Of course architectural drawing is an art in its own right, allowing the creative designer to construct houses and buildings that become a part of a city. Of course a lot has changed with the advent of computers and online digital systems, making it an easier process. Gone are the days of the pencil hand drawing, with the exception of the ability (thanks to Metropix’s AutoDraw) of being able to send a quick sketch of a floor plan and to get in return a complete digital floor plan.


Architectural Floor Plans

Such a plan is needed these days as potential renters and buyers have become very aware of the pitfalls of inaccurate photos. The use of fish-eye lenses or photos taken from the very corner of the room offer distorted impressions of the size and area. The arrangement of photos can give misleading ideas of room arrangement. Online customers in the housing market are increasingly expecting to see floor plans. Furthermore, the original architect’s drawing available in the deeds or from the owner is unlikely to raise any pulses. The time has come when estate agents need to be able to utilise architectural design software in order to make their properties more attractive.

Luckily, there’s a range of new architectural design software available for non-architects to use. Metropix offers several products and services which are easy to use and have effective results. The Draw Your Own option allows estate agents to create ready-to-use floor plans in a matter of minutes. Simply create or add a new room with the click of a button, move it into place and then add the features. Drag and drop icons for doors and windows and upgrading to colour give the floor plan a truly professional feel. What’s more, there’s no need to download any software. Just go online and create.

For standardised architectural floor plans with properties such as housing estates or terrace homes, there’s also the PLANBANK. This highly usable option contains the floor plans of millions of properties across the UK. Using the town, area or postcode, a simple search returns floor plans for properties in the vicinity, allowing the user to find similar properties and amend as necessary.


Architecture Software

For the documentation of unique properties or even for the creative designs of the would-be architect, Metropix offers bespoke architectural floor plans under its AutoDraw service. It’s a common issue: the estate agent has a few minutes to assess the property and no floor plans are readily available, but the property should be online as soon as possible. Any hand-sketched drawing, showing windows, doors and room sizes, can be scanned and emailed or even faxed to a floor plan creator at Metropix, and the finished drawing will be returned within 24 hours. There’s even scope for adjustments and alterations, and vendor changes can be completed online and the image downloaded right away.

Of course, room size and orientation will be only part of the package estate agents sell. In an increasingly expensive energy market, an energy assessment is a crucial part of any advertisement. After identifying an opportunity to save estate agents time and money, Metropix developed the DEA FreeDraw program. This allows floor plans to be created as part of the EPC while still giving the estate agent full ownership of the plans and information. Once received, changes can be made to room names and sizes - essential for protecting against PMA issues. There’s also the option to add logos and other branding options.

Further to providing standard floor plans, Metropix also offers software for architects and estate agents to enhance existing layout images.

PicturePlus allows interested parties a truly unique viewing opportunity. High-resolution photos are embedded in the floor plan as thumbnails. By clicking on the option, full-sized photos pop open to display in-room views of the property.

SpacePlanner is a remarkably practical application which allows for the imagining of furniture and room arrangements in the floor plan. By clicking and dragging sofas, tables and shelving from the furniture library, potential buyers or tenants can judge the suitability of a property quickly and easily, and all online.

While a floor plan is seen as an essential part of any property marketing campaign, further imaging material is still seen as advantageous. Clear, accurate and colourful plans generate interest in those willing to imagine the property, but 3D plans are simply impossible to ignore. Metropix offers a 3D plan option, including all the furnishings, features and even the external façade type. One click generates the plan, which will be ready to use in a matter of hours.

For the ultimate in online viewing, 3D Walkthoughs are a must. The classic phrase ‘must-see’ has long been a staple of the estate agent business, but this vague recommendation usually falls on unreceptive ears. From properties with an exceptional feel or character to the very best in modern design, 3D Walkthroughs can be a great way to give potential residents the real feel of the property. Simple to set up and easy to use, there really is no comparison.

In the ever-changing world of property sales and management, it is increasingly vital that agents understand the benefits of Architectural Drawing. The buyer and renter pool has many eager but time-stretched individuals. Staying ahead of the competition and showing the properties in your portfolio off to their very best advantage is the only way to generate viewings and close deals. From simple floor plans to 3D walkthroughs, every property has its optimal imaging solution.