Deep thoughts on 3D Biz from Kay

Posted by Kathleen Moore, CastleView 3D:


Today I’m featuring a guest post from friend and  colleague Kay Nordby, Owner of 3DPlanView.  As you’ll see below, she has been working in the 3D design field for quite awhile and has a valuable perspective on the business.  Kay is a very smart, talented, kind, and funny lady  — and I’m proud to say that she was my teacher and mentor when I first started learning Chief Architect. 

Kay says:

There are some typical search phrases that visitors use to find my business,  “I want to see 3D pictures of my floorplan,”  “floorplans with 3D pictures,” and “3d floorplan.”  Some of these people already have blueprints, while others are looking to purchase a set of blueprints after looking at 3D pictures.  These folks want to see 3D pictures BEFORE they begin to build.

I have been doing 3Ds for decades, and I have not talked to a single person who says, “No, I would rather NOT have 3D pictures of my home. I want the house to be a BIG surprise when it is done.”  The problem comes when the cost is factored in. Folks are not required to have 3D images to build a home, like they are required to have a blueprint and permits.  When it is time to cut dollars from the budget, 3Ds begin to seem like too much of a luxury.

So who is willing to pay?

Clients who are resistant in the beginning to pay for 3Ds quickly understand their value as soon as they see an area of their own floorplan.   I have landed jobs because I provided a “tease” drawing.  Give folks a taste for 3Ds and they most often want more.  Those who have built a home before and know the cost of a change order are willing to pay.  Those who are familiar with 3D software are also willing to pay, as they understand just how much time and effort it takes to generate a 3D rendering.  Builders who are seeking an edge over their competition are willing to pay, and developers who are building multi-unit projects are often willing to pay for a fully decorated “model home” that they use to “pre-sell” and market each available floorplan.

3D Kitchen Rendering by

3D Kitchen Rendering by

Still, my most grateful clients are the individuals building their dream home.  Often they have been working with an architect, and they are disturbed when they find that 3D renderings will not be given to them with their blueprint.  When their architect flatly declines to deliver 3Ds, these folks set out to get help.  Often they come to me, frustrated.  The architect is telling them to trust his vision.  They are not clear on what the architect has shown them.  Or they have their own ideas, but their spouse cannot grasp it.  Nobody “sees” what the others are thinking.

Then they get their 3Ds. More often than not, the clients do love the home their architect has drawn.  They get on board with his vision. And some clients have even joked with me that the pictures have prevented divorce.  One gal took it a step further and said the 3Ds prevented murder!  CLEARLY she was more than a little frustrated with her hubby.

3Ds provide understanding.  Understanding leads to peace of mind, ease of compromise, and a house design to love.

Most builders welcome a buyer who comes with a set of 3Ds in hand.  They know these are clients who have thought through their wish list in great detail.  They have pondered all the options and are happy with their decision.  The builder has a full color picture of what their client wants. There is no fuzzy area because client and builder have a standard to work toward and a common vision.  3Ds eliminate change orders so a project is delivered on time and on budget.  One builder put it this way:  “Communication is the key to building client trust and a home the client loves… and there is no better way to communicate than a picture.”

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5 responses to “Deep thoughts on 3D Biz from Kay

  1. Kay, great article. You are exactly correct on every point that you make. I did 3d’s for a custom client that a builder sent to me (this client was also the first custom client that this particular builder had sent to me) and the builder told me that after the house was built that this was the most enjoyable build that he had ever done. He said the clients were happy throughout the whole project becase everything that they saw being built matched the pictures that they had worked out with me before the house was ever started.

  2. Milagros Torres

    I am a friend of 3d diva. She. Speaks well of you now that I see your work
    I must she does not exaggerate you are very talented/.

  3. Exactly! Some have said that the 3Ds provide a much needed “hold over” before the house begins to take shape. They can see the end of the tunnel. After walking the house closer to completion, they say… “It is like I have been here before!”

    Generally folks who are building their dream home have collected tons of pictures. They know what they like but they do not know if these things will look right in their own home. 3Ds get rid of that fear. They move forward with the contract to build, because they KNOW it is going to be wonderful!

    Pat has told me that after she takes a generic plan and adds her frills, the clients see these things and want them. That is extra money in the builders pocket… AND happy clients. Cannot beat that!

  4. OK… that is too funny… I was writing the “Exactly” answer to what CHRIS said.. then I post and see that Milagros wrote! Goodness. Thanks Milagros! I have to remind folks that I have HELP! My son takes my models and makes them look fantastic in the renderings he does. Could not complete a job without him these days!

  5. “Some have said that the 3Ds provide a much needed “hold over” before the house begins to take shape. They can see the end of the tunnel. ”
    Kay, you are so right about that. That’s why my motto at CastleView 3D is “…where dreams take shape” — because what I’m doing is taking something that’s only a dream to someone, that only exists inside their head, and making it look just like a photograph. It’s a little like giving them clairvoyance — the ability to see into the future!

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