FINISH FIRST

With Careful Positioning, Thoughtful Design & Wow Factor

Spark a lifestyle dream for the potential buyer.

The last thing you want is for every home to feel the same and have a buyer feel like they’re buying a cookie-cutter product.  Study production builders’ model home merchandizing for ideas. The object of staging the home is to flatter the property but not be too obvious about it.   It’s also essential to know and understand your end user. What are the things that pull on their heartstrings? According to NAHB, women make 91 percent of the decision regarding the purchase of a new home.  Savvy builders learn how to engage and inspire women throughout the home buying process including the initial home search to after the close and every step in between. A referral from a satisfied female client is second to none.  If your target market is the ripe 55+ set, it’s important to know that “living in place” is the new term replacing the outdated “aging in place” concept; the wrong terminology can make you appear backwards or insensitive. Similarly, the millennial generation has been labeled “entitled” constantly, yet data suggests they are surprisingly frugal and smart when it comes to buying their first home. Speak their language: they place high emphasis on affordability and convenience.

Offer product in the “missing middle.”  

A new NAHB report, “Diversifying Housing Options with Smaller Lots and Smaller Homes,” explores the issues involved in building a greater mix of housing types, such as smaller homes, duplexes, townhouses, small-scale multifamily, and accessory dwelling units. The report underscores that housing development within our country needs a makeover.  Past trends, guided by regulations, it says, have led to a market saturated with single-family homes, garden apartments, and condominiums, with little variety in between. Offering the desired and missing product isn’t so easy, though. The report also provides best practices on regulatory and design options and barriers and notes that more communities are revising their codes to encourage smaller homes and unit types, which the market has responded to favorably.

Include clutter-reducing home organization solutions.

Often called, “drop zones,” adding a simple shelf or spot to keep car keys, backpacks, file mail, hang coats, etc., is a thoughtful touch.  Buyers rank the drop zone high on their list of desirable amenities, according to NAHB; some even rank it higher than designated office space, closet size and flex rooms.  The drop zone can be located in the utility room, kitchen corner, front hallway, or any tucked away spot you pass going in and out of the home. Designers suggest that remodelers convert a shallow hall closet or wasted space under the stairs. Drop zones may include a built-in bench, shelving, cubbies and coat hooks and should also include some hidden space—not everything is pretty to look at! Use an accent color on the wall or paint it with chalkboard paint to add interest.

Incorporate problem-solving technology.

LED lighting, decorative hardware, opening and closing mechanisms for doors and drawers, furniture fittings and electronic locking systems are but a few of the essential items Häfele provides that can make your model or spec, or the neighbor’s custom-built home stand apart.  Opening a drawer and having it immediately light up and then turn off when closed adds convenience and functionality—as well as wow. With Häfele’s Loox strip lighting, pucks and fixtures can be placed inside drawers, cabinets and closets. The lights can be specified in a range of color temperatures so that clothes on the hanger and in pull-outs and drawers can be as true as they will be when you step outside. Häfele’s Multi-Dimensional Mirror with four integrated touch-keys allows the user to switch from warm to cool make-up lighting, or background lighting to add accent or personality. One touch activates an anti-fogging function to prevent condensation on the mirror during and after a shower. It can also act as a sound system when linked with any Bluetooth-enabled mobile device. Add a dimmable Loox Glass Edge Profile light to highlight a child’s little league trophy case or your collection of top shelf spirits.  

Do you find yourself wondering how in the world you would cover the windows of modern design homes with popular large expanses of glass, particularly where minimalist design is the goal. It would also be a shame for the window covering to draw the eye away from the beautiful details of the architecturally significant windows you specified. Electrochromic coating may be the future. SageGlass’ work is primarily in commercial buildings at this time, but we believe the technology holds great promise for the residential sector. SageGlass consists of five layers of ceramic material which in total are less than 1/50th the thickness of a human hair. Applying a low voltage of electricity darkens the coating as lithium ions and electrons transfer from one electrochromic layer to another electrochromic layer. Reversing the voltage polarity causes the ions and electrons to return to their original layer, causing the glass to return to its clear state. You can control SageGlass windows, skylights and curtain walls with a building automation system, wall switches or mobile app, or a combination of the three. 

Add Drama; Enhance Health

Since the beginning of time, humans have been drawn to fire. Bring the soul-soothing impact of a fire safely into your home with a gas fireplace and experience the benefits of deep relaxation. See-through designs allow you to impact two rooms at once.  Change the look with glass media or real natural stones. Heat & Glo’s Foundation Series Gas Fireplaces even come standard with multi-color chromotherapy LED lighting, allowing users to set and easily change the lights to different hues to match whatever mood or color scheme they desire.  

LED lighting in the shower can provide color therapy and other benefits.  Different hues can affect everything from your digestion to your appearance.  Warm colors are stimulating, while cool colors are calming. Dermatologists will tell you that LEDs are also great for their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits including blemish-clearing capabilities as well as collagen stimulation. Small lights placed around Kohler tubs deliver colors in a one-minute, repeating sequence: white, violet, indigo blue, aqua blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Or, you can isolate a single color that suits your mood. Chromatherapy is an option on more than 60 of Kohler’s hydrotherapy baths, as an enhancement to VibrAcoustic, BubbleMassage, Effervescence, Whirlpools and more.

The bottom line: Set high standards. Train your staff. Through action and targeted marketing, show and tell others about your forward-thinking and subtle differences. Surprise your clients with something they didn’t expect. “Give ‘em something to talk about” by adding a dramatic element in every home. Standing apart requires a little bit of extra effort, but not necessarily a lot of extra cost.

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