A Lifestylist Marketing Model Homes

Using color is one of the least expensive, most terrifying but also most rewarding ways to change a room. When I’m designing a new model home most builders will encourage me to use memorable colors, but when they first paint the room and see it without any accessories or furniture I often get a call wondering if they have the right information.

These rooms are a perfect example. You can imagine the call the builder got from the superintendent the first time they saw these! This is a model for Canoa Homes in Tucson, and they trusted me enough to wait and see what happened. This is also a great example of designing for your buyer, not yourself – we were targeting families with school age children. A Lifestylist targets in on what the buyer is really looking for, even when they may not realize it themselves.Once we had a few families go through the home we found that almost every female from 2 – 50 wanted that room with those paint colors. It was something the buyer might not have been brave enough to try on their own, but when they saw it completed they loved it.

This is also a great example of Partnership Merchandising. The Home Idea Factory had a great relationship with Home Interiors and Gifts – a direct sell company that we had done styling and product development with. Many of the accessories and “wallies” – the decals on the bath wall – we theirs and we identified them as such so buyers could reproduce what they saw in the room at a price they could afford. The bedding was from Bombay and the furniture from Ashley so all could be bought at local stores or from a Home Interiors and Gifts consultant.

Let your child have a say in what they want their room to look like. It might not be a color you would chose or a style you would like but by letting them be a part of the decorating decision they’ll take ownership of their decisions and be even more proud of what they accomplished.

Happy Valentines Day from all of us at The Home Idea Factory!

Customers For Life

One of the benefits of living in Dallas is being able to see some great entrepreneurs at work and experience what has made them successful first hand. Being able to ride horses side by side with Norman Brinker and to be able to learn from him was a gift I’ll never forget. After attending the IBS show I started thinking about what clients are looking for in their customer experience.

Someone who understands what customers want is Carl Sewell of the Sewell Auto Dealers. Even though he isn’t in the housing business his sound philosophy applies to any business model. To learn more about what has made him so successful, pick up a copy of his book, “Customers for Life”. Even if you aren’t looking for a car, you need to experience one of their dealerships if you get a chance. Every location is spotless – from the grass by the curb to repair bays – there’s not a candy wrapper or empty water bottle in sight. There are no cases of “it’s not my job” – everyone pitches in. Sewell not only takes great care of his customers to earn their loyalty, he is that way to his team members as well, and it shows. These are people who love their jobs and share their enthusiasm with everyone around them.

It’s also about being a resource and helping, not selling the client. No one wants to feel like they are being forced into making a decision or buying something, but if you are the person who can give them the resources to make their own educated decisions you will definitely earn a Customer For Life.

The Home Idea Factory and Lifestylist Design are true believers in this philosophy – we have one client that we have been working with for almost 20 years! We believe in only working with a few clients so we can give them our undivided attention and become a vital part of their team. We also don’t believe on settling for “doing things the way they have always been done.” As a Lifestylist understanding the buyer’s lifestyle is an important part of what we do, and when you walk our model homes or see our decors and designs you can see the difference. We are one of the few design companies that works with site builders as well as modular, prefab and manufactured housing builders giving us a unique insight into the housing industry.

Are you ready to make a change to increase sales and profits? We would like to partner with one more builder or manufacturer that we can share our successes with. If you think your company might be a good fit, please contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com We’ll even bring you your own copy of Customers For Life to help you learn more about this great concept.

Memorable Model Homes

Noted designer and retailer Alexander Julian made the following observation:
“We have to be creative about getting people into our homes and stores now. In deciding if what you offer turns them on, consumers look you over for an average of 15 seconds. In that time, you need to rock ‘em and sock‘em and give them something that moves them. And you can’t do that with anything but product that is visually stimulating and exciting.”

With the contraction of the economy, everyone is on a budget and there is a lot more thought and time spent on how they are going to spend every hard earned dollar. Consumers visiting an average of 30 model homes before they even begin to think about making a decision. What makes your models memorable and brings them back to your sales center/ community? One of the favorite models Lifestylist Design worked on was the Purple Cow model and campaign with Patriot Homes. Tying into Seth Godin’s Purple Cow book by building and merchandising something remarkable, we created a home and marketing campaign people still talk about, as well as winning a marketing award at the Nationals.

Making a model memorable doesn’t have to be extreme or expensive – it just needs to be well thought out. Highlighting a local non-profit can bring interest into your home. Doing a room that displays materials from the local Boy Scout troop, a gymnastics team or the aquatic center that is part of the planned community you are building in can give the buyer a memory point to make them remember your model above the rest.

New Lifestylist Articles on MH Marketing Sales Management

This year has started off as a busy editorial one -we had our Design Trends article published, then our answers to the Design Trends 2010 survey, and now we will have a new article published as of Wednesday on merchandising your model homes! There’s lots of information that can help the smallest to the largest builder, retailer, and developer – be sure to check it out. Lifestylist Suzanne Felber loves sharing all of the things she see when she travels across the country so be sure to check in often and see what’s new.