Psychology of Design – Creating the Ideal Sales Environment in a Model Home


Home designers and builders have used psychology to sell homes for decades. The core concept of a model home is rooted in it. Prospective buyers’ personality types are incorporated into design and sales tactics.

This has given the industry insight into why buyers purchase a particular home in a specific location.

But today, it is not enough to rely on demographics, personality types and psychographics. Designers need to incorporate environmental psychology when merchandising model homes. The psychology of design includes behavior, cognition, and what emotional tone the setting and model conveys.

The first step is to recognize that most of the decision-making process for every individual is governed by past experiences on a subconscious level. Designers can use memory points to grab the attention of the subconscious mind and drive sales.

Room design can trigger strong subconscious memories through place attachment, a psychological effect related to protection, safety and emotional response. In model home merchandising, room design should be tailored to the place attachment associated with three space types in each home: public, shared and primary.

Public spaces are areas that everyone can experience when they visit a home.  Examples include an open foyer, a powder bath or an outdoor space – those areas that are clearly open to a guest while in the home. As these spaces are typically associated with first impression, they often trigger strong emotional response.

Shared spaces are the areas that are predominantly for family and close friends.  These rooms would include a bonus room, a pool area or a family room that is more intimate and closer to the kitchen. Shared spaces are generally where the family congregates and offer the greatest opportunity to create familiarity and comfort in design.

Primary, or private, spaces are rooms and areas that offer privacy. Bedrooms are primary, especially the master bedroom and bathroom. Privacy, and thereby protection, is very important to many buyers; it is the primary reason the master suite is often architecturally designed toward the back of the home.

There are many factors that influence a consumer’s decision to buy a home. Using the psychology of design can help create the perception of a match between a prospective buyer driving a sale that will make both the buyer and builder happy.

Kay Green, MIRM, CMP, is president and owner of Kay Green Design. This post is adapted from a story in the May/June 2018 issue of Sales + Marketing Ideas. Download the Sales + Marketing Ideas app on iTunes or Google Play to read it.  






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