Most model homes are a beauty to behold, designed to elicit all kinds of responses from visitors and prospective home buyers. But we have five senses. Are you marketing to all of them?

Touch. Some surfaces, such as flooring, are going to be encountered. Plush carpeting with the right pad can feel luxurious; tile bathroom floors can be cold. Some surfaces beg to be touched: tumbled stone backsplashes, come to mind. But to engage the sense of touch, sometimes an invitation is needed. According to one of the nation’s largest cabinet manufacturers, the majority of model home visitors do not open cabinet drawers/doors. You may need to invite model home visitors to open the cabinet doors to experience the soft close hinges.

45 degree drawers

Photo courtesy Mark Samu, Design: Jean Stoffer Designs, Ltd.

Hearing. Continuing the cabinetry illustration, soft-close hardware is quiet. While quiet may not be top-of-mind for prospective home buyers, its importance should not be undervalued. Quiet appliances, HVAC, kitchen exhaust and bath fans, food waste disposers, and garage door openers can become differentiators, especially when pointed out. Similarly, solid core interior doors, insulated plumbing walls adjoining entertaining areas and/or bedrooms, and even superior air sealing in exterior walls can contribute to a dreamy, serene environment.

Smell. Some studies suggest smell is the strongest of all of our senses. While your model home might smell “new,” those material off-gassing odors can trigger respiratory ailments among some buyers, particularly those with chemical sensitivities. The sense of smell has the ability to transport us to another time and place – bread baking at grandma’s house, for example. Department stores have long known that adding the scent of baby powder to their baby department increases sales. From potpourri and fresh flowers to delicious kitchen aromas, adding fragrance to your model home can create a much more pleasurable buying environment.

Taste. The sense of taste is the trickiest of the senses to deal with, because the introduction of food and/or beverages ushers in the likelihood of added clean-ups. Yet, people linger more in the home when refreshments are available. Some builders restrict where food/beverages are to be consumed, posting signs such as “Please enjoy our refreshments here in the information center.” Savvy builders are also tying into cause-related marketing, serving only responsibly-sourced fruits or coffee that comes from a third-world country women’s cooperative.

Why all the fuss over multi-sensory marketing? Engage three of more of your model home visitors’ senses and your home will be twice as memorable as homes that are mere eye candy. 

More home design articles on our Design Trends website page.

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