Crowdsourcing (noun): The practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. (Merriam-Webster)

Phoenix-based production home builder Taylor Morrison is tapping into the crowdsourcing concept to help formulate the look of some of its newest model homes. This summer, its myModel Home Project campaign will ask consumers across the country to help design homes debuting in HoustonAustin, and Dallas with some of the builder's California communities joining the campaign later this summer. 

Participants can select design items like flooring, cabinetry, paint colors, countertops and more. Their selections will count as votes, and the most popular items will be built into each new model home.

The first three myModel Home Project homes are located at Reunion Ranch in AustinAvalon at Sienna Plantation in Houston, and Creekside Park at Timarron Lakes in The Woodlands, Tex.

According to Graham Hughes, vice president of sales and marketing for Taylor Morrison, research from studies conducted by Zillow and Google show that homeowners turn to the digital world for the first inspiration for their homes. One such study found that 39 percent of U.S. adults turn to the Internet for inspiration on do-it-yourself projects around the house.

"We thought, 'Why not take that a step further and actually have consumers help design our homes?'" Hughes says. "We've always believed asking home buyers what they desire in their next home is the best way to deliver a home that creates a connection with a buyer."

Taylor Morrison is hoping consumers will find plenty of inspiration from the project as well. The builder has long had an active following on social media channels such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, where the company listens and learns from user comments on each channel's posts. In fact, it made the list of BUILDER's recent tally of the top social-media-savvy builders in the country.

"Social media is truly one of the best ways to ensure that you're giving buyers what they're looking for in a new home," Hughes says. "We're constantly looking for feedback on our homes and engaging with buyers to make sure we're creating homes that they can enjoy."