Decorating vs Merchandising Your Model Homes

I always like to say where there is a will there is a way, and even with the recent tightening of budgets, there is just no substitution for a well merchandised model. The difference now though is we have to get creative like we never have before, and discover ways to make our models outshine the competition while spending less.
As a Lifestylist®, I look for ways to highlight the community their new home will be built in, and show what makes the lifestyle they will experience there so special. An example is a home that we merchandised with @home Builders in Rochester, NY as a Homearama house.
The home was only going to be open for a short amount of time so we had to spend our merchandising dollars wisely. We teamed up with The Ronald McDonald House in Rochester and took advantage of their Household and Antique Sale. I dug through donations for the sale and was able to furnish the entire home using donated items, then the builder hosted an online auction where everything was sold and all proceeds were donated back to the charity. This was a lot of work, but we did a lot of good and potential buyers were able to see how beautiful their new home could be even when they were decorating with thrift shop items. A video of the home can be seen on TheLifestylist YouTube Channel.
Consumers no longer want to be sold, they want to be educated then make their own decisions. If we use our model homes as a way to educate them on what our homes can offer to them we can attract this new era buyer.

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