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Seeing is Believing: 3D Models Bring Commercial Real Estate Visions to Life

By Evan Brandt, Cofounder & CEO

Seeing is Believing

The social media trend of describing something without explicitly naming it (tell me you are a ____ without telling me you’re a ____) perfectly encapsulates the challenge brokers face in conveying the potential of development sites to tenants.

Describing a future state requires a strong imagination and exceptional communication skills. Despite the abundance of available data, tenants often struggle to visualize how a site can meet their needs. For many, seeing remains believing.

The Shift to Early Marketing

The real estate industry is experiencing a shift in pre-leasing strategies due to pressures from challenging capital markets, rising construction costs, and stringent city regulations.

We see our developer clients preferring to gain market feedback early rather than keeping projects secret from potential competitors, so it’s becoming more common to fully pre-lease a site before breaking ground to mitigate risk. Extended pre-leasing periods necessitate tools that facilitate discussions about site layout and development phases to excite tenants and communicate future potential.

New Tools Changing the Landscape

Historically, architects were the only solution for conveying development visions through renderings and site plans, a lengthy and expensive process. While detailed, colorized site plans and renderings assist, they lack a reference to the site as it sits today.

3D models superimposed onto drone footage provide a unique balance of current conditions with future potential, offering a cost-effective, comprehensive, and realistic view. The affordability and speed of producing realistic 3D models allow stakeholders to visualize a site’s full potential, making the future more tangible than ever.

Legal and Practical Applications

Negligence lawsuits are common in commercial real estate, often stemming from unmet expectations or oversights. 3D models can mitigate these risks by providing clear visual representations of planned developments alongside actual site conditions. This transparency benefits all parties involved, including lawyers, landlords, and city planners.

For landlords facing significant vacancies or below-market rents, 3D models enable the evaluation of different tenant mixes and redevelopment needs without committing to costly architectural services. This approach allows for market testing and decision-making with minimal risk and expense. While basic architectural services can cost around $30,000, effective 3D model videos can be produced for as low as $1,700.

Broader Use of 3D Models

Beyond pre-leasing, the combination of 3D models and drone footage has numerous applications, including legal matters, landlord decision-making, and city planning. More and more cities are using these tools to visually demonstrate the benefits of redevelopment to investors, policymakers, and the community, making complex projects more understandable and engaging.

Landlords are also leveraging this technology to pivot strategies based on market interest, reducing risk and costs. The ability to show, rather than tell, a site’s potential is a powerful tool in the competitive landscape of commercial real estate.

Embracing Innovation for Success

The reduction in cost and turnaround time, along with dramatic increases in quality for 3D modeling tools, are welcome advancements in commercial real estate, and the future is bright for those who are ready to innovate and adapt.

Understanding trends, anticipating changes, and being proactive in strategy and execution are keys to thriving in this evolving market. As we move forward, we are watching those harnessing these technological shifts not only survive, but thrive.

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ASOC is Now VidTech

We are thrilled to announce that ASOC has been acquired by VidTech. Our journey has taken an exciting turn as we join forces with a leader in digital innovation.

As we integrate with VidTech, you will be redirected to the VidTech website where you can discover a broader range of solutions and services. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to serving you with an expanded portfolio.

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