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Watch Your Language!

Watch Your Language!

Tap into buyers' emotions with solution-based selling.

The numbers are in, and they look good! The home’s width and square footage fit nicely, the exterior style plus design amenities should attract buyers, and the cost estimates suggest you can make a decent profit. You want to get this new plan to market and give the presentation artwork to your marketing person to showcase on your website. Interestingly, how you describe the home online will have a significant impact on its appeal. Take a look at these three approaches:

Approach 1: The Teglia Place is a brand-new 1642 square foot, three-bedroom ranch with two and one-half bathrooms. This exciting design features an open entertaining area with cathedral ceiling, island kitchen, and walk-in pantry. There are two sinks and a five-foot shower in the owner’s suite, and the walk-in closet has a direct connection to the laundry room. The laundry room can also be accessed from the rear foyer entry from the garage, where you’ll also find a bench topped by lockers and drop zone. There’s even the option of foregoing the powder bath to gain large walk-in closets in both secondary bedrooms!
Approach 2: The Teglia Place is a brand-new 1642 square foot, three-bedroom ranch with today’s most-wanted amenities! The home showcases open entertaining under a cathedral ceiling, lots of natural light, and extra kitchen storage with its double-deep island and walk-in pantry. Positioned for maximum privacy, the owner’s suite also offers interesting ceiling detail in the bedroom, two sinks, toilet privacy, and a spacious five-foot shower in the bathroom. Direct access between the walk-in closet and laundry room make quick work of hanging clothes straight out of the dryer. The secondary bedrooms are served by a Jack-and-Jill bathroom with two sinks. Or, opt for a centralized hall bathroom and you can have walk-in closets for both secondary bedrooms. No detail was overlooked in this home, as evidenced by the rear foyer entry from the garage with bench and lockers plus handy drop zone!

Approach 3: The Teglia Place is a brand-new 1642 square foot, three-bedroom ranch with great livability! Too often we arrive home and everything we’re carrying ends up on the kitchen island. Imagine entering in from the garage and being greeted by a drop zone cabinet to corral clutter, plus a bench and cubbies or lockers to organize coats, backpacks, and everything needed for school tomorrow. A cathedral ceiling dramatically unifies the open socializing area for memorable entertaining, and in the kitchen, back-to-back base island cabinets provide extra storage right where you need it making it easy to find what you’re looking for. Re-live daily the simple joys of an over-sized shower you experienced at that resort in your new owner’s bathroom. Tired of carrying overflowing laundry baskets around? What could be more convenient than a direct connection with the laundry room so that in just a couple steps you’re hanging clothes up straight out of the dryer? Finally, consider which you would prefer: a private Jack-and-Jill bathroom with two sinks for the secondary bedrooms and separate powder bath for guests; or a centralized hall bathroom and large walk-in closets for the secondary bedrooms providing room for everything!

Approach 1 is Joe Friday’s “Just the facts, ma’am.” Efficient, rational, and informative, yet uninspiring, “the walk-in closet has a direct connection to the laundry room.”

Approach 2 is better because it evolves facts into features and benefits, “direct access between the walk-in closet and laundry room making quick work of hanging clothes straight out of the dryer.”

Approach 3 better engages the reader by using a solutions-based approach, “Tired of carrying overflowing laundry baskets around? What could be more convenient than a direct connection with the laundry room so that in just a couple steps you’re hanging clothes up straight out of the dryer?”

Just like buyer expectations, new home marketing, continues to evolve. Thirty years ago, builders could get away with simply listing the home’s amenities. Then the world caught on to selling features and their benefits. But we can, and must, do better – focusing on people’s needs and solving problems.

At Design Basics, we have the tools to help you stand out from other builders:

Contact us today to learn more: 800.947.7526

Home Plan Co-Creation

Home Plan Co-Creation

You want your home buyers to make changes to your home plans. Let’s face it, you’d love to offer a home plan that’s right for each and every buyer, but realistically you can’t; therefore, you want buyers to make changes so the home design fits their needs. The tweaks buyers want to make are very personal and significant to them – after all, they’re probably spending a little bit more to achieve those changes in order to get the home that’s “just right.”

Home buyers are more committed to you and to their home if they see themselves involved in co-creating it. Prospects who take the time to dive deep into a home design, mentally “moving in,” have pretty much sold themselves on that design and on you as their builder.

Couple studying plansThose buyers come to see themselves as “having designed their own home.” Without getting into the legal issues of authorship, copyright, and ownership of the plan, many times the buyers believe they created the resulting home design. They may give you some credit, “Oh, we started with their ‘Amelia’ plan, but we changed it.” This is one time when it’s best to keep your ego at bay.

The buyers believe their version of the plan is “better.” And, it is – for them. This is an opportune time to compliment them on the modifications they directed. Doing so furthers rapport, they come to like you even more and trust that you are the right builder for them.

Who you have modifying the plan matters. Design Basics home plan Construction Licenses allow the builder or other qualified local professional to make changes to our home plans. So, why do so many customers used Design Basics Plan Customization Designers to alter the plans? Quite simply, our Designers do more than just make the requested modifications. They take the time to get to know why the changes are desired and may be able to suggest alternative solutions that achieve the customer’s goals better, and/or more economically. Further, our Designers may recognize and be able to suggest additional opportunities afforded by the desired alterations that the buyers would love!

At Design Basics, we have the tools to help you stand out from other builders:

Contact us today to learn more: 800.947.7526

Cover Photo: <a href="">Business photo created by freepik -</a>

Forward Framing

Forward Framing

Your best framers may not be part of your construction crew; rather, they just might be found among your sales team. Known as forward framing, they employ the power of suggestion to influence prospective purchasers’ expectations regarding your homes. When visitors to your model home hear, “There are so many amenities you’ll find in our (model) home you just won’t see in other builders’ homes,” those hopeful buyers are primed to notice, appreciate, and remember those amenities.

In 7 Secrets of Persuasion, James Crimmins writes, “You can completely change the outcome of a test drive by leading the driver to anticipate the positive aspects of acceleration, braking, handling, and road feel. If you don’t set the expectation beforehand, there is a good chance the driver will miss key selling points. Some key selling features are obvious – the stone countertops, for example; others might be overlooked – the pull-out drawers in your base cabinets can’t be appreciated if visitors don’t open those cabinet doors. And then there are amenities that are hidden assets – such as high-performance insulation; it’s covered up with drywall.

Visitors arrive at your model home and start in your garage sales center. Since the weather’s lousy, they begin their model home tour by entering from the garage. Maybe not the optimal first impression; however, if they hear, “Did you know, 92% of the time we go in and out of our homes through the garage rather than via the front door? That’s why we focus just as much attention on the design of the rear foyer as we do the front entry foyer,” those visitors will notice the rear foyer design and its amenities.

While visitors pause in the rear foyer, your new home sales professional uses forward framing in pointing out that the drop zone keeps clutter out of the kitchen, the bench is handy for tying or removing shoes, and lockers or cubbies for organizing the kids’ school needs for the next day helps de-stress the morning rush, getting everyone out the door on time with everything. Beyond merely noticing those amenities, this helps people appreciate, and value, them.

Your model home was built from Design Basics’ Cedar Hill (#42435) home plan. In talking with your prospective buyers, you find out his parents, who live in Oregon, come to visit every fall so they can take in a couple of their grandson’s football games. Using forward framing, your salesperson helps the visitors envision and appreciate having two owner’s suites as well as a third main floor bedroom. Then she shares her own story of moving her mother-in-law in after a fall and broken hip, and how wonderful it would have been to have an actual second bedroom suite.

The persuasive power of personal experience, and the emotion that comes through such stories, implants that thought and makes the dual owner’s suite concept more memorable. The hopeful buyers consider the fact that one day, they too, may want to move aging parents in and how desirable that suite would be. Another benefit, being more memorable, such amenities are more likely to be talked about, jump-starting word-of-mouth on your behalf. 

As your salesperson leads the visitors into the kitchen, she talks about the importance of storage as she points to the oversized, work-in kitchen pantry. Again, forward framing makes certain design features more noticeable. She goes on to point out the electrical outlets in the pantry, suggesting that’s a great place for keeping small appliances plugged in and ready to use – an amenity that might have been underappreciated or perhaps missed entirely. Ultimately, visitors have a better model home experience due to your salesperson’s forward framing… and, your company sells more homes!

At Design Basics, we have the tools to help you stand out from other builders:

Contact us today to learn more: 800.947.7526

Competing with the Big Dogs

Competing with the Big Dogs

It’s an oft-repeated tune – a national home builder moves into the marketplace, with eyes on becoming the dominant builder, or fast tracks the process by simply acquiring an established local builder. Thoughts of big-box stores moving in and local merchants going out of business ring true. After all, the nationals have the advantages of buying power, huge marketing budgets, lots of working capital, and better access to credit.

But…national builders typically don’t choose to compete on better, only cheaper. They’re playing to their strengths. So, why would you choose to compete using their rules for playing the game? You’re not going to win, consistently, on price.

What if, instead, you could write the rules?

With such a large purchase, price is always important. People use price as a tool for comparison. It helps when trying to make sense of different homes’ different prices. But do you want prospective buyers looking for negatives (reasons why the home is cheaper) or positives (attributes and amenities that help justify the higher price)? And, “cost per square foot?” You probably have your answers for that issue, but a third-party resource will be perceived as less biased. Download the Her Home™ Magazine’s “10 Things You Need to Know Before Comparing Cost Per Square Foot” article here.

Choose Local

Local builders are joining buying co-ops and even joining forces to acquire building lots to be more competitive with national builders. But even nicer is focusing on why your customers get a better value buying their new home from you. Playing to your strengths:

  • You’re local. You know your local market; you may have grown up in your local market; you’ve put down roots there; and, you live there. You have existing relationships with others in your local market. From sponsoring local sports teams to being a co-presenter along with a local lender and Realtor®, you are engaged in the community, and that matters.
  • You’re human. What home buyer would ever meet with the president or owner? Buyers want to work with a builder they can trust, and it’s much easier to trust a person than a corporation.Couple with Blueprint
  • Your reputation. Review sites are full of disgruntled home buyers who bought “lowest price.” Your personal involvement with the buyers, use of quality materials and sub-contractors, and involvement in the community help people want to work with you rather than setting for working with you. Local builders won’t survive without high levels of customer satisfaction, which is the formula for referrals, the most profitable source of new customers.
  • Your focus. You can’t be all things to all buyers. But you can be the best at the niche or target market you choose. High-performance? Eco-friendly? Tech-savvy? Woman-Centric? Differentiation takes the focus off price, and places it on the emotional appeals of the home and how it will feel to enjoy it. Conversely, the less you differentiate, the more price-sensitive you can expect prospective buyers to be.
  • Bragging rights. Don’t limit your focus to mere rational appeals and attributes. Sure, people want lower utility bills, but they’ll love bragging about them – making sure others know they made a great purchase decision. Cutting dependence on maintenance and rescue medicines by building a healthy home speaks to caring, nurturing, making you feel good about your purchase. And, you’ll tell everyone about the difference breathing easier makes! Such attributes help people feel they got a great home and therefore a great deal; and, people are much more likely to brag about a great deal than about getting the cheapest price.
  • New home searches begin online, and digital space levels the playing field. While the big nationals buy billboards, you can win online with quality local content. Each time you post a new blog, you can add a link to it on your social media profiles. Short-staffed? This can be hired out.
  • It’s not just awareness, blogging helps position you as a local expert. Buyers want to make informed decisions, and they’re looking for answers. Developing a few downloadable tip sheets can further help overcome online anonymity, as prospects provide their contact information in exchange for your tips, and you can follow up with knowledge of a specific interest area that prospective buyer has.

Furthermore, national builders’ inherent weaknesses can be advantageous to you. They’re often interested only in larger tracts of land. Local builders may be in a better position to acquire smaller parcels, infill sites, or build on the owner’s land. Due to their structure, national builders can be low to respond, regimented, and bogged down in policies, procedures, and red tape. And, national builders face pressures on profitability, too. The difference is local builders are committed to their market, employing unbridled creativity and flexibility during down cycles. National builders can, and do, exit a market as quickly as they entered it – leaving vendors, sub-contractors, lenders, and yes, even their customers, to fend for themselves.  

At Design Basics, we have the tools to help you stand out from the national builders

Contact us today to learn more. 800.947.7526

Multiple Generations – One Fabulous Home!

Multiple Generations – One Fabulous Home!

Design Basics was recently featured in the Omaha World-Herald's Timeless Living section, showcasing the Strasser Pointe (#42420FB) home plan. This plan was designed for a couple and the wife's parents; the ability to share a home, yet have separate living quarters. Read about this home design by clicking on the image below.


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