Most people don’t have the ability to look at a blank canvas and a palette of paint and envision what the future work of art will look like. If the artist describes the future painting, we get a better idea, but not a true vision. It’s not until the paint is on the canvas that we can truly see it.

Yet, we expect so much artistic vision from a typical homeowner. When a contractor hands a homeowner an outdoor living design sketch, it’s up to the homeowners to look at their own blank outdoor canvas and attempt to envision what it could be. Even with a sketch and all the materials right there in front of them, it’s too hard for most to truly visualize the end result, which makes it hard to commit to the expenditure. There are just too many dots left to connect. That’s why Belgard created the Design Studio and offered contractors a way to have a 3-D design with renderings and fly-through animation done for the project. And by doing so, contractors who have used the service have increased closure rates to as much as 80%.

Now, let’s take the visualization process a step further and imagine the ability to actually immerse oneself inside the artwork to see if from every angle in a life-sized one-to-one ratio. That’s the power of virtual reality, and in just a few short week’s you will have this powerful sales tool in your arsenal. To top it off, this service will be completely free to Belgard Authorized Contractors.

With a simple inexpensive pair of VR goggles and an ordinary smartphone, you’ll have the ability to allow each member of your client’s household to have a personalized experience in their own future outdoor space, with a full 360-degree view of the design from multiple vantage points within the future space. Depending upon the dimensions of the space, each design will include from two to four different 360-degree views.


Click the image to view a sample 360 design. Use your mouse or finger to drag and navigate. When viewing on a mobile device, gyroscope mode will enable you to navigate your phone around the image.

In recent months, Belgard has been testing this technology with contractors in the field, and the response has been overwhelming. “Everything is to scale, and you literally forget that you’re not in real life,” describes Mike Miles, Design Service Manager for the Belgard Design Studio. “The contractors who have tested it absolutely love it and tell us that the immersive experience utterly wows the homeowners.” The program will be launched nationwide at the HNA 2017 trade show in October.


HOW TO USE BELGARD 360 DESIGNS AS A SALES TOOL

Step One: Meet with the homeowner to discuss budget, design ideas and materials. Take “before” photos of the space from multiple angles. Be sure to include views of the house, existing landscaping and nearby structures.

Step Two: Create a design sketch with dimensions. Submit the sketch, photos and a Belgard product list to the Belgard Design Studio. Be sure to include any landscaping plans in addition to hardscapes. Please contact your local rep for assistance accessing the submittal website.

Step Three: Download the Scope by IrisVR app to your smartphone. Import the code for the 360 images sent to you from the Design Studio into the app, and download the images.

Step Four: At your next client visit, set your phone to “airplane mode” to avoid interruptions. Launch the app, open the first 360 view and slide the phone into the goggles. For best viewing, have the person sit in a swivel chair so that they can turn around 360 degrees from a stationary position and avoid the possibility of vertigo from the immersive imagery.

Step Five: Close the sale. Once the homeowners have literally pictured themselves inside their new space, their excitement level increases, and they’re ready to experience it in real life.