By any observation over the past few years we have all seen the strong and increasing tie between project marketing and the use of technology. Websites, Google, CGIs, virtual tours, the use of smart phones and now the rapid spread of tablets – these have all become today’s must haves.

But outside of these well-established tools there have been other innovations, most of which relate to the use of technology as part of sales and marketing centres for the off-the-plan marketing of apartments and major land releases.

An associate of mine, Paul Powderly, from Colliers International Canberra has been a very keen support of this rapidly evolving technology and in many ways a pioneer of the best ideas.

About 2 years ago Paul was the first in the industry anywhere in Australia to use ‘Hii’ a tabletop interactive technology to release the Molonglo Valley project on behalf of the Land Development Authority. The same system was and still is being used to market several projects for Paul’s client the Doma Group.

Now with the same enthusiastic and pioneering sprit, Paul and his local team have embraced another industry first by way of technology that is helping Canberra buyers visualise life in their new apartment – before it is even built!

A new display suite for the IQ Smart Apartments in Braddon will utilise the Ivolve RT interactive application, which by using 3-D virtual spaces, allows potential buyers to take a full tour of model apartments.

Like many of us, Paul knows the common hurdles when selling off-the-plan and at times without a full display apartment. That is we often observe people visiting a sales centre comment that they cannot imagine their furniture in the space or appreciate what the kitchen would look like with different tiles and splashback.

Because at times even with good images and a display suite showing one or two types of finishes buyers just can bridge the gap between the varied options that are available.

Now using Ivolve RT, people who visit the display suite in Canberra will be able to use an iPad to navigate the IQ development. Images of varied finishes and appliances will be displayed on the hand-held unit and on a smart TV.

The system also helps potential buyers explore the surrounding area, locating sought after features such as restaurants, health services, schools, shops and transport corridors.

Then they can take a 360-degree tour of the exterior of the complex and see the view from each apartment. And as Paul was keen to point out Ivolve helps buyers choose an aspect, floor and unit that best suits their needs. Taking the next step with the technology any buyer can explore individual apartments – firstly by looking at floor plans and then by taking a virtual walk around the model apartments.

 The software Paul’s team has employed also allows potential buyers to see the inclusions of an apartment, how the rooms look furnished, and change finishes. Now that’s an impossible task in a traditional display setting and something I am sure most people will find very appealing and even fun.

But importantly this new product is completely controlled by the user, who goes where they want to go and explore the entire apartment. It’s their personal experience.

Its easy to see that with so many of us now familiar with computer games and the like, people will find it easy to use this technology to help make decisions about their new apartment improve the sales path and the up-scale the buyer’s product engagement.

In my ongoing discussions within Project Agenda the role technology in project marketing has been a reoccurring theme, an exciting and potentially very rewarding new era where I expect another chapter will be seen with the use of augmented reality, AR will soon be a new an affordable option be used, stand by Paul!

An image from the Ivolve RT technology used in Canberra follows and along with Paul, all I have to say is stay tuned for more news and discussion about this always constantly changing area of technology.