A simple list of details, interior measurements and local amenities isn't enough anymore. Internal photographs, used for showing off key selling points, are now expected as the norm, and even then in many cases are not enough. That's why estate agents are turning to new and exciting ways of presenting their properties online, and in particular, doing so with 3D home design software. 

Metropix have developed a suite of state-of-the-art tools and services, offering solutions to Domestic Energy Assessors and Estate Agents, as well as bringing an immersive online experience for home hunters. Covering everything from 2D floor plans to realistically rendered three-dimensional models, the Metropix range of drawing tools and interactive 3D floor planner software has a simple and intuitive user interface. It allows users to create plans from scratch and develop them into fully interactive 3D models, allowing customers to dabble in 3D home design online.

Beginning with the popular DIY option, the 'Draw Your Own' package is a quick and easy way for estate agents to create floor plans in a matter of minutes - directly from the internet. 'Draw Your Own' doesn't even require the download and installation of any software, yet you can create rooms, and then drag and drop items such as doors, windows, sinks, baths and more, resizing and reshaping as you go. 

For users who don't have the time to create a floor plan from scratch, 'PlanBank' has a repository of millions of plans; subscribers can call up an existing plan at no extra cost and amend it to fit their own specifications. Metropix even caters for those who would prefer not to draw their own at all - the AutoDraw software allows users to upload or fax their own sketch to be rendered professionally. With a guaranteed 24-hour turnaround, this is one of the most cost-effective services of its kind. 

Included in this suite of 2D software and services is the DEA FreeDraw solution. It's a great way of streamlining workload, and the Domestic Energy Assessor can use DEA FreeDraw to create their floor plans and then electronically transmit them to the estate agent, who can then adapt and upgrade to them 3D for sales purposes as needed. FreeDraw is available for free to all registered DEAs.


3D Interior Design

This basic 2D level suite is just the start, as it's from here the software really comes into its own. Metropix provide free upgrades from the basic 2D drawings to the classic floor plan suite, which includes 'Colour Floor Plans' and the 'Picture Plus' feature, really do grab attention. Offering an interactive experience, 'Picture Plus' allows users to click on a room in the floor plan and view photographs from different focus points in that space, as well as providing the option to view the photographs in the form of captioned slideshows.

Arguably, the free upgrade that provides the most added value in this suite is the 'Space Planner', an interactive tool for house hunters to explore their prospective living spaces online. Users can select furniture and other objects from an extensive furnishings library and drag and drop them on to a 2D floor plan. When done, they can then view their layouts from any angle in a true 3D format.

At the top of the range, software such as '3D Floor Plans', 'Inside 3DGE' and '3D Walkthroughs' can add a truly new dimension to property selling online. '3D Floor Plans' can produce a static, fully coloured, three-dimensional vision of a property based on the 2D version, complete with decor and furnishings. 

For estate agents looking for a fully immersive and interactive experience for their customers, '3D Walkthrough' has it all. Working in a similar way to the 3D floor plan option, the '3D Walkthrough' software enables the customer to plan their living space by changing the decor and positioning furnishings in 2D, and then brings it all to life in 3D. The software then takes the customer on a virtual tour through the property, moving from room to room and floor to floor, displaying the layout of furniture they've chosen. In addition, the 3DGE software, with the help of a Google Earth plugin, sets the 3D property model within its actual geographical location so that the customer can not only explore the interior of the property, but also explore the surrounding area to get an idea of local amenities.

Coupled with an essential map service licensed from Ordnance Survey, the Metropix suite has 3D floor plan software to suit every requirement. With viewing times so limited, the 2D floor plans and 3D home design have the potential to take the stress out of home hunting for buyers and tenants alike