By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating
Is model home building still a smart investment for homebuilders in today’s market? Some builders believe that today’s buyer knows exactly what they want and therefore don’t have to tour a model to help make home-buying decisions. However, only a small percentage of buyers today have any vision. Therefore, builders’ property specs and floor plans alone are usually not enough to convince buyers that a property will fit their needs.
Builder: Centerplan Communities, Pierpont Hill at North Haven, Bradley & Dayton Models
Our design team created a warm, inviting environment throughout this luxurious model above enhancing the spacious, open floor plan, elegant architectural details and on-trend features targeted to today’s buyers of all ages.
"Models are definitely worth the investment as they are another arrow in a sales manager’s quiver to help allay buyers concerns and build confidence in the product,” says Chris Bennett, builder/president of Centerplan Communities and a 20-year veteran of the construction management industry who has worked with companies such as Toll Brothers Luxury Builders and Fischer Homes. "The home building industry is still one of the few industries where the buyers want to touch, feel and experience the product before they purchase.” If buyers become engaged in the product and can envision themselves living in the space, they will ultimately feel more comfortable making a decision.
In addition, investing in both the design and decor of a model helps builders step it up a notch by appealing to target audiences with specific lifestyles and needs. According to Bennett, “the builder’s familiarity with their target market or buyer plays a significant role in the success of the model investment. For example, showcasing a first-floor master bedroom suite is important if the target market is 50 plus. In addition, young professionals will be attracted to stylish amenities or features such as barn doors, multi-height cabinets, pocket office space, energy efficient construction, LED lighting, under cabinet lighting, and custom kitchen islands.”
Builder: Toll Brothers, Dorwood Model
For this model above, our design team created a coastal living theme targeted to the 55-plus community by incorporating different tones of blue, white and coral along with rustic wood and metallic accents. This theme helps suggest to buyers that one doesn’t have to go south to enjoy serenity.
To summarize, the following are some of the key reasons why we believe investing in show-ready models are as worthwhile as staging vacant properties:
- Design, amenities and décor are targeted to buyers needs and interests
- Placement of appropriate furniture and accessories will enhance architectural details, features and floor plan
- Buyers can engage by touching and viewing details and envision living in the space
- Buyers will feel more confident about the product and their decision
- The properties will ultimately sell faster and create more traffic
What do you think? Do you think model homes still have a place in new-home construction?