Developer jumping into virtual world to showcase new homes

Managing director of London developer St George shows Melissa York around their new, hi-tech show suite in Mayfair

A BOX of light glows on the top of a miniature tower, signifying a new home. A tap of a tablet later and a screen stretching from floor-to-ceiling presents you with a high-definition view from your new balcony over the River Thames. Is this the future of house-buying?

London new-build developers St George seems to think so. Its marketing suite at 25 Berkeley Square in Mayfair hopes to entice buyers into investing in its properties by using interactive technology to view individual apartments’ floor plans, views and furnishings from its London-wide portfolio in one place.

“We are living in a digital age where technology is rapidly changing,” says Ross Faragher, St George’s managing director. “We want to make sure we are at the forefront and I think the use of digital at 25 Berkeley Square epitomises this.

“Our buyers are incredibly successful and busy people, so by taking our portfolio to them in the heart of Mayfair, where they are likely to be on business or meeting friends and contacts, in an environment which serves their needs perfectly, we are able to offer a truly bespoke service that meets their needs.”

Faragher also believes 25 Berkeley Square “sets a new benchmark in the property industry” by using technology to allow prospective buyers to experience new developments without traversing identikit showrooms.

Each development has a scaled-down interactive model so you can see just how far from the ground your apartment will be. These are synchronised with video walls and high definition LCD screens to take you on a 3D tour of the property. The technology is also hooked up to live sales data, giving accurate real-time information on availability and pricing.

Private members clubs formed the inspiration behind 25 Berkeley Square with its listed lounge, “penthouse room”, bar area, boardroom, and private meeting rooms.

Clients are even driven to the suite in a St George-branded London taxi.

“Buyers want everything done for them,” says Faragher. “People coming to buy property in London are increasingly looking for everything to be laid on and arranged for them.

“This is a way of having a base in central London where we can really show people what we have to offer.”