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New audio pen brings Redrow show homes to life

Redrow Homes is writing itself into the industry’s history books yet again with the use of special audio pens to help would be home buyers appreciate its show homes.

Redrow is believed to be the first UK housebuilder to introduce the pens in a bid to enhance the visitor experience.

Potential customers who prefer to look around a show home in their own time can use an audio pen and interactive map to guide them around the show home and find out more about the design and specification of Redrow’s homes.

They’ll hear lot of useful information about the home, its fixtures and fittings and some of the brand names featured – for items such as wardrobes, kitchen appliances, even the garage door – all accompanied by a backdrop of sound effects designed to help customers imagine themselves living in the property; from the sounds of cooking to glasses clinking, the patio doors opening, murmurs of conversation and children playing.

The audio pens have already been trialled at one of Redrow’s developments in Lytham, Lancashire, and are now being rolled out at many of the housebuilder’s developments across England and Wales.

Claire Jarvis, sales director for Redrow Homes (Lancashire), says: “Lytham Quays is such a busy development that our sales consultant cannot show every single visitor around there and then. If she is busy when they arrive, customers can look around in their own time using the audio pen and then hopefully sit down afterwards, better informed, and run through any additional questions with the sales consultant.

“We also had research showing that 75% of customers liked to look around a show home on their own on their first visit – but they still had questions. Using the audio pen and interactive map answers those questions but means they still feel in control. It’s perfect for bringing the show home to life.”

The audio pens have been developed following research by Manchester based integrated marketing agency Madhouse, whose planning director Clare Briscall explains: “It’s all about encouraging consumers to use all of their senses to enhance engagement with a brand. Customers viewing a show home are already using their senses of sight and touch; the audio pen introduces sound to the equation and also makes them much more involved in the process.

“It encourages the entire family to be part of the show home experience by interacting with the map and listening to the audio as a group. They also have the freedom to choose their own route around the show home at a preferred pace.”

Customer feedback has included comments such as:

  • “The pen helped us to spot things we might otherwise have missed.”
  • “Redrow are making more effort and paying attention to details – it’s that extra step.”
  • “A show home can be immaculate so the audio helped it feel more lived in.”
  • “I liked to be able to imagine myself opening the patio doors in summer.”
  • “It kept my daughter busy!”

Redrow is also exploring the potential of using audio pens and interactive maps to help people who are purchasing properties off-plan, where no show home is available for viewing.

Kim Peters, Redrow’s group sales and marketing director, says: “This is innovative technology with lots of potential benefits. We’re delighted with the results of our trials and are looking forward to rolling out the use of audio pens across the group. It’s another first for Redrow following innovations such as the introduction of our own broadband television channel Redrow.TV and our new website tool ‘My Redrow’, which allows customers to manage their home buying process online.”

The audio pens are available at selected developments in England and Wales. Look out for posters in marketing suites highlighting where they are available. For more details of Redrow developments go to www.redrow.co.uk.