Developers Eye Design Psychology to Lure Buyers

June 17, 2013 | Comments Off on Developers Eye Design Psychology to Lure Buyers

From the art chosen for picture frames and the furnishings selected to outfit the rooms, developers are teaming with design psychologist firms to guide them in staging a property so instead of attracting the masses, it attracts a certain customer lifestyle.

These firms are staging properties carefully with a buyer type in mind, even right down to leaving a particular take-out menu beside a phone or next to a book.

“It isn’t about decorating. It isn’t about making the unit pretty,” Mary Cook, whose interior architecture and design firm has included such clients as The Trump Organization, told The Chicago Tribune. “For the mind-set of the buyer today, it’s about understanding who they are, where they live, and how they live and then demonstrating that with careful balance.”

For example, Related Cos. has identified six type of buyers that would likely be attracted to The Grant, a condo tower in Chicago area with condos ranging from $389,000 to $1.5 million. The models were designed to fit differing tones that reflected the different buyer types. For example, a two-bedroom unit called “Urban Holiday” is designed for a young professional and features budget-conscious and hand-me-down furnishings. Another model, “White Nest,” boasts cream and white furnishings and accessories that is aimed to appeal to an empty nester with sophisticated design tastes.

“If you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one,” says Lisa Simeone, principal and owner of Simeone Deary Design Group.

Developers of condos, in particular, are teaming up with designers to pinpoint potential residents who would be attracted to the units, figuring incomes, age, interests, and lifestyles that would most be drawn to the units. The lifestyles are being reflected in the staging choices.

For example, a model unit for a studio condo in Chicago was labeled “Harry’s Home,” and incorporated multiple patterns, bright colors, and entry-level furnishings. Another unit was labeled “Sally’s Home” with feminine furnishings for a young woman who might prefer luxurious accents like velvet bar stools and a fur throw.

Source: “Condo, Apartment Developers Using Design Psychology,” The Chicago Tribune (May 17, 2013)


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