by Katy Weldon
In this edition of Model Homes….or Not we will at first consider the subject of “Ballpark” estimates on what your project may require. Secondly, some tips to enhance the home and add to its customer appeal.
“Could you just give me a ballpark figure?” That is the inevitable question when the subject of model homes comes to the table. It is a question that actually does have a ballpark answer.
When model homes are presented to Design Concept we naturally have a series of questions of our own.
Examples would be:
What is the selling price of the home?
Who is the prospective buyer? (Ie 55+, families with children, what ages of children etc.)
Where is the project located?
We can determine from these questions, and other discussions, where to price the project. We make every effort to target the interior to the public touring the home. We must estimate the customer’s budget and preferences in order for the house to relate well to them.
We then can offer a ballpark figure in much the same way a contractor would….by the square foot.
This is simple and easy to do. It allows the retailer to use that number for him or herself too.
Let’s say it is decided that of 4 display models only 2 will be fully furnished. The other 2 will be partially done. The retailer can then apply this square foot number to which ever rooms are to be furnished. Room size x square foot cost.
What does Design Concept charge for providing this service? Well, a ballpark number for the average manufactured home would be $16.00 per square foot. This to include design time, purchase of all furniture and accessories, freight to our warehouse and designer set up at the project.
Delivery crews that bring the furnishings, stage at each house, un-box, install and haul away all trash, (our insurance requires that we hire professionals to hang all artwork and mirrors), normally will charge between $90.00 and $120.00 per hour for 2 men and a truck. Worth every penny!
Please note that these prices are my company’s…..they may or may not be accurate in your area. It’s the per square foot concept that is the important thing…..and can be used in reverse when you are given a price for your model. It is a tool to help one decide if the price quoted is within your budget for that 1800 sq.ft. display home you are ready to order.
Next will be the customer appeal section.
Here are just a few thoughts on adding to the appeal of your display home.
1. Wood windowsills are easier to clean than sheetrock and have a conventional home feel.
2. Eaves should be minimum 12” wherever possible. This not only looks more residential, it protects the windows from damage due to rain running down the exterior walls into the windows. It is also a nice selling feature….Good looks and lower maintenance costs!
3. On the subject of lower maintenance…I personally like cement plank siding which protects against fire (Big concern in Southern California), water and pests. It does not expand and contract with heat and cold. It needs to be painted less often too.
4. Finally…whenever possible, consider installing a tankless water heater. Its “green” and is an excellent selling item for today’s energy aware buyers. Customers will respond to considerations like this.
More hints on ordering a WOW house next time.
Note: Since we are on the subject of Ballparks and Marketing......keep in step with current trends and concepts. Yesterday’s home run won’t win in today’s ball game. ##