Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Are Home Shows Still Relevant?

With the consolidations of so many companies lately, there have been questions about what is the best way to attract new customers. Louisville and the Pennsylvania shows are back, but without support from retailers and community owners these won't continue.

I just wrote an article on mhmsm.com discussing the pros and cons - I hope you will check it out and let me know what you think!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Excitement Builds Around Debut of Lifestylist® Designed New American Home

I just saw an article in Nation's Building News today about The New American Home.  This publication is the official online newspaper of The National Association of Home Builders, and is available to you if you are a member of this amazing organization.

The Home Idea Factory was honored to be chosen as the Lifestylist® for this incredible home and would love to share our work with you in person.

If you are not a member of NAHB, please feel free to contact us - we'll get the information to you that you need in time to join us at the International Builders Show and tour the home!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Lifestylist® Article Published

Have you discovered mhmsm.com yet? It is an invaluable resource for the factory built home community, and this month we were honored to have an article published in it on LifeStyling your home. We give 5 great tips on how to take your models from ordinary to extraordinary using things you already have.
The Home Idea Factory not only does model homes using new merchandise, we also are experts in recycling your existing furniture and accessories to create a home that sells.

Friday, November 26, 2010

New Article About LifeStyling Published

Have you discovered mhmsm.com yet? It is an invaluable resource for the factory built home community, and this month we were honored to have an article published in it on LifeStyling your home. We give 5 great tips on how to take your models from ordinary to extraordinary using things you already have.

The Home Idea Factory not only does model homes using new merchandise, we also are experts in recycling your existing furniture and accessories to create a home that sells.

Giving Thanks

I just returned from a magical week in Orlando. Someone said they scatter pixie dust at the airport when you arrive, and I'm starting to believe them. Not only was I able to take part in a home that will probably be one of the the high points of my Lifestylist® career, but I was also blessed to spend some very special time with my kids and grandkids and share my Lifestylist® approach with them. Being a Lifestylist incorporates life and style, and getting creative in the kitchen is definitely part of that.
As part of the staging for The New American Home, I purchased a large amount of beautiful granny smith apples to add color and lifestyle to the kitchen. After we were finished with the shoot, I thought why not recycle them and make a pie with the grandkids? Neither of them had tried making a pie before, and with Thanksgiving being only a week away I thought this could be a great time to make their first.
Jenna may only be 8 yrs old, but she loves to cook and is really good at it. She has taken part in the Jr Chef Camp at the Gaylord Texan that Chef Joanne teaches, and was excited about trying out her culinary skills making a pie. Many adults would be daunted by this task, but Jenna dug right in. After teaching her some basic knife skills and precautions, she peeled and cored all of the apples herself. Brother Christian decided to help us make the crust, and we made a huge mess (sorry Trish!) but I'm sure it was a day that they will always remember.
I am so grateful to have the loving, supportive family I have, and the amazing clients that believe in me and what I do. Here's to the start of a holiday season filled with hope, happiness and lots of pixie dust!

Giving Thanks

I just returned from a magical week in Orlando. Someone said they scatter pixie dust at the airport when you arrive, and I'm starting to believe them. Not only was I able to take part in a home that will probably be one of the the high points of my Lifestylist® career, but I was also blessed to spend some very special time with my kids and grandkids and share my Lifestylist® approach with them. Being a Lifestylist incorporates life and style, and getting creative in the kitchen is definitely part of that.

As part of the staging for The New American Home, I purchased a large amount of beautiful granny smith apples to add color and lifestyle to the kitchen. After we were finished with the shoot, I thought why not recycle them and make a pie with the grandkids? Neither of them had tried making a pie before, and with Thanksgiving being only a week away I thought this could be a great time to make their first.

Jenna may only be 8 yrs old, but she loves to cook and is really good at it. She has taken part in the Jr Chef Camp at the Gaylord Texan that Chef Joanne teaches, and was excited about trying out her culinary skills making a pie. Many adults would be daunted by this task, but Jenna dug right in. After teaching her some basic knife skills and precautions, she peeled and cored all of the apples herself. Brother Christian decided to help us make the crust, and we made a huge mess (sorry Trish!) but I'm sure it was a day that they will always remember.

I am so grateful to have the loving, supportive family I have, and the amazing clients that believe in me and what I do. Here's to the start of a holiday season filled with hope, happiness and lots of pixie dust!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Recycling Model Homes

Welcome to my world. With budgets getting tighter every day, builders are looking for ways to cut costs but still increase sales. One way to do this is by renovating and recycling model home furniture and accessories they already have.
This makes a lot of sense, but when employees or decorators are used for this task that don't understand merchandising, there's a good chance you won't get the desired results.
Youngs Homes in Hobbs, NM asked me to come down and help them with their model home center a few years ago and had the right results - sales and traffic increased without it costing them a fortune.  Since then they have brought in some new models, and realized it was time to look at re-modeling what they had. Employees had helped where they could to decorate the new models, but they just weren't getting the desired results. The Home Idea Factory was given the task of creating some Lifestylist Designed models using only the furniture that they already owned to keep costs down, but we did add some "personality packages" of artwork and accessories to add the lifestyle that was missing and keeping buyers from becoming emotionally involved with the homes.
I'm going to share a few examples of what we accomplished in the next few weeks, but this will give you an idea of the results.
This beautiful Champion Home has everything a buyer could wish for - 9 ft. ceilings, transom windows, a fireplace, and a dream kitchen with  stainless appliances and vent hood, and an island. From the inside and out, people would never guess this is a factory built home. As a matter of fact, it offers more options and upgrades than most site built homes do! The family room had a rock fireplace, and they even showed a front bedroom as a study. The house had furniture in it, but needed some lifestyle added to it.
By raiding the warehouse (notice the gold parsons chairs in the warehouse photo) we were able to pull the colors together more and add warmth to the home. Artwork and accessories highlighted the buyer profile for the area - ranchers - and furniture was re-arranged to emphasize how livable the floorplan is.
This is one of the higher priced homes that Young's sells, so we wanted it to feel that way. Buyers are now comfortable enough in the home to sit down and enjoy the home, and interest in the home has increased dramatically.
If you would like to discover how a Lifestylist Re-Designed model can help your sales, contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com

Updating Your Retail Center

Welcome to my world. With budgets getting tighter every day, builders are looking for ways to cut costs but still increase sales. One way to do this is by renovating and recycling model home furniture and accessories they already have.

This makes a lot of sense, but when employees or decorators are used for this task that don't understand merchandising, there's a good chance you won't get the desired results.

Youngs Homes in Hobbs, NM asked me to come down and help them with their model home center a few years ago and had the right results - sales and traffic increased without it costing them a fortune.  Since then they have brought in some new models, and realized it was time to look at re-modeling what they had. Employees had helped where they could to decorate the new models, but they just weren't getting the desired results. The Home Idea Factory was given the task of creating some Lifestylist Designed models using only the furniture that they already owned to keep costs down, but we did add some "personality packages" of artwork and accessories to add the lifestyle that was missing and keeping buyers from becoming emotionally involved with the homes.

I'm going to share a few examples of what we accomplished in the next few weeks, but this will give you an idea of the results.

This beautiful Champion Home has everything a buyer could wish for - 9 ft. ceilings, transom windows, a fireplace, and a dream kitchen with  stainless appliances and vent hood, and an island. From the inside and out, people would never guess this is a factory built home. As a matter of fact, it offers more options and upgrades than most site built homes do! The family room had a rock fireplace, and they even showed a front bedroom as a study. The house had furniture in it, but needed some lifestyle added to it.

By raiding the warehouse (notice the gold parsons chairs in the warehouse photo) we were able to pull the colors together more and add warmth to the home. Artwork and accessories highlighted the buyer profile for the area - ranchers - and furniture was re-arranged to emphasize how livable the floorplan is.

This is one of the higher priced homes that Young's sells, so we wanted it to feel that way. Buyers are now comfortable enough in the home to sit down and enjoy the home, and interest in the home has increased dramatically.

If you would like to discover how a Lifestylist Re-Designed model can help your sales, contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is Back!

It's a show that always ignites the industry and the Midwest region with new designs, new ideas and new initiatives …the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is coming back in 2011 and promises to be even better than before. The 2011 Louisville Show will bring back a positive energy to the Midwest region and will show why manufactured housing is the "best way to sell and the best way to build."
Enduring the economy has been the ultimate challenge, especially for everyone in housing. Now, a new year ushers in the return of a show that reluctantly took a year off as manufacturers weathered times like most of us have never seen in the industry. Now, the show kicks off the New Year Jan. 12-14 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC), the best show facility in the nation. The show is back and we welcome all of the retailers, builders/developers, community owners/operators and exhibitors back to Louisville. The Louisville Show was a significant part of the Midwest region for over 50 years. We are excited about bringing back this important event!
Show hours:
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 – 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 – 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 14 , 2011 – 9 a.m. until noon.
Note: Registration opens each morning at 8 a.m.
Off to an Amazing Start
As we head into Fall, there is already positive and exciting news to report as we approach "Sold Out" as the status for the manufacturers/exhibitors who plan to join us at the Louisville Show. We'll be ready to name this select list soon and we hope your business is included in that list. As of October 1, just a few manufacturer spaces remain. In addition there will be 85 service and supplier exhibit spaces for the host of businesses that bring so much to the manufactured housing industry. Manufacturers and suppliers across the region are making the move to bring back our industry momentum, and the show is one of the greatest ways to fast-forward these efforts. Don't wait – put your company at the forefront of the new year's industry success!
The Exceptional Experience of Louisville
Start with the Kentucky Exposition Center, a show venue that is considered the best facility of its kind in the nation, where you're assured of a show that offers ample exhibit space and amenities. Couple the great venue with the Louisville Show's headquarters hotel, The Crowne Plaza, located directly across the street from the exhibit hall, and you have an unbeatable combination of convenience, easy access and key amenities all around you. Hotel rates will be affordable, and reservations can be made very soon. A new registration company will be able to offer web-link registration for this year's show, helping make both pre-registration and on-site registration easier than ever before.
The airport is within three minutes of the show site, and there is ample and controlled parking at KEC. As everyone knows, Louisville offers a multitude of fine restaurants and other entertainment venues, including the popular '4th Street Live' area. Discover why Louisville makes the best place for our show. When you exhibit at Louisville, you will give buyers the luxury of an actual walk-through of your home, service or product in a unique hands-on environment. You will be able to relate to your customer base; understanding their wants and needs, as well as answer on-the-spot questions or concerns. With this premier venue as your backdrop, it is time to outshine your competitor and close the big deal. This is a great opportunity for your business to get a grasp on where the future of the industry is headed.
Sign Up for Industry Seminar
The 2011 show will feature an industry seminar with George Allen of GFA Management Inc the 2009 MHI Man of the Year. George has put together a seminar program that will appeal to the industry. Seminar points of interest will include:
How to Price Point a New Manufactured Home  for Private Property and/or Landlease Community Placement. Given an  individual's Annual Gross Income, and/or a local housing market's Average  Median Income, how to calculate maximum "affordable" & "risky" sale prices  for new homes, to be sited on realty owned fee simple, or leased. This topic  is timely for HUD Code home manufacturer "reps", Business Development Managers  ("BDM") and LLCommunity owners/operators selling homes on-site.
Community Series Homes. Their genesis,  definition and description; who manufactures them for in-LLCommunity siting  (with specific reference to appropriate manufacturers and models present at  the Louisville MHShow); and, how to properly meld them into any local living  environment.
Property Owner, or Self-finance, of New  Homes Sold On-site in LLCommunities, with emphasis on the differences  between "captive finance" and "buy her – pay here" methodologies, as well as  other possible alternatives. Moderated by Ken and Donna Rishel of Rishel Consulting Group and Precision Capital Funding the 2010 winners of the MHI Service Supplier of the Year Award.
Three 45-minute seminars provide an opportunity to learn how to start the two processes, evaluate and improve present practices and where to go for assistance and resources. These special seminars will be held at KEC in conjunction with the show.
Industry Comments: We have received these comments from interested industry representatives
Fantastic news on the show – we learned so  much and met so many new vendors – products I had no idea even existed. Great  news – and congratulations on keeping our business alive and well. There is  certainly massive demand right now for affordable housing.
I think the return of the Louisville Show is  GREAT news. It comes at a time when the industry is starting to make a  comeback and could go a long way toward boosting sales in the Midwest. I hope  all of the regions' manufacturers give the show the support it deserves.  Without these shows, the road back would be longer and more difficult.
I agree, I've missed the show. It was the best  event and it's early enough in the year so you could sell the homes ordered,  re-order, and sell again.
I'm so excited to hear about the Louisville  Show in 2011! This was always one of the most important shows of the year for  our industry and we will need to support its return to show consumers and the  media that manufactured housing is here to stay! It sounds to me like this  could be a great start to the image campaign that we've all been talking  about!
If you have any questions regarding this year's Louisville show, please call Dennis J. Hill, Show Coordinator, at 770-587-3350.

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is Back!

It's a show that always ignites the industry and the Midwest region with new designs, new ideas and new initiatives …the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is coming back in 2011 and promises to be even better than before. The 2011 Louisville Show will bring back a positive energy to the Midwest region and will show why manufactured housing is the "best way to sell and the best way to build."
Enduring the economy has been the ultimate challenge, especially for everyone in housing. Now, a new year ushers in the return of a show that reluctantly took a year off as manufacturers weathered times like most of us have never seen in the industry. Now, the show kicks off the New Year Jan. 12-14 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC), the best show facility in the nation. The show is back and we welcome all of the retailers, builders/developers, community owners/operators and exhibitors back to Louisville. The Louisville Show was a significant part of the Midwest region for over 50 years. We are excited about bringing back this important event!

Show hours:
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 – 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 – 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 14 , 2011 – 9 a.m. until noon.
Note: Registration opens each morning at 8 a.m.

Off to an Amazing Start

As we head into Fall, there is already positive and exciting news to report as we approach "Sold Out" as the status for the manufacturers/exhibitors who plan to join us at the Louisville Show. We'll be ready to name this select list soon and we hope your business is included in that list. As of October 1, just a few manufacturer spaces remain. In addition there will be 85 service and supplier exhibit spaces for the host of businesses that bring so much to the manufactured housing industry. Manufacturers and suppliers across the region are making the move to bring back our industry momentum, and the show is one of the greatest ways to fast-forward these efforts. Don't wait – put your company at the forefront of the new year's industry success!

The Exceptional Experience of Louisville

Start with the Kentucky Exposition Center, a show venue that is considered the best facility of its kind in the nation, where you're assured of a show that offers ample exhibit space and amenities. Couple the great venue with the Louisville Show's headquarters hotel, The Crowne Plaza, located directly across the street from the exhibit hall, and you have an unbeatable combination of convenience, easy access and key amenities all around you. Hotel rates will be affordable, and reservations can be made very soon. A new registration company will be able to offer web-link registration for this year's show, helping make both pre-registration and on-site registration easier than ever before.

The airport is within three minutes of the show site, and there is ample and controlled parking at KEC. As everyone knows, Louisville offers a multitude of fine restaurants and other entertainment venues, including the popular '4th Street Live' area. Discover why Louisville makes the best place for our show. When you exhibit at Louisville, you will give buyers the luxury of an actual walk-through of your home, service or product in a unique hands-on environment. You will be able to relate to your customer base; understanding their wants and needs, as well as answer on-the-spot questions or concerns. With this premier venue as your backdrop, it is time to outshine your competitor and close the big deal. This is a great opportunity for your business to get a grasp on where the future of the industry is headed.

Sign Up for Industry Seminar

The 2011 show will feature an industry seminar with George Allen of GFA Management Inc the 2009 MHI Man of the Year. George has put together a seminar program that will appeal to the industry. Seminar points of interest will include:
How to Price Point a New Manufactured Home  for Private Property and/or Landlease Community Placement. Given an  individual's Annual Gross Income, and/or a local housing market's Average  Median Income, how to calculate maximum "affordable" & "risky" sale prices  for new homes, to be sited on realty owned fee simple, or leased. This topic  is timely for HUD Code home manufacturer "reps", Business Development Managers  ("BDM") and LLCommunity owners/operators selling homes on-site.
Community Series Homes. Their genesis,  definition and description; who manufactures them for in-LLCommunity siting  (with specific reference to appropriate manufacturers and models present at  the Louisville MHShow); and, how to properly meld them into any local living  environment.
Property Owner, or Self-finance, of New  Homes Sold On-site in LLCommunities, with emphasis on the differences  between "captive finance" and "buy her – pay here" methodologies, as well as  other possible alternatives. Moderated by Ken and Donna Rishel of Rishel Consulting Group and Precision Capital Funding the 2010 winners of the MHI Service Supplier of the Year Award.
Three 45-minute seminars provide an opportunity to learn how to start the two processes, evaluate and improve present practices and where to go for assistance and resources. These special seminars will be held at KEC in conjunction with the show.

Industry Comments: We have received these comments from interested industry representatives
Fantastic news on the show – we learned so  much and met so many new vendors – products I had no idea even existed. Great  news – and congratulations on keeping our business alive and well. There is  certainly massive demand right now for affordable housing.
I think the return of the Louisville Show is  GREAT news. It comes at a time when the industry is starting to make a  comeback and could go a long way toward boosting sales in the Midwest. I hope  all of the regions' manufacturers give the show the support it deserves.  Without these shows, the road back would be longer and more difficult.
I agree, I've missed the show. It was the best  event and it's early enough in the year so you could sell the homes ordered,  re-order, and sell again.
I'm so excited to hear about the Louisville  Show in 2011! This was always one of the most important shows of the year for  our industry and we will need to support its return to show consumers and the  media that manufactured housing is here to stay! It sounds to me like this  could be a great start to the image campaign that we've all been talking  about!
If you have any questions regarding this year's Louisville show, please call Dennis J. Hill, Show Coordinator, at 770-587-3350.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An Image Campaign Starts at Home

The word seems to be getting out about The Home Idea Factory and Lifestylist Design Inc. - we were mentioned in a great article about New Approaches to Model Homes in Builder Magazine, and we also have a new feature in MHMSM.com about starting your own image campaign. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Builder Magazine Likes The Way We Do Business

We had a great surprise today - Builder Magazine published an article on New Approaches to Model Homes, and Lifestylist Design was featured in the story! Editor Jenny Sullivan included lots of great information and you can tell that she spent a lot of time researching the story.
If you are looking for a fresh, achievable approach to your model home merchandising dilemmas, please contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Champion Homes Gets Social

I just found out today  Champion Homes has a Facebook page that they are getting ready to add a lot of information and photos to. When I went to check it out, I found photos of the Lifestylist® Designed home we merchandised for them at the Tulsa show and heard that there will be more photos to come of the Texas Show. If you haven't "liked " this page yet be sure to do so - that way you'll be one of the first to see all of the exciting new changes.

Champion Homes Gets Social

I just found out today  Champion Homes has a Facebook page that they are getting ready to add a lot of information and photos to. When I went to check it out, I found photos of the Lifestylist® Designed home I did for them at the Tulsa show and heard that there will be more photos to come of the Texas Show. If you haven't "liked " this page yet be sure to do so - that way you'll be one of the first to see all of the exciting new changes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lifestylist® Designed Model Home Videos on You Tube



Lifestylist Design Inc. has been flooded with requests for more information on the new models we've done for Champion Homes this year. There have also been lots of questions on how models can be merchandised cost effectively and still enhance the home and be a selling tool.

We have two new videos on You Tube that can help you see what a Lifestylist Designed® home is all about. The Champion Homes of Texas video highlights the 8 homes that we have merchandised for them this year and also gives you an idea of the variety of homes that Champion Homes of Texas builds.

We also have a video that is of the show home we did with The Ronald McDonald House for @home Builders. This home raised a lot of money for this wonderful charity and showed visitors how a new home can be merchandised using their existing treasures. A perfect example of this is the amazing collection of vintage cameras that were used in this home. All were donated and auctioned off at the end of the show.

Please be sure to "like" our videos if you enjoy them and share them with your friends. We are looking forward to adding to these in the near future. Let us know what you might like to see.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Future of Affordable Housing

There is no doubt about it -affordable housing is a very needed segment of the market right now, and manufactured housing is the perfect way to build for this need. The New Champion Homes has realized what a need there is for well designed and priced homes, and their XTreme series offers amazing homes to fill this need.

The Home Idea Factory has now worked on two sets of Lifestylist® Designed models in this series - some single section and now double section homes that are fantastic! Champion Homes of Texas was able to get these homes engineered and built quickly to be able to offer them to their clients and I just can't stop thinking about them. Talk about attention to detail - they thought of everything from drawers in all of the bathrooms, 2 sinks and medicine cabinets in the master bath of even the smallest homes, and pantries that are bigger than my NY apartment was!

Talk about Right Sized homes - these floorplans make the most of every sq. ft, and offer everything a homeowner could need for their busy lifestyles.  I especially love the pass through hamper in the larger model where there were cabinet doors from the master bath to a closet in the utility. You can drop your dirty clothes and have them out of sight, then clean,fold and put your clothes on the shelves right there instead of carrying them through the entire home. Brilliant!  There is even a cubby space in the hall by the back door that they just didn't slap together -  as a team we addressed it, made sure that it would be as functional as it was great looking and merchandised it to show this function. So many times homes have areas that are cool, but don't really work. Champion puts in the effort to make sure that the home is done right the first time.

Even the smaller home we merchandised is full of surprises - the kitchen is well designed, has designer black appliances and a black sink that goes beautifully with the espresso cabinets. I couldn't believe how many cabinets there are in this home! I've been in site built homes that cost $300,000 to $400,000 that don't offer as many as this one does.

It's so much fun working on homes that you love and feel great about, and obviously I do about these. The prices were something that surprised me the most - I don't know how they can do it, but you need to talk to them to see for yourself why I am so excited about these.  Marc Medders is the person in the know - you can reach him at: mmedders@championhomes.com

I'd love to hear what you think about these and if you are as excited about them as I am!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Champion Homes of Texas Debuts New Xtreme Homes

We just finished part two of the Extreme Model Home Challenge and I couldn't wait to share the results! Champion Homes of Texas is doing an incredible job bringing truly affordable homes to market that are full of amazing options. It's hard to believe that these are budget conscious homes - all of the extras add up to a lot of value.

We had three weeks to add the Lifestylist® Designed touch to these homes and it helps to have great companies that help us meet our deadlines. What was really important to us as far as the merchandising went was to use the right color and scale with the furniture and accessories to show people how they could live in these homes. Even the smaller home has room to do a dining set to seat 4, and the larger home featured a great room large enough to fit a huge leather sectional that will be perfect for football watching parties.

There were too many great ideas in these homes to put in one article, so we are going to do a few separate stories to share the different features. If you want to take a look at these homes in person you need to do it quickly - customers are already fighting over the merchandised smaller home so they probably won't be at the plant for long. For more information contact Marc Mmedders@championhomes.com