Almost every new development that is build has a model home on-site. The purpose of the model home is simple, it allows the prospective buyer to visualize their home before purchasing a lot. It’s like a test drive for a car, they can check out the home and the layout to get a feel for what the home they purchase might look like upon completion and furnishing. Some developers also choose to use their model home as an office space, while others do not. There are pros and cons to using a model home as office space. Knowing what those are is important before you can decide which is right for you.
One of the biggest benefits of using your model home as office space is that you don’t have to erect a temporary sales office. Your sales agent or relator will use the model home to process applications, make necessary copies of documents and keep binders of design features and floorplans. They’ll be able to give a tour of the home and immediately sit down with the customer to show them additional options, should they be available.
Another benefit follows the above in that when the customer isn’t leaving the home to go to a sales office, that home is in their faces. They will continue to look around the home as the sales agent shows them design options, which will be easier to picture while they’re sitting in that environment. Additionally, should a customer have a question about a varying floorplan, the sales agent can give them an idea of what it will look like by showing them specifically where the areas of difference are located.
Probably the biggest con of using a model home as office space comes when the project is done and all of the lots are sold. The sales agent will need to stay on-site until all of the builds are completed so that customers have a point of contact during the building process. But after that, there’s clean up. It’s not just about cleaning out the home because you’d have to do that with a temporary space as well, but it’s about making the home livable so it can be sold.
A model home is likely to be reduced in price from the other homes in the development because it’s been in use, so there are considerations to make. Does the carpet need replaced from, potentially, hundreds of people walking through the home? Does the paint need touched up? Is there damage to any fixtures or walls? Do cabinet knobs or door handles need replaced? Any prospective buyer will want these fixed prior to purchase. And it will have to be professionally cleaned once everything else is completed.
Another consideration, which could be a pro or a con depending on how you view it, is whether or not to sell the model with the furniture and décor still inside. Keeping those things intact will raise the price of the home while disposing of them will cost additional money. The problem will be if any of the furniture or décor is damaged from walk throughs, and even if not, does your prospective buyer want that furniture? It’s something that would have to be discussed with the individual buyer, but it’s something to think about.
Using a model home as office space for your sales agent has benefits and negative aspects. You have to weigh your business options and preferences against each other in order to make the best decision for your company.