The number one question we're asked when people visit our furnished model home
is, "So what all in here is an upgrade?"
We've tried different strategies when it comes to model homes. When we built our model home in Summer Ridge
several years ago, we based it on The Matthew 1 Plan
, and only included 4 amenities that weren't included in the standard base price. That was a great strategy because it impressed people when they found out that they could have this exact house for this exact price. It was straight-forward, simple, and left little room for questions or incorrect assumptions as to what would be included as a standard amenity, as we call them, in ever house.
The down side to that approach is that it didn't allow us to show the full potential of what our homes could be. There were times when potential clients weren't as impressed as they could have been had we totally decked the house out, like most builders do.
In our former model home in Sonoma Lake
, we took a middle-of-the-road approach. We increased the number of amenities that were optional (what most people call "upgrades"), which gave visitors a glimpse of some various amenities that could be added to their homes. This worked well, too, but required specific documentation and a diligent effort in marketing to insure that everyone was aware of what was standard in every home, and what was not.
Now that we have our furnished model
open in Silverhawk
, we've gone a step further. We've included a plethora of optional amenities that clients can have included in their home, and now we're demonstrating the full decorative and technological potential of what their home can reach.
But the question remains: "So what all in here is an upgrade?"
The answer is, "That's up to you." It's not the response most people are prepared for.
"I don't get it," one might say. "What about these nice rounded corners in your walls? Standard?"
"If you want them to be."
"OK, you're playing games." All of a sudden we've just been thrown in with the used car salesmen for a brief moment.
See, we don't like the term "Upgrade" for several reasons. Instead, we use the term "amenity," because that's what it is. The term "upgrade" suggests anything less would be of lesser value or quality, and that's often not the case. In fact, many "upgrades," or "investment options" as some other builders call them, don't really enhance the value of a home. Don't get me wrong, that's not a bad thing necessarily, but to suggest that it's an "upgrade" or "investment" suggests that some sort of return can be expected later in value.
So we use the term "Optional Amenity" because it's a more accurate label. It's optional, meaning you choose to include it or not, and it's simply a feature of the home that may or may not enhance the value in a monetary sense.
So back to the smoke and mirrors, and how an optional amenity doesn't necessarily mean an increase in cost...
Rather than bloating our homes (and more importantly, our homes' prices) by throwing in all of these additional amenities, we realize that not everyone thinks that rounded sheetrock corners are that great. So why should you have to pay for them if you don't want them? We'd rather you have the amenities you want, instead. So that's why we have built-in allowances that give you the flexibility of choosing what optional amenities you want in your home. If you exceed your allowances, no problem. Just simply pay the difference.
Simple and clear. No smoke, and the only mirrors around are in the bathrooms.
So what is actually a standard amenity, before any optional amenities are added using allowances? I'm glad you asked. Here's our newly-published Jeff Click Homes Standard Amenities
Brochure. More to come on this topic soon. In the meantime, let us know if you have questions or feedback
. It'll help us refine this concept.