The world of home buying is evolving and modernizing at a significant speed, while being simplified and made increasingly accessible in the last few years thanks to online technology. Since before the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, many developers had been entertaining the idea of implementing an online purchasing system into their websites. Although the idea was still being explored, the pandemic created an immediate need for a new type of contactless home-buying system, pushing the virtual innovation of the industry to become a reality. 

Over the last two years, the real estate industry has begun to catch up with international, and real estate marketing, advertising, and graphic design firm Ryan Design International is being acknowledged for their role in pioneering home-buying software. The firm has just recently won a silver National Homebuilder's Association award for their "Purchaser Portal," a new virtual home sales technology which launches projects, and sells homes virtually. UrbanToronto sat with the firm's two partners Linda O'Connor and Kelly Ryan to learn more. 

The Ryan Design team, image courtesy of Ryan Design

"At the start of the pandemic, our team researched all available virtual sales systems," said Linda O'Connor. "We met with several of our builders to determine a system that involved the right amount of communication, and would get results fast for high rise and low rise builders."

Since 1977, Ryan Design International has grown to be a full-service advertising agency, playing an instrumental role in the launching and on-going marketing of real estate projects and technology. In addition to residential communities, the firm has branded and promoted a succession of condominium, retirement, and resort developments all around the world. They have now added online home-sales to their list of notable achievements. 

"Since March of 2020 we conducted over 60 virtual sales programs, and our clients have sold over 5,000 new homes using our program," said Kelly Ryan.  

Online purchasing software, image courtesy of Ryan Design

Daniel Salerno, VP of Operations, Sales, and Marketing at Paradise Developments spoke to his experience working with the firm, saying, "with Ryan Design International, we created a digital sales program after not being able to hold open houses during the pandemic. This new selling system allowed us to effectively promote our communities, and hold virtual sales events, which resulted in over 600 new home sales."

Daniel Salerno and Linda O'Connor, image courtesy of Ryan Design

So how does a virtual sales event work? After registering for a specific home or condo project on a participating developer's website, the purchaser is sent a link to browse the virtual sales office. This includes the site plan, floor plans and elevations, and virtual tours, so that the purchaser can review before their appointment with a sales agent. After they have become familiar with the details, they are able to book a sales appointment, which is sent to them by email. The sales appointment is then held over an online video meeting, where the purchaser can secure their lot, and purchase their home. Once the deposit is sent, the purchaser is emailed electronic documents to sign and return. 

Online purchasing software, image courtesy of Ryan Design

The sales teams of each individual developer that Ryan Design International works with walk the purchaser through the entire process, answering all of their questions as they arise. The result is a confident and well-informed purchaser, who has no doubts about what to expect from their new home.

What came from the need to buy a home without visiting a sales centre in-person, has led to a whole new home-buying experience. Ryan Design International has played a key role in this transition, influencing the way the industry will function going forward. 

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