Creating a sales center in a two-car garage can have its challenges. When home builders design an on-site marketing programs in a new home community, it often includes signage, a sales center (sales office) and a model home (Sample or Model).
The sales center is the first place your new home prospects will visit. What are the best practices in designing a sales office designed in the 2 car garage of the model home?
When customers arrive to your sales office, you want them to enter the space and have it feel warm and comfortable like the model home. The sales office finishes, paint, lighting and flooring should take cues and should be merchandised in a similar style as the model home. Here are a few tips to make sure your sales team is fully operational to handle traffic and demonstrate the displays and technology in a clean, comfortable and professional space.
What are the key elements of a sales center in a two car garage?
- Open Style Sales Office – The space should feel open and airy with plenty of windows and glass doors. The sales team should be able to keep a visual eye (site lines) to all customers entering from the parking area and reentering model home.
- Construction Details – Hire a sales center professional who has experience in designing all aspects of a sales center, parking area, walkways and who has an in depth knowlege of displays, lighting and the construction process. When designing a sales office in a garage, awnings, walkways, cement blocking, electrical needs, hospitality, private spaces ADA compliance and the staircase leading from the garage to the house all have to be considered and planned for in advance.
- The Trap Fence – Why do builders use trap fencing or landscape to corral or steer buyers? It is the ultimate way for the sales team to get buyers feedback and this is still a great way for your sales team to re-connect with buyers and discover more information about where they are in their buying process.
- Displays, Graphics, Digital Touch Screens – Design the space to have plenty of stand-alone displays to keep buyers excited about the project. Site Plans, features lists and floor plans are all equally important to display, but pay special attention to the builder story which adds credibility to the community. If using web based or touch screen areas to showcase product, make sure there are at least two areas for people to touch and view whenever possible.
- Addressing the 4” slope in the garage floor – For sales office use, the garage floors will have a “pitch to it”. Keep a level on hand and hang all displays at a normal height. You want to make sure your furniture, files and reception desk have adjustable feet to alleviate the look of a leaning desk or furniture when possible.
- Reception – When guests enter, the initial meet and greet should make customers feel welcome and free to browse around. When registering clients, we love a reception desk with a 42” high sign-in counter which is very customer friendly or even a tall bistro style table if a reception desk will not fit or is not required.
- Hospitality – Once your customers arrive, make them feel at home with a warm or cold drink. Hospitality also gives you more time to get to know your customers. This can be a challenge in a two or three car garage, but if done properly can become a gathering point for customers to spend a few minutes more getting to know more about your offerings.
- Heating and Air Conditioning – In a two or three car garage, you can now purchase self-contained wall units that provide enough heat and air conditioning and have minimal noise and visual distraction for customers.
- Selections/Options – Designer selections are often the bread and butter of a home builders profits. Make sure during a customers visit, they can see, touch (even virtually if necessary) what you offer as “standard” and what options/upgrades/investments they can explore. We have seen trends toward inspirational “package” boards that are pre-selected which makes it easier for buyers and your construction team.
When designing a sales center or sales office in a two or three car garage, it is also important to plan ahead to maximize theme, memory points and properly telling the story of the community and builder in a clear and professional manor.
For more information about designing a sales center or other on-site marketing for your new home community, call (732) 462- 2748 or visit www.johnrodandco.com
About the Author:
John Rod is nationally recognized for marketing new homes and his creative design of sales centers, signage and displays. His firm is well known in the home builder community for providing award winning sales centers, signage and websites for companies and home building firms. He has worked with local, regional and national home builders including Toll Brothers, M/I Homes, Barbera Homes, Blenheim Homes, Trendsetter Homes and CB New Homes to name a few.
To contact John Rod, call 732.462.2748.