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Calgary’s Next Economy: ResVR is helping homebuyers visualize a home that hasn’t been built

You’re in the market for a newly built Calgary home and you close your eyes to imagine what it looks like inside.

What if you could actually see it come to life?

Really, it’s just not the same when you’re picking hardwood, countertops, fixtures and more in the showhome. That’s where Calgary-based ResVR comes in.

Nathan Nasseri, founder of ResVR, has put together a Software as a Service (Saas) program that helps home builders deliver the vision of a new home with all of their upgrades.

“We work with home builders, we take their catalogue of floor plans, and then we showcase their floor plans with every option and upgrade that they can do to it,” Nasseri said.

“This way, a homebuyer can easily decide what they want. For their house instead of picking off of small sample sizes or construction drawings for their home.”

If the Nasseri name is familiar to those in the homebuilding circles, that’s because Nathan’s uncle is Reza Nasseri, who founded Landmark Homes back in 1977.  Nathan worked there for four years as a home salesperson and after his first year, he started hearing some similar comments from homebuyers.

“It wasn’t until the first year when I had actually completed building houses for customers that they were walking in, and for the first time seeing their house, they were telling me what they would do on the next house,” Nathan Nasseri said.

After it kept happening, that’s when he came up with the idea of using video game technology to show people what their house would look like before it got built.

Thankfully, Nasseri has been building games for more than 20 years. He went to school for game design, graduated, but then decided he wanted to go into the homebuilding industry.

So, he merged those two worlds together.

Pick your package, see it before it’s built

The idea is rather straightforward. Have homebuilder layouts in the ResVR system, add in the different finishing packages for the various areas of the home and the potential buyer can walk through their home and build the interior step by step.

“It’s meant to be used by the builders, interior designers, but it’s also something that the builders could use in their show homes or even put on their website,” Nasseri said.

Nasseri said that in this digital age, where you can log on to nearly any retail site and choose the different product options you want, you should be able to do it on one of life’s biggest personal purchases.

“If you’re buying a car; go to BMW.com, you design your car, your trim package, your tires, your paint color, but all of a sudden, if you’re buying a house that’s 10, or even 20 times more expensive, ‘oh, use your imagination,’” Nasseri said.

“That doesn’t make sense that we live in this digital era and the home builders are like, ‘here’s the samples for your house, and pick which one you want.’”

The system shows you a mock-up of the room, and a selection of the packages, with the cost to add them. The user can choose the package they want, see what it looks like with everything else, and calculate the cost to make it happen.

The quest for one million homes

Nasseri has already gone through the startup process once.

He’d built another virtual reality company back in 2018, but at that time the same support didn’t exist for Alberta ventures.  It was another company geared towards providing virtual experiences in the homebuilding industry and eventually, he had to migrate to California to continue working on it.

It was there he connected with one of the biggest residential construction companies in the US and a few weeks later the company was sold.

Prior to enlisting in the Alberta Catalyzer – Velocity program, Nasseri said that he was reintroduced to the startup scene in Calgary while working remotely for a local startup. That company ran out of cash, he got laid off and decided to move back to the city.

He was away for a few years, had lost connections with folks here, and wanted to start from scratch, taking the steps he needed to build another company from the ground up.

It was an entry point to Calgary’s burgeoning innovation ecosystem.

The goal moving forward is two-fold. First, they want to expand this in the single-family or semi-detached market, but then get into condos and apartments.  Then, Nasseri has his eye on furniture.

“We want to sell furniture as well. So, after you’ve designed your house, you have to wait for it to be built,” he said.

“What better time to shop for furniture than while you’re waiting?”

Nasseri has his eyes fixed on the million mark.

“My ultimate goal is to sell a million houses a year. That’s the lofty goal.”