Stan Zaslavsky

5 Essential Elements in Architectural Visualisation for Effective Land Estate Sales

Over the last ten years, we’ve had the opportunity to work on more than 30 different land estates around the country. One thing we’ve learned? That there are similar elements that flow across one another for effective project marketing. These estates varied from 90 homes through to well over 2,000 house lots, where marketing strategies and scope of imagery were obviously different – however, the key essentials remained pretty much the same amongst all the estates.

Experienced property developers in these kinds of projects typically work with a range of marketing consultants and a lot depends on well-crafted architectural visualisation to create and improve sales of either house and land packages to end buyers, or blocks of land lots to smaller builders who go off to do their own thing on the blocks.

Whatever the specific product, the fact remains that the main presentation graphics should be visualised to (hopefully) appeal to the two different types of buyers the project is targeting. How? It is, ultimately, about telling the story of what this future community will look like and who it will appeal to.

Element 1 – Overall Development Story – Aerial 3D Perspective

As the main visual for the project – nothing explains it as well as an impressive aerial 3D perspective of the overall project. As you can imagine, these images are used for a variety of purposes, from web-based images, through to large hoarding displays that are mounted on very large boards, and used by the sales agents to showcase the position of all the various features to prospective residents of the estate. From parklands, through to communal centres and playgrounds – all of these are best visualised in an aerial form, if the budget allows.

Aerial photography is more accessible and affordable these days as its popularity grows but it does have its own unique requirements and we highlight some of the keys to aerial photography in this article: Why Photography Matters in Architectural Visualisation

Both mood and sunlight play a very large role in the aerial shots – as they are often the hero image used to market the development. Getting the ideal backdrop shot makes all the difference.

Aerial shots also require 3D artists to build up the entire model of the project in digital space, so these are also quite time-consuming and costly images – however, for projects that can have a lifespan of 5-10 years at a time, these images are worth every cent.

Element 2 – Feature Entry Perspective

The next essential element to visualise is the entry feature of the project and, whether it’s a semi-aerial or an eye-level perspective image, the main objective for these images is to show future residents how they arrive home each day to their new address. In these images, landscaping plays a much greater role than in the overall aerial images, as it enables us to see a lot more detailed close-up view.

Having a well-designed identity of the project can also be brought into these images – and that can be achieved simply by placing logos or any other identifiers for the project on these entry perspectives.

Element 3 – Typical Streetscape Perspective

Some developers provide a design and construct service and in these cases accurate house types can be produced for the streetscape images – however, most of the time (if the land estate developer is going to be selling large tracts of land to smaller builders, for example), the importance of these streetscapes is about showing future lifestyle for the residents of the community. Lots of people, kids playing, parents walking with dogs and a few parked cars is typically the scenery required for some of these images.

We also try to find streets with unique features to them – whether that includes adjoining wetlands, or parks, or any other interesting features of the estate. This way, for those aspiring to live in the community, those house lots visualised on the streetscape will be that much more attractive. Having worked with a range of home builders over the years, many of them are happy for us to utilise their home models to place on the estates – especially if the land estate is in an area where those builders would work. This way, the homes visualised can be immediately identified and built for the purchasers, if they chose a particular land lot shown on the 3D streetscape.

Alternatively, if the developer of the land estate is going to provide their own designs, individual home product shots may be required to help the marketing team. The most common challenge with the product shots is that, typically, these estates are in growth areas and are at the lower end of the market, so the design of the homes is often constrained by budgets.

What this means is that more effects, such as lighting and extra interior detail, are required to dress up these homes beyond what they will look like in real life.

Element 4 – Natural or Man-made Amenity Features – Playgrounds / Parklands / Wetlands Perspectives

Lifestyle amenity is a huge factor for buyers to differentiate among estates to decide where they will ultimately build their home. Although the 3D visuals portraying parklands, or wetlands, are artist impressions and will rarely look like that when the project is complete, it is still true that an image tells a thousand words.

Key elements to keep in mind for your amenity renders are, again, landscaping and emphasising what the medium-term future will look like for the residents when all the trees are established and the neighbouring houses are complete.

When there are dedicated parklands with specific designs, much more care needs to be taken in the images to showcase it accurately. Often, an aerial or a semi-aerial approach is chosen for these shots to present the overall layout of the park and how it interfaces with the neighbouring streets.

Element 5 – Masterplan Visualisation – Additional 2D Graphics

The final piece of marketing that we have been involved with for land estates is often the masterplan that shows the breakdown of the stages of the development. This image is often done in 2D, rather than 3D, and is then isolated into individual stages as required. Initially, though, it shows the overall project with landscaping elements and colour-coded stages.

The masterplan also shows access to the site through various roads, as well as amenities throughout the estate such as parklands, playgrounds, community centres and others.

From here on individual stage plans are derived and shown one at a time to show further details of lot dimensions and landscaping.

Effective Land Estate Visuals Must be Aligned to Overal Marketing Strategy

Effective marketing campaigns for land estates are often the result of experienced developers identifying the elements above and resolving them before visualisation consultants are appointed. This way, when 3D artists start their work, detailed information can be provided for the various areas of the estate.

Time and again we have to resolve the questions in the process of the creation of the imagery, which is time-consuming and can cause delays to launch dates – something that we all want to prevent at all costs. The good news? Architectural visualisation for land estates is straightforward, as long as clear brief guidelines are established and then executed with the right team.

To your development success,


Stan Zaslavsky

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

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