Real estate sees a digitalisation of many of its processes, marketing and leasing included. We’re talking about enterprise metaverses or digital universes, built on digital twins which are now used for more commercial purposes. But what is, basically, a 3D digital twin?

Commercial digital twins are lighter, web-based replicas of real-life buildings, regardless of their state of construction (you can have a digital replica of a space that is in planning stage), that showcase all the relevant information about a space in a 3D, interactive format. 

These commercial twins do not include the technical layers of information that you would usually see in a BIM model, their goal being to showcase the space and facilitate marketing and leasing, not building management. Anyone can easily access them from any Internet-connected device and they require no technical preparation.

Operational twins, on the other hand, are complex structures that include much more technical aspects of a building (such as installations) and require performant devices and special programs to access. 

We will continue referring, from now on, to commercial digital twins, as we build and commercialise them. 

How is a 3D Digital Twin built?

The process of building a digital twin starts with the architectural plans of a space. Using a mix of 3D modelling tools and pictures or other visual elements, the replica is elevated digitally. The resulting representation of the building, the virtual tours of the interior and the possible fitouts give a realistic impression of the physical environment.

Digital Twins are built in 3D and represent a major competitive advantage in marketing and leasing a space. 

Benefits of 3D Digital Twins in the office market

When it comes to the office industry, 3D digital twins can support a team’s efforts across multiple processes, as well as improve potential tenants’ experiences when looking for an office. Some of the key advantages we see in having a 3D Digital Twin are:

More qualified leads

By being able to see a space online first – and, in some cases, have custom designs generated for them, potential clients can better understand whether a space can meet their needs.

All relevant details are listed, as well as availability. This means that those who do decide to interact and visit a space are more likely to rent it, creating a healthier pipeline for the developer. 

Faster decision processes

On the other hand, potential clients can see many of the details they need in order to make an informed decision about renting a space. The replica gives a real-space feel, helping tenants imagine themselves in an office, even if that’s located in a totally different city or country. This cuts down decision time by up to 50%.

Easy to share

As office digital twins are web-based, it’s easier to share a potential office space with anyone interested in the lease. Given that now more people are involved in the decision-making process (specialists from HR, Marketing, Sales departments, for example), it is critical not only to share details with them but also to make it as easy as possible for them to visualise the space

On the other hand, this ensures better communication with potential tenants and creates a superior experience for them.

Branding & marketing benefits

A digital twin is a statement of a developer’s orientation toward innovation and efficiency. Using it to attract potential tenants comes with a range of benefits compared to traditional advertising: lower costs, bigger trackability, easier and faster changes, easily differentiate from other competitors.

Sustainability

Digital twins support a company’s sustainability policy by reducing the number of printed advertising materials, offering more transparency and reducing the number of irrelevant live visits.

What’s next for 3D Digital Twins?

Given Digital Twins’ wide range of benefits and applicability across all sectors of real estate, we’re definitely going to see more resources put into R&D and into integrating new technologies (AI / VR/ IoT or even FinTech). 

The more advanced and optimised these tools will become, the more embedded they will become in real estate processes. Rather than just being a separate layer of activity, proptech has started to be merged into the daily activities of real estate professionals.

The emergence of enterprise metaverses and virtual offices is based on these digital twins and how intuitive they’ll become. In the future, we might see elaborate digital spaces allowing us to interact with an office in a completely new way. 

Eventually, digital twins will go beyond being an operational tool and become more and more prevalent in the commercial aspects of real estate buildings.

They come with substantial advantages in the leasing and marketing processes, boosting efficiency. Many activities get optimised, with not only costs being cut, but with innovation being nurtured.

Adaptability and sustainability become critical in a growing business and these tools can work as a solid foundation for the future.


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