Stan Zaslavsky

5 Ways to Align Your 3D Visuals for International Investors

In the last couple of years, international sales channels and buyers have become very important to Australian off-the-plan real estate marketing and, as a result, apartment styling and 3D renders are being aligned to the demands of that powerful new market.

With the trend set to continue, more and more developers are now coming to us with specific requests that the renders we deliver cater to the tastes and expectations of these overseas property investors.

So here are 5 practical tips and insights into the key elements you need to consider for effective 3D visual marketing of your next off-the-plan project.

Of all the overseas buyers showing strong interest in the Australian property market, Chinese investors account for the largest percentage.  In fact, figures show that almost $34.7 billion in Australian residential real estate in 2013-2014 – including newly developed property worth $25.8 billion – was bought by Chinese property investors.

It’s a considerable climb from 2013, when Chinese investment was around the $7 Billion mark – a figure that still out-stripped most of the other overseas buyers, as per the chart below.

Considering the facts of the demand above, as developers catering to the target market – it’s worthwhile to consider some of the ways to increase your project’s international sales appeal.

Key 1 – Opulent Environment

Asian investors want to buy into opulence and luxury. The renders need to communicate that through expensive furniture pieces and finishes. As 3D artists, we can only work with the finishes as prescribed by the interior designers – but we have a lot of freedom when it comes to furnishing the environment.

And if finishes are able to be optimised towards this target market, then gloss finishes are definitely preferable, with marble-look benchtops, high-gloss cabinetry and gloss timber flooring being very important to the Chinese target market.

As an example – the interior image above is from a townhouse development in Doncaster. The suburb is known for being highly represented by a growing Asian demographic. To cater to that – and the unique tastes and desires of that lucrative market, we paid special attention to creating the best possible finishes.

Key 2 – High-Contrast Lighting

Currently in Australia, there is a very strong push towards very mild light and soft shadows in the 3D visuals – reminiscent of Northern European skies. However, this is not what the Asian climate typically looks like. The colours there are quite saturated and, so, if the renders aim to reflect the same – there is genuine potential for a greater subliminal acceptance and appeal.

To optimise a targeted appeal to these overseas buyers, deep blue skies, bright colours in the flowers and deep green grass are just some of the lighting options that should be considered in the 3D renders.

Exterior render of the Doncaster townhouses reflects the bright daytime lighting and saturated skies.

Whether it is a townhouse or apartment development – colours should be strong and saturated. The above apartment development is in Mount Waverley, which is another suburb of Melbourne very popular with Chinese buyers.

Key 3 – High-Contrast Finishes Styled with Subtle Highlights

Mirroring some of the comments above – the actual furniture and interior styling is typically quite monochromatic and subdued, with black and white tones dominating and only very subtle highlights to accent – either in copper, bronze or gold colours.

This achieves quite a sophisticated look to the interiors and seems to be extremely popular in the recent developments aimed at overseas buyers.

Living space from a house and land development aimed towards international buyers has mostly black and white tones, with the green colour coming in from the outside environment and spot colours in the painting and table items to create interest and bring attention to those areas.

Key 4 – Feng Shui Implications for 3D Visuals

Just like the principles of Feng Shui apply to the interiors and house placements, so too, there is an application of the principles to the 3D renders produced for internationally-marketed property projects.

According to Feng Shui – The dominant element for the east direction is wood, and east is the direction of fame and energy because of the Sun. By placing wooden furnishings and flooring oriented in the Eastern direction, the belief is that this may increase power and energy. If there is an opportunity to do this within the 3D space, this may further improve the attraction of the 3D renders being produced.

Principles such as positioning of items are also important to consider for Feng Shui – like beds in bedrooms being placed in the area further from the door/diagonally from the door, but not in line with it. In other words, you want to be able to see the door while you are in bed, but not be aligned with the door.

The bedroom 3D render above is from a project specifically aimed at the Asian demographic – the layout was kept in line with Feng Shui principles for optimal presentation.

Key 5 – Appropriate Scenery Entourage

In line with the first element of luxurious surroundings, people and cars utilised in 3D renders should be selected to reflect this as well. Maserati, Lamborghini and Bentley are some of the car brands that typically represent opulence and high-class. Although in Australia such images may be seen as tacky for some 3D visuals, in Asia those cars represent prestigious levels of success and are very desirable.

Similarly with people entourage – by visualising developments with a specific demographic of people that communicates to the ideal buyer, the project has a greater chance of international appeal.

The project above is in a bayside suburb that might not be typically associated to high end cars, however by adding those elements to the render – creates an impression of the future lifestyle and possibility.

Opulence and Luxury – Key to Attracting Overseas Buyers

The thoughts above are along the lines of the Align insight from our whitepaper, ‘Five Insights to 3D Visuals for Effective Off-the-Plan Marketing Campaigns’ and should really be identified and applied at the conceptual stage of the development.

Smart developers understand the target market and the likely sales channels that are going to be used to market the project. Having this clear understanding in place – influences finishes and specifications, as well as provides a clear direction to the 3D visualisation consultants at the marketing stage of the project.

Let us know if there are any further questions around this topic and we look forward to being of service.

To your development success,


Stan Zaslavsky

BEng (Mech with Honours) / BTech (Industrial Design), LREA, VPELA

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