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Right now, many of us are looking out for our company’s bottom line. In today’s environment, cash is king and we need to ensure that it is flowing through our doors effectively and that, as interior merchandisers, it is being spent wisely.
With that in mind, I offer some dollars-and-cents-saving solutions that could prove useful during the current economic recovery.
New-Furniture Options for Builders
Say your community has closed after enjoying great sales and you are left with the furniture from you model home. If the home wasn’t purchased fully furnished, what should you do?
Hosting a furniture sale and starting out fresh might be your best option, but recycling the old furniture into a new model is also a practical alternative.
With recycling, your interior merchandiser can integrate existing furnishings into the new floor plan and design concept and tailor the look and function of your new home and community to your specific target market. You not only save the cost of fully furnishing your model with new furniture, you probably will have something in your budget to complement your recycled pieces with new ones — mixing a little new with the old to create a fresh look.
But auctions and recycling aren’t your only options. There is another way — leasing.
Leasing can be a viable option, particularly for builders who focus more on their monthly budgets and don’t want to buy new furnishings. It can also make sense aesthetically because some top interior merchandising firms — including ours — are once again offering furniture leasing programs.
If you lease your furniture, you will pay a premium for the service and flexibility it offers. But leasing can enable you to balance your need to showcase your interiors without stretching your financial requirements.
Plus, couple the leased furniture with the magic of professional lifestyle merchandising to your specific target market and you can have winning interiors that captivate prospects and help generate signed contracts.
Refresh Your Models and Replace Missing Items
OK, we’ve covered several alternatives on furnishing new models, but what should you do if your community is still in full swing and you’re still actively trying to grab the attention of prospective home buyers.
If significant time has passed since your grand opening, we recommend that you tend to one of the most common weaknesses in a model home that’s been open and walked through for several months — replace any missing accessories.
“Lift” happens. Prospects fall in love with napkin rings, fake food or decorative soaps and, over time, these types of lifestyle items need replacing. Boost your model by replacing these essentials and — of course — be mindful of other refreshes that would help your model, including touch-up painting and fluffing soft bedding and window treatments.
Affordable, Yes, But Model Home Merchandising Has to Be Awesome, Too
The first step in creating sales-generating interior merchandising will always involve a personalized design consultation. Your unique product, location and target market calls for a customized design approach — no matter the cost.
If you’re spending, more than $1 million developing a new community and $200,000 on a new model home, then furnishing your model for $30,000 is well worth the investment to ensure that your prospects experience the visual impact of dazzling interiors.
Eye candy tugs on potential home buyers’ heart strings and drives them to buy. So keeping that bigger picture in mind is critical when spending your marketing budget.
Whatever your budget, we encourage you to take the affordable furniture ideas we discussed to your interior merchandiser to determine what would work best for you.
Whatever you choose to do can be affordable as well as awesome because, in today’s market, top-tier merchandisers are offering high-quality services with your budget in mind.
Kay Green, MIRM, of Kay Green Design, Inc., based in Orlando, is a nationally recognized leader in the field of model home and sales center merchandising. She is an NAHB Institute of Residential Marketing, a past chair of the National Sales and Marketing Council, was named Associate of the Year by the Florida Home Builders Association and was inducted into NAHB’s prestigious Society of Honored Associates. For more information, visit the Kay Green Design website at http://kaygreendesign.com; or e-mail Green, or call her at 8OO-226-5186.
This article originally appeared on the NAHB Sales and Marketing Channel.
In “Option Selling for Profit: The Builder’s Guide to Generating Design Center Revenue and Profit,” authors Gina Gullo and Angela Rinaldi share their hands-on understanding of high-powered selling in the ever-expanding market of options for new homes.
By offering a range of options and upgrades, the design phase provides the best opportunity to make a lasting impression and ensure that buyers will favorably remember the entire buying experience.
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To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.
For additional cutting-edge sales and marketing information, subscribe to NAHB’s Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine (www.smimagazine.com).
Click here to learn about membership benefits of the National Sales and Marketing Council and the Institute of Residential Marketing.