First Impression Tips
As we’ve said many times to Parker Associates’ clients, you don’t get a second chance to make a First Impression. While on a “Mystery Shopping” visit to a model home of one of our clients, the Parker Associates staff had some very important First Impressions. We had the following notes for our client, which amount to some important “First Impression Tips” for any builder:
- The model presents an appealing front façade – builders are often very good at creating a pleasant approach, but not always.
- This model, along with other models created by this builder, contains ample living space for potential family purchasers, but the interior decor seems to be targeted for empty nesters who may not need as much functional bedroom space as offered in this model (i.e. the target consumer is not obvious by the presentation) – builders often forget to focus on the objective of their sales effort, which is the consumer. Consumer marketing is critical.
- The model tour begins with a less-than-optimum view:
- The architect did not present the space to optimum advantage by offering a line of sight from the wide front entry to the lanai wall that is not inspiring and then presenting the back of the kitchen as the visitor proceeds into the Great Room space – lots of space, but lack of WOW despite quality materials and appliances.
- Moving further, the long master bathroom appearance also detracts from the sense of space, despite the oversize closet at the end. Bath fixtures are lined up on each side more like a display than a personal room.
- The interior merchandising is a sophisticated International presentation with stark color schemes that contrast sharply with the “warm-fuzzy” appearance of competitive models’ décor.
- Sales persons (not yours) tell me that visitors find it too “flashy” for their tastes. Of course, purchasers are free to decorate as they please, but some feel that this décor detracts from the initial impression of the model — high risk merchandising, which may be perfect for some tastes, is not likely to impress the majority of visitors
- For example, the view from the front entry in another model is interrupted by a vision of half the large dining table which shortens the sense of space and provides no exciting focal feature.
- In sum, the Great Rooms are spacious, but not “great” in terms of initial impressions, and we are strong believers in the strength of First Impressions to establish a positive attitude prerequisite to a receptive tour of other parts of the model. (i.e. the instant that they open the front door).
- This client was priced in a very specific range. We would have liked to see the brand name spread over a wider price range of offerings, especially in the introductory phase where agents tend to position a company.
Parker Associates looked at these and immediately went to work to prepare two major services to help boost sales: (1) descriptions of the community consumer groups that could provide specific interests and tastes as well as demographics to guide specific product design and selection, and (2) a marketing audit of all the models in the region with respect to target consumers and competition offerings. These are not expensive or time-consuming assignments, but the results may lead to higher sales absorption. And, WHO DOESN’T LOVE HIGHER SALES ABSORPTION!
Parker Associates works extensively on understanding your market, your consumer, and your goals. We don’t just make it up, we research it ad infinitum to make sure we get it right. We are your advocate by being the advocate of the consumer.
Spend time looking at what you are trying to acquire, develop, or sell to learn how you can improve the success of what you are offering. Parker Associates helps understand the consumer by answering WHO will buy, WHAT they will buy, and HOW they will buy it. When the research is completed and the analysis is done, having the answers to these questions will reveal what will provide the best success for your project. Keep asking WHO, WHAT, and HOW and keep developing to fit the need.