When pitching clients on a home theater installation, one of the biggest challenges is delivering an enticing preview of the home theater experience to generate excitement, anticipation and a sale.
As a premier provider of home security, entertainment and control systems for new home builds, Texas-based HomePro knows that technology showrooms won’t persuade every client to make a purchase. Thankfully, physical showrooms are no longer the only game in town. Earlier this year, HomePro began supplementing their showrooms with Modus VR, a tool that allows home theater integrators to design virtual replicas of prospective clients’ rooms and give virtual reality walkthroughs to raise excitement and help determine the best design and components for each unique space.
“We are always looking for ways to enhance the client experience during consultation,” said Ross Thierault, HomePro vice president of sales, “and Modus VR may be the single greatest way to do that, in addition to having a physical showroom. By recreating the actual dimensions of clients’ media rooms and having instant, simple controls to add or move objects while the client is in the VR environment, we’re delivering a highly detailed experience that had an immediate and significant impact on our sales.”
HomePro’s Dallas, TX, showroom, the company’s first to use Modus VR, saw such great success in the first 45 days that the company quickly moved to add systems to their Houston and San Antonio locations. What’s more, as an integrator that mostly works with home builders building entire communities, HomePro plans to put a connected VR headset in builder design centers and run virtual showroom appointments remotely, making it the fastest, easiest way to show a client what’s possible in their new home.
“Doing remote consultations will be a huge boon for both our customer service and our sales,” Thierault said. “We’ve found that clients who visit a showroom are not only more likely to use our services, but also spend on average 18-percent more than clients who hire us without a physical demo. Modus VR gives us a highly accurate way to show clients exactly what a 65-inch TV, for example, will look like on their wall. After that type of experience, clients begin using the same language we do, like saying ‘oh, that size is inadequate for this space, maybe we should go with a projector’, where they might otherwise have said that 65 inches is surely big enough.”
For the majority of people, especially of home buying age, virtual reality is still seen as a novelty that they haven’t used in any meaningful way. For that reason, the sales team quickly realized that presenting the Modus VR experience as ‘something really cool,’ rather than using the words ‘virtual reality demo’, hooked the clients, which can turn into a “you’ve got to see this!” viral experience if they come in with family members.
“I would say four out of five of our clients have never used VR before,” Thierault added, “and many of them haven’t even been inside their new home, having only seen the floorplans before purchasing. So, the fact that we can quickly show them all sorts of different options, from physical arrangement to TV versus projector, is often their first realistic look into their new home.”
HomePro tested several virtual reality design solutions, but found that only Modus VR provides both an intuitive setup process and real-time responsiveness that enables redesigning the VR environment right in front of clients. While the company doesn’t sell furniture for home theaters, they include furniture in their virtual spaces to give clients the most realistic view possible. They can also change the furniture on the fly, in addition to lighting and finishes.
At first, some employees were hesitant to leverage the VR software, but then one team member sold a media room to a client that nobody expected would pull the trigger, and it caught on like wildfire. The company plans to train all sales staff to use Modus VR so they can operate it on-demand, and says it takes as little as an hour to get a handle on the basics of guiding a virtual demo, changing properties and moving virtual items. They currently have 10 templates for different rooms that reflect their home builds.
“While we love our physical showrooms to display specific components and let clients feel the rumble of subwoofers, Modus VR has enabled us to generate incredible excitement and interest faster than ever, with more clients than ever,” Theirault said. “Until now, it was impossible to design any sort of showroom experience that reflected each buyer’s actual home, so we’re thrilled to have Modus VR as a powerful new tool in our sales toolbox.”
HomePro placed the ModusVR experience inside an existing physical showroom with home theater seating and a projection screen, so clients can quickly explore their own home’s room in virtual reality, then sample the look, sound and feel of professional home theater equipment to complete the experience.