Model Home Programs
Not all builders build model homes in the traditional manner. But even small builders build homes used to merchandise their work. The opportunities to help you builders in their model homes are various and require some imagination. But the result is a team relationship that pays off many times over.
By definition, a model home -- or a series of models -- is a home built with the initial purpose of merchandising a builder's product and options. It's their equivalent of a display. For years, builders have used models to show off their work and to promote upgrades in carpet, cabinets, fixtures and appliances. Only recently have our dealers realized the marketing potential of building product upgrades -- namely windows -- in model homes.
Typically, a model home program involves a window and door upgrade (add grids, a vinyl to wood upgrade, etc.) or glass upgrades (Low-E, Heat Mirror) in a model for little or no additional cost to the builder. The dealer then calls attention to the upgrade through signage or through the builder's brochure. As customers purchase the upgrades, the builder and dealer make additional profits on the added options.
Everyone seems to win in such a situation:
The builder has to sell that home someday, so even if no homeowners want the upgrade, the home is worth more and sells more quickly thanks to the window upgrades.
The dealer is using the upgrade as an "advertisement" and is able to promote their products to the hundreds of potential homeowners that walk through the model home.
The manufacturer calls attention to their product and hopes for requests in other developments by those who have been through the model home.
This Home is Special
Another model home program used by many Milgard dealers is a simple sign that calls attention to the fact that the windows are guaranteed for as long as they own the home. We call this device a "This Home is Special Sign. " A small copy is included for your reference and the sign is available through your Milgard representative. We've even left room for your logo to be stamped or imprinted.
Talk with your Milgard representative about this or other ways to market in tandem with the homebuilder in a model home situation.
There is perhaps not a more emotional time for a homebuilder than "grand opening" time. After years of "incubating," a project is finally ready for "birth." And as such, you'll want to do more than send congratulatory flowers to your builder customer.
A public grand opening is a stressful time for your builder customers. But it's also a great time to get involved. Offer to your customers that you get involved in their opening. Show them you not only want to sell them product, you also genuinely care about the success of their project. Here are some ideas in ways to get involved:
Offer to sponsor an espresso cart or hot dog stand for the grand opening weekend. The builder can then advertise the coffee or food as an added traffic draw. Hang a banner on the cart or stand to call attention to your company and the windows. Check with a local caterer for ideas on resources.
Suggest a "Meet the Experts" event for the grand opening weekend. You're the window expert, others serve as cabinet experts, carpet experts, etc. Even the architect and a builder representative can round out the "experts" feel. Then on grand opening weekend, you work one of the model homes and answer window questions and offer glass knowledge. Again, it's an added draw in the builder's ads.
Offer to sponsor the Realtor Open House for the project. Usually, a builder will first hold a Realtor Open to promote the project a week or so before the public open house. You just cater some sandwiches, coffee and soft drinks in exchange for a few minutes to talk about the windows -- the fact that they're quality and guaranteed for as long as their customers will own the home. The Realtors will use the info not only in this project, but in any Milgard project to promote the brand you carry.
These ideas are just a few of the hundreds we've seen. Use your imagination, and remember it's 30% advertising value and 70% teambuilding. For once, you'll be working together with your builder to host a successful event -- not working against them on the cost of a window package.
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