Why Some 3D Companies Charge 10x More Than Others

What do you think when you hear the term “visualizing architecture” or “3D exterior visualization”? To some, it may just mean looking at pretty pictures with some buildings; to others, it just may seem cool looking at sceneries that have buildings on them.

However, to an architect, visualizing architecture is so much more than that. Visualizing architecture is more about showing what scenery looks like when it’s made. It kind of gives viewers a glimpse into the future so that they’ll know how a building will look and what it’s going to be for.

And aside from common questions, such as “Is outsourcing 3D rendering service cheaper?” or “How much do 3D visualizations cost?” —one of the most common questions is: “Why do some 3D companies charge 10x more than others?”

Let’s dissect this matter, unveil some hidden truths to this ArchViz mystery, and expose what many architect companies might be doing wrong.

Why We Need 3D Architectural Exterior Rendering

The simple answer to that is because people often don’t know how to read a blueprint or an architectural drawing. An architectural drawing is made up of 8 elements, which include the following:

  • Site layout
  • The diagram which shows the connection of the spaces
  • Elevations which show a vertical perspective of the building
  • A floor plan which shows the horizontal perspective of the building
  • Sections which show the surfaces
  • Isometric and axonometric diagrams
  • Components (installations and details)
  • View of all the perspectives

To an architect, all of these things are the norm. However, to ordinary folks, these aspects are pretty foreign and quite complicated. Besides, it will be really hard for ordinary people to imagine the building just by looking at a blueprint. That is why a 3D architectural rendering should be used. It can give the client an actual photorealism image as to what the finished product will look like without having to know all the boring details.

Why More Established Firms Don’t Use 3D Visualization

If you’ve noticed, the newer architectural firms use a lot of 3D renderings, while the older companies still stick to the old-school style—blueprints.

Why is this?

For one reason, 3D designing programs are quite expensive, and older, more established firms don’t see the need to invest in the latest programs since they already have a brand attached to them. They’re actually very confident that they can sell their idea or property to the client…so they don’t make use of 3D visualization to give the client a complete experience.

However, don’t you think that it’s quite a pity?

A good 3D representation of your project will not only help you push your idea to a whole new level, but it will also help boost the trust of your customers. It’s a whole new level of customer support by allowing them to see the complete, finished product before it’s done. This is (definitely) an amazing way to gain the hearts of clients.

Why Should Companies Use 3D Visualization?

So let’s take a step away from the companies who don’t use 3D and focus our eyes on the ones that do. Imagine talking to a consultant and letting him give you an idea of what your future ideal home will look like. Are you having a hard time visualizing? Don’t worry, most people do—especially if it’s just from words.

Now, imagine the consultant pulling out his computer and showing you 3D renders. He is now showing you the representation of what your future home could look like. Now, you’re not just looking at your future house, but also everything around it. It’s like you were given a photograph of the future.

Compare that now to being given an ordinary blueprint with some details written on the side. It’s a completely different experience, right?

A 3D architectural rendering will make it easier for you to visualize what the end goal will look like without you having to wrap your head around it too much. Therefore, companies that put customer experience as a main focal point — use 3D visualization. They do this so that they can evoke emotions in their customers by showing something very pretty that will be theirs in the future. The entire experience will be able to appeal to the clients and attract them to buy the property.

What Most Architect Companies Do Wrong with 3D Visualization

Not all companies know how to order 3D visualization in the right way. A lot of companies that are used to the old-style of architecture just simply ask 3D studios to create 3D designs based only on the blueprints of the building itself, without providing any surroundings of the house to create the whole picture.

And this is the wrong approach — totally wrong…

By using this approach, during 3D studio selection, architects have only one question: “Why is your 3D visualization service much more expensive than another firm…and the building is the same? Why do you ask 10 times more money than others?”

All such questions arouse only because architects or real estate companies hadn’t decided why they want 3D visualization to be ordered in the first place. It is because they’re saying:

  • “We need something; the quality is not so important — we could sell the building without any images…”
  • “We need something nice, but not too expensive — we know sales will come anyway…”
  • “We need to take a market share with a new product — we need to stand out from the crowd; we need something awesome!”

And here is the answer to the question, “Why are prices sometimes 10x higher?” When architects turn to a 3D studio, they usually forget to tell why they need the images in the first place.

House modeling and texturing in both firms, the one who charges X and the one who charges 10 times more, will take the same amount of time. And the price for doing so will be almost the same. But what makes the final price go 10 times higher? It is the creation of surroundings that brings emotions and desire to buy!

That’s why one 3D studio will simply paint blueprints, make basic surroundings, and charge X. Another studio will work on the surroundings, make it more pretty, and charge 5X. Another will do surroundings this way that only by looking at the image you will think immediately that you would like to be there…and the price for this is 10X.

To better understand my point, take a look at the following images:

Image by Faraday 3D

Image by Faraday 3D

Image by Faraday 3D

Image by Faraday 3D

If we made a comparison, you would more than likely say that the 2nd picture is much more beautiful and enticing. Meanwhile, the one above is rather plain and boring. If I am an agent and offer you the house by showing you the first picture, would you buy it? That’s highly unlikely.

However, if I showed you the second picture, I’d have a far better chance of persuading you to make a deal. It feels like you’re looking at the future — even if the house isn’t built yet.

How Architecture Companies Should Handle 3D Architectural Rendering

Well, they should take note of these points:

  • How can they help the client decide whether or not the house is a good investment?
  • How can they boost the client’s confidence—that the house fits in a particular location?
  • How can they encourage the client to appreciate their effort by showing 3D images of his or her home with the surroundings?
  • How can they justify a higher price compared to the other architecture firms that just offer ordinary blueprints?

With this in mind, an architecture firm will become more customer-centric when using 3D rendering to give a clear picture of how the client’s end product will look like. Using 3D architectural rendering is not just about beefing up the sales—it’s also about going the extra mile for the client.

If the client sees your effort and appreciates what you’re doing, then the sales will generate—organically. Naturally, if a few clients like the effort given to them, then word of mouth will spread and more clients will start to come. Simply put, by taking the initiative to go beyond the expectations of clients by using 3D visualization, a firm can actually help drive in more customers which will, in turn, bring in more sales.


So what’s the bottom line when it comes to visualizing architecture? Using architectural 3D visualization is simply about giving experience to the clients. If you were a client of an architecture firm that uses this type of approach, you’d be happy, right?

That’s the core of visualizing architecture using 3D rendering.

When thinking about visualizing architecture, a firm must first understand what it’s for. Know that it’s not for driving in money per se. It’s about going further and evoking emotions in customers that will push them to make the purchase. The goal is using 3D as a clearer means to propose the project to the client with supporting info so that the client will be more inclined to buy.

Always remember — it’s all about the experience.

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