How to (Successfully) Merchandise a Model Home
It truly takes a village to create a village. Or at least a housing development. You have the builder and/or developer, the architect, the construction team, the marketing director, the model merchandiser, the branding company, and the sales team, to name just a few. Each party relies on the other to complete their part effectively. This is especially true when it comes to model merchandising.
So, what does it take to successfully merchandise a model home? It is about furnishings and finishes, but equally important, it is about collaboration and communication.
Behind the Scenes Team
Successfully merchandising a model home requires clear, open communication, and strong relationships. We often think of merchandisers, architects, and construction working together to create a successful model home. While this is true, we can’t forget about the other unsung heroes. The hardworking team who literally help our designs come to life. They include the people on the ground and those working behind the scenes writing and tracking orders, coordinating storage and delivery, loading and unloading furniture, arranging accessories, and hanging art.
Long before our design team installs a model home, the purchasing team is hard at work. This group is on the front lines of the entire collaborative process. They establish and cultivate relationships with vendors, negotiate pricing to meet budgets, and expedite orders to meet deadlines. Excellent communication, logistics, and planning skills are a must.
After the designers have made their selections, the purchasing team places orders for furniture, art, lamps, window treatments, pillows, bedding, and accessories. Further, they confirm availability of all the orders, coordinate logistics and schedules, and finally, track the orders and shipments. But, their work is not done yet. This group of steadfast, detailed, hard workers are an important communication component to successful installations.
Next critical collaboration: installation. We rely on those on the ground to literally help get the design elements (i.e., furniture, accessories, etc.) to the model home and help our designers bring the designs to life. To make it all work, requires consistent communication, patience, lots of flexibility, and a bit of humor.
Recently, one of our designers was onsite at an install and had such a fantastic experience with the install crew. In her own words:
“When we were in Ohio installing, we had a really great team of movers. They were extremely helpful and handy! They worked with us to coordinate moving temporary furniture from one model to another and any other problems that came up. They were upbeat, efficient, and a great team overall.”
It’s this type of collaboration and teamwork with the whole team – builder, trades, merchandisers, movers, etc. – that creates a successful project. Without each entity working together, we wouldn’t be able to produce the quality model homes that we do.
Putting it all Together
Staying on time and in budget is top of mind throughout the entire process. It takes a dedicated team of professionals who are conscientious, responsive, and able to make smart decisions on the fly. All parties need to be working in sync. The goal: a model home presentation that stays true to the original design intent and helps deliver the builder’s promise to the buyer.
Collaboration = Success
We are grateful for the strong relationships that we have cultivated over the years and know that our success, and the success of our clients, depends on it.