Top 3 interior design project challenges
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
While most people do not appreciate being clumped in with mass generalizations, there are times when there is some comfort to knowing you are not alone — particularly when it comes to challenges you might be facing. In this case, we are talking about the most common dilemmas homeowners face when working on a home renovation or design project.
If your first guess is related to budget or money, think again. According to studies conducted by Houzz, most struggle with nonbudget issues. As someone trying to sell products and/or services to individuals completing design projects, this is key. It proves that you need not offer sales to close the deal.
Rather, help them with the following three dilemmas, and closing will become that much easier.
Castlefield Design District, Toronto.
1. Finding products
Finding the desired materials, furnishings and accessories for a project is the biggest project challenge most people face. It could be that this is impacted by budgetary and/or geographic constraints, but many simply do not know where to start.
Some will scour the Internet on their own. A large number have either already tried to source on their own — and failed — or found some pieces they like but have no clue how to incorporate them into a cohesive space.
What can you do to help? Create mood or concept boards, floor plans and/or renderings showing them how the items they love will fit. Maybe they merge with existing pieces.
Likely there are a few new ones you will want to add in. Make it look fantastic and make it easy to say yes and sign on the dotted line.
Design style can be as simple as comparing different products side by side and deciding which you prefer. But how many of your clients struggle to say what their style is? Or they use a term that means something completely different than what they show you? Access the style quiz from Better Homes and Gardens.
2. Defining design style
Styles evolve and change, both within the industry and personally. For those who prefer sticking to trends, there can be a fear of commitment lest something should change or lose favor after the purchase. Some do not like being placed into a box that says, "This is my style."
Help them along. No, you needn't hold their hand and coddle, but advise them to scroll through Houzz or Pinterest to gather ideas of what they like. This will save you time and headaches.
If the client is a little more old school and tech-shy, perhaps have him/her complete a quiz identifying styles. The goal, clearly, is to narrow the options of interest before you spend hours sourcing product. Keep it visual.
And if they have trouble saying "yes" to what they like, focus instead on what they do not like.
mecc interiors inc. Renderings of the proposed space make it easier to visualize and make decisions. Unless you take the time to do it on your own, there is a cost, but the investment is worth the money you will save from making a poor selection.
3. Making design decisions with a spouse
Finding common ground might just be the trickiest of the three — some of us can be strong in our opinions and unwilling to compromise. Given the investment your clients are making in their homes, you want them to love the results and feel comfortable, so it does merit consideration.
Mediation is not why you got into this business, but you are a neutral third-party and — hopefully — a trusted advisor, so be prepared to step in to handle potentially explosive situations. By the decision-making stage, you should have a good grasp of what they like and how they need things to function.
While one partner might love and need that exotic hardwood floor, you can explain that their beloved 100-pound dog's nails would quickly mar the finish and suggest a better alternative. Product knowledge can make all the difference when making decisions, so educate them.
If you can ease your clients' minds about each of these areas, you are that much closer to a successful project with a happy ending.
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