients which account for most of the first home buyer market’, says Michael Court, sales manager at Simonds Homes.

‘The younger generations live by their mobile phones and games … so this is Nintendo for adults: a fully immersive experience where they can walk in to a display village and look at our homes and everyone has their own unique experience,’ Rory says.

Beneficial to both consumers and builders, this technological advancement pushes display villages into a new era and brings future properties to life more quickly. Builders can avoid incurring the usual costs associated with building a display village while still providing home buyers with the ability to view a virtual 3D model of their future.

‘Through the virtual display village, we can give customers better guidance around the size and type of home suitable for their block of land, much earlier in the process, which can take up to 18 months. This in turn provides greater choice and convenience in selecting their home,’ Rory says.

Virtual Reality - Porter Davis
This high-tech virtual display village brings property designs to life at an electric rate
Photo courtesy Villawood Properties
Villawood Properties
‘This is Nintendo for adults: a fully immersive experience where they can walk in to a display village’
Photo courtesy Villawood Properties

Advancing the technology further, Villawood Properties’ virtual display village allows home buyers to wander the streets of their future suburb, taking in all the community has to offer from the comfort of an office, and avoiding the exhaustion of walking around display villages, explains Laura Causon, group marketing manager at Eight Homes.

The future lies in technology and this ground-breaking simulation introduces modern technology into the housing industry. Dennis Family Homes sees ‘VR as an important part of the [housing] industry moving forward’, says Jordan Hodson, general manager.

‘Customers want to experience products in their own time and VR offers the perfect opportunity to be more flexible when displaying our products.’

‘It will also assist interstate and regional clients who may not be able to travel to displays. With interstate migration on the increase, VR is a huge value add for our future clients,’ Michael explains.

The VR capabilities of this virtual display village allow both builders and architects to upload their housing designs directly to the virtual world.

‘The pace of change is so rapid today and it seems everyone is looking for the next great innovation or improvement,’ says Shaun Patterson, general manager at Porter Davis.

Presenting builders with a cheaper alternative to current display homes and villages while still providing an outlet to showcase the wide range of home designs available, Villawood Properties is embracing the future. The company hopes to extend the creation of virtual display villages for additional Australian communities to experience for themselves.

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