Online Design Centers: Your Questions Answered

The top ten questions asked by home builder about the online design center.


The design process is a pillar of the new home buying experience. There's nothing that gets a potential buyer more excited than the prospect of picking out every element of their new home. The very nature of shopping has been turned on its head by the internet and home shoppers want more autonomy to shop on their time and control the process. An online design center is a proven strategy to help improve the client experience. In today’s highly competitive market, homebuilders can’t afford to be left behind.

So, you’re considering an online design center but still have questions? We've answered the Top 10 Questions we get from builders like you. Want to learn more? We would love to talk – email us at  

  1. Will this replace my design center team and make them obsolete?

Quite the opposite! Envision only makes your design center team members more effective and successful. Since home buyers can add things to their wish list before their in-person appointment, your design team members can better prepare, personalize and even upsell home buyers when they meet in person. In addition, it drastically optimizes, making everyone involved more satisfied.

  1. What if our manufacturers are outside of your partner network?

BDX works with over 300 manufacturer brands offering over 350,000 products, and that list is growing monthly. Most builders find that they are covered by our partnerships – but if not, don’t worry, we’ve got that covered, too. Our dedicated manufacturer team is constantly reaching out to new manufacturers on behalf of our builders to incorporate them into the Envision program. We will do the heavy lifting to engage your manufacturer partners that aren’t in our system already.

  1. We only build 25 homes per year. Are we too small to benefit from Envision?

Some of our most successful Envision builders are smaller/custom builders that build less than 30 homes a year. There is no minimum when it comes to how many homes you need to build each year to see the benefits of using Envision. We also have different flavors of Envision that align with any builder's budget.

  1. I am sold but need this up and running in a month for our peak season. I have seven plans and 90 options across those plans. Can you pull this off?

Yes, we can! Our Envision Express version lets us get your Online Design Center up and running in just 30 days. We have a proven implementation process, a seasoned team and will ensure your digital strategy matches your brand!

  1. Many of our buyers are in the "Active Adult" demographic. Will it still work for us?

Absolutely! Envision is highly user-friendly, and builders are seeing no resistance from Active Adults utilizing the tool. They love the low-pressure, low-stress environment it creates, allowing them to browse and choose option choices at their convenience – and share with their family. And when it comes to younger demographics, they don't just want an online tool. They expect it. We have the data to prove both.

  1. Do we have to keep the product data up-to-date in Envision manually?

No. The manufacturers are responsible for updating product content. The builder is only responsible for managing what products are offered with their options, as you do today in your day to day. This approach means that data is fresh and in line with current manufacturers’ offerings.  And better yet, you are in the know when product lines are discontinued or when SKU numbers change!

  1. We have an ERP.  Is it possible to connect the two technologies?

Yes! Envision has open web services and APIs in place that can integrate with any ERP or CRM systems. We have several offerings that allow builders of all levels of systems in place to leverage their data and reduce any errors or manual management

  1. We have different options that show on a per-plan basis. How does that work with Envision?

Just like it does in your systems today! If you have an option that is available in a certain community in a specific plan at a given price point, then Envision mimics your structure.  Your internal systems are still the system of record for pricing and availability. 

  1. I can't afford Envision.

Our data says otherwise. Envision leads convert at unheard-of rates of 20-40% directly from your website. In addition, bounce rates are reduced, time on site increases, and the level of engagement is off the charts. Our data also shows that the average increase for option sales is about 30%—a direct impact on your bottom line in the thousands. And finally, Envision creates raving fans, improving your customer satisfaction ratings by 20%! We’ve had builders tell us they can’t afford NOT to adopt an online design center in this competitive market. And what other initiative will you do that actually makes you more money and creates customers for life?

  1. Visualizers are amazing, but we sell options by packages. How would this work for us?

Our integrated Visualizers with Envision can showcase both all your packages as well as any a la carte offerings – you decide.  And, you are able to use that same Visualizer across the entire buyer journey, from pre-sales to when your buyer contracts and beyond. This should really pour gas on your marketing efforts!

More questions? We are here to help! Contact or your BDX Sales Consultant today.

About the Author

Builders Digital Experience

At BDX, our team of experts sets us apart. For over 20 years, we’ve helped top builders successfully market their new home communities. We work with over 1000 builders to create successful digital marketing programs. Our professionals are experts in the latest technology, marketing, and industry trends.

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