Monthly Archives: December 2009

Time For a Change

Change is a very scary word to most builders, especially when there is a cost associated with it. One of the objections I hear many times when looking at existing models and communities that aren’t doing well is that because it’s been slow they don’t want to invest any more money into a community.

@home Builders is doing well in this economy because they understand marketing and their buyers. When sales slowed down to three in a year at The Preserve they realized it was time for a change. The Home Idea Factory did the first two models and as a Lifestylist I had done my homework on what these buyers were looking for. Entertaining at home, taking advantage of the four seasons living that took place around the beautiful pond, river, and forests in the community and families were definitely the focus.

The new model and sales center have been a huge success! Last month they sold 8 homes and now they are taking reservations in the next phase instead of having to offer incentives. If your sales have stalled, the right course of action might be to see if your model, plans, and lifestyle you are displaying are still on trend or if it might be time for a change. The Home Idea Factory can come in and help you with this evaluation to see what is the best approach at the right cost.

Will They Come Back?

I’ve been reading a lot lately gathering information for my 2010 trend report. I’ve found it’s a great way for me to focus on what’s really going on in the market and to be able to share my research with my clients. In the process of doing this I’ve also found some great articles that aren’t necessarily trends but best practices.
Barclay Butera has become a great fresh force in the design world, and if you are not familiar with him and his work you should be sure to take a look at his website. What is really fun is that I have know his mother Karen Butera for years and she was one fo the driving forces and inspirations that lead me into model home merchandising. Many, many years ago I met Barclay when I think he was in school when we spoke on a panel together at the international Builders Show. It’s fun to be able to say I knew him when :)
Barclay has a great quote on his website: “Furnishings don’t make a home. Life Does. And life isn’t something that comes from a store. Design is the way you present your lifestyle to the world. And that’s when the right furnishings make all the difference.” He also stated that if when people come to your store or model homes and they have a nice experience they are going to remember you and come back if they aren’t ready at that time to make a purchase. The sales person is such a crucial part of the buying process, but too often they forget that everyone that walks thru that door is a potential client or a possibility of a referral.

It Takes a Gingerbread Village to Fight Homelessness

GBH Village  1288GBH Cat Detail  1287GBH Judging  1290GBH Details  1291Builders, chefs, and community members teamed up today to start the “Home Sweet Gingerbread Home” competitions at NorthPark Center. Lifestylist® Suzanne chaired the event which looks like it will become an annual favorite.Chef and cookbook author Karel Ann Tieszen teamed up with Shared Housing board member Mona Lincoln and TX State Fair Celebri-chef Peter Clarac (he was a winner in the Oprah cook-off) to decide which of the houses would be awarded the coveted blue ribbon. Pastry Chef Instructor at the Art Institute of Dallas Nina Hunter amazed the judges with her beautiful victorian home complete with playful penguins enjoying the pool in the backyard and was awarded first place.
Thursday the “Builders and Bakers” competition will be taking place from 12pm to 4pm also at NorthPark. Teams comprised of members from the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas will be creating homes on-site with celebrity chefs from Stephan Pyles, Sambuca, Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan, DC’s Catering and The Cupcakery. They will then be judged and awarded various prizes in different categories.
The competitions will benefit two great organizations – Shared Housing Center and HomeAid / Homebuilders Care, both which break the cycle of homelessness and abuse in the Dallas area.