When potential home buyers enter a model, they explore the floor plan, ask about details and finishes, and try to determine if the different spaces will meet their needs. Staging the furniture and decor is key to helping buyers imagine the possibilities, but some new home sellers are loaded with questions like “Where did this piece come from?” And “can I buy it for my new home?” “
For some builders in the past, these questions might be difficult to answer, as furniture typically comes from warehouse sellers as opposed to front-end retailers, and distracts the potential buyer from the real selling point, the house.
Eoin Harrington, former senior vice president of innovation at Restoration Hardware, saw an opportunity to connect the home construction industry, the furniture industry and the everyday consumer by growing a design business of inside line called MINE.
âSometimes in a model home you can have products from 20 different vendors represented; even if you knew where these products came from, recreating that look would be a nightmare, âsays Harrington, ceo of MINE. âWe want to make the customer experience even easier, more convenient and more enjoyable so that the shopping experience after the purchase is truly joyful. “
Since February 2019, MINE has offered its free interior design services directly to consumers online, whether they are furnishing a new home or refreshing an existing home, but the company has also partnered with public and private builders to transform their homes. models in showrooms purchasable for customers. .
PulteGroup, in particular, has worked with MINE from the start. In 2019, the automaker began with a smaller pilot program in three of its markets, Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, and used the service in a handful of models in those divisions. Pulte also conducted some of his own consumer research to see how people would respond to the platform and the partnership.
âWe slowly got our feet wet,â says Angela Nuessle, national vice president of interior design at PulteGroup. âFrom there, we have heard only positive feedback in response to all questions, not only from consumers but also from our on-site sales advisors. “
Today, 235 of the PulteGroup models have activated the MINE relationship, including model homes in select Pulte Homes, Del Webb and John Wieland communities across the country. From contemporary desert homes in Arizona to modern farmhouse designs in Texas to airy coastal-inspired Florida decor, PulteGroup’s in-house interior design team selects pieces inspired by the lives of their buyers, combining functionality, comfort and the latest trends today.
In these models, Nuessle reports that approximately 95% of the furniture and decor is available to consumers, including expensive items like seats, tables, dining sets, bedroom furniture, children’s furniture, storage, lighting, textiles, window treatments, rugs, and wall art, and even small things like vases, dishes, blankets, pillows, artificial plants And much more. Many items offered by MINE are priced well below retail prices, says the manufacturer.
When visiting a PulteGroup model, buyers can simply scan a QR code with their smartphone that will direct them to the MINE website, where they can purchase the same or similar products. As they explore the house, details of each of the furniture and decor items featured will be right at hand to easily “add to cart”. Buyers can also experiment and shop Pulte models across the country on the MINE website.
âWith this service, our buyers can now easily replicate the inspired spaces we create for our models in their own homes, without having to hire an interior designer,â says Nuessle. “We are delighted to be able to offer our future homebuyers or consumers walking our models an elevated experience that truly answers all of their questions and complements the process we offer as a Pulte.”
Harrington reports that other builders, such as Ashton Woods, Taylor Morrison, Stanley Martin Homes, and David Weekley Homes, among others, have also started a relationship with MINE. The company will work either with a builder’s in-house interior design team or with an outside design firm to make any model purchasable and serve more buyers across the country.
“It’s about helping the buyer to complete the experience and transform this new home in a nicely furnished house that looks as good as the model, âhe adds. âAnd the builders share the profits from each sale. So this is a benefit to the customer experience, generating revenue and reducing distractions for the sales staff, so that they can focus on selling the home. “
For the future, MINE hopes to expand its offering to more US OEMs and is working on different tools to improve the customer experience from a design perspective and collect relevant data for its OEM partners.
âWe’re starting to analyze the data to provide meaningful insights to builders about what their customers are doing, what they like, what interests them, which models work well, which parts get more attention and which styles work. in a given region, âsays Harrington. âWe want to help our building partners by creating more engaging experiences for home buyers, not only for buying furniture, but also for buying homes. “