Laurie Banyay reports on new design software trends for remodelers at IBS 2014.
Scott Harris, CKD, CKB, VP Sales and Marketing of Chief Architect, spoke to remodelers on Feb. 4 at the International Builders’ Show about how mobile and desktop design software can help remodelers improve productivity and increase sales.
Design software gives the remodeler the ability to show their client what various proposals will look like. In fact, it can even be useful in upselling some features. Adding extra features, such as a soffit or extra tiling, to a digital rendering allows the customer to identify with those touches and even see themselves living with them. Other design features, such as adding a silhouette of a person in a shower, can help the client imagine the scale of the drawing and how they fit into it.
Remodelers need to be able to connect with a client on a personal level, Harris asserts, and design technology will help the clients ascertain what they want and need in a remodel job.
Harris’s demonstration of the desktop design software involved a roof example, where he was able to quickly change elements of the roof design, such as pitch and gables versus no gables. Harris also recommends adding the company logo to drawings he shares with clients. Clients often share renderings and proposals with their friends and family and, if a company logo is on those drawings somewhere, clients also are sharing the company name with others.
On the mobile technology front, Harris demonstrated the RoomPlanner app, which is available on iOS devices. An Android version is in the works. Often used for initial consultations with clients, the RoomPlanner app allows for on-the-spot renderings that can be emailed to clients immediately. Harris notes using a laser meter with this app makes room measurements fast and the room measurements can be communicated directly from the meter to the app via Bluetooth technology.
To wrap it up, Harris says that people buy from people. Connecting with clients and showing them what they want – and showing them you understand what they want – will boost business.