The Seven Strategies
Turn renters into buyers by zeroing in on what they want in a new home, starting with the price tag.
Older, established enclaves and outer-ring suburbs offer affordable land in locations that appeal to new buyers.
Properly scaled elevations with simple detailing, regardless of style, turn buyers' heads at any price point. ...
High-performance techniques conserve time and money while cutting down on owners' energy bills.
Scale, proportion, open plans, and flexible spaces make a smaller house look and feel like its million-dollar neighbor.
Thoughtful details such as frosted doors, dimmable lighting, high ceilings, and built-ins create a luxury look for less.
When it comes to helping buyers with interior product selection, less can be more.
Hiring, training, and retaining talented employees and subs should be job No. 1 for builders trying to manage costs.
When it comes to helping buyers with interior product selection, less can be more. By offering fewer design choices and limiting selections, a builder can dramatically reduce the time it takes clients to select, order, and install products and finishes. At Utah-based Garbett Homes, everything except paint colors and flooring comes standard, eliminating the time-consuming product-selection process and the need for a design center. Instead, in-house interior designers choose products and finishes for the firm’s distinctive modern look.
Tony Callahan of Kennesaw, Ga.–based Callahan Consulting Group also promotes this approach, advising clients to limit product and material choices to the items that target what customers want, rather than offering every item in each manufacturer’s catalog. “Purchasing slow-moving SKUs increases costs in the supply chain and can negatively impact days under construction,” he says.
The New Home Co. creates design programs tailored to customer profiles for each of its California communities. For an entry-level development like Villa Metro in Valencia, Calif., buyers have a choice—albeit limited—of products like cabinet door finishes and styles. Options that might be available at higher-end developments aren’t shown in the Villa Metro design center so “buyers seeing something they can’t afford isn’t an issue,” says Joan Marcus-Colvin, New Home senior vice president of sales, marketing, and design.
In terms of specing products, builders would do well to find good-looking, reasonably priced substitutes to designer wares. “There are options other than granite and stainless for the kitchen,” says Miami-based designer Marianne Cusato, who likes the latest surfacing choices from brands like Formica.
Other ideas include specing 36-inch-high cabinets instead of 42 inch; painting a vibrant accent wall for high impact at a low cost; and swapping pricey imported products for affordable options from companies like Kohler, which offers tubs that provide a luxe look for less.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA.