Create Living Energy to Attract Homebuyers Using Feng Shui
Here is an article I wrote in the Nov/Dec 2015 edition of Green Homebuilder Magazine…
Feng Shui is simpler than you think. The application of Feng Shui in a model home can help increase sales, even in non-Asian communities because it subconsciously gives prospective homebuyers a feeling of harmony and balance.
Have you ever walked into someone’s home and immediately felt so comfortable that you didn’t want to leave? Perhaps you stayed until late in the evening soaking in the ambiance and energy of the home and its residents. Simply put, that is the experience of good Feng Shui. Now, imagine if all of your model homes could create the same feeling—a feeling where prospective buyers want to move in right away.
We know that people buy out of emotion, not out of logic. It is our goal when building and marketing homes to drive the positive emotional triggers in prospective buyers. While everything may look good on paper, we ultimately want them to fall in love with the home they tour. People naturally feel harmonious and safe in a home when they subconsciously sense the right balance of cleanliness and living energy.
When I work with homebuilders, I try to emphasize the living energy of a home. Living energy gives you the impression that people actually live in the home. They care for it and it cares for them, so to speak. This living energy helps people feel recharged. In a model home, however, it can be difficult to achieve living energy since nobody actually lives there; this is where Feng Shui can be a good complement.
So how do we achieve Feng Shui’s living energy through interior design and staging? How do we ensure that a model home doesn’t feel stagnant and cold? Since we don’t have anybody living in model homes, we need to create a feeling of life—flowing and growing energy through the furnishings, features, lights, plants, and artwork we select.
Many of the model homes that I walk through can be quite frigid and unwelcoming. I have seen themes concentrated on dried flowers and twigs, sharp metal edges in furnishings and artwork, and even dead animals with heads mounted on the walls. These themes seem cold and unwelcoming, don’t they?
Now imagine the uplifting energy of a model home with a calm water feature as you enter the front door, a pot of aromatic fresh flowers in the hallway, the smell of fresh-baked cookies in the kitchen, and a soft couch with a crackling fireplace in the background.
Avoid textures that are rigid, rough, and particularly those that appear lackluster. Stay away from driftwood textures and keep cold metal objects dominating the model home. Instead, use soft patterns such as soft textures on walls, furniture, blankets, towels, and flooring that allow people to lower their guard and sink into the comfort of the home.
The master bedroom should tempt prospective buyers to curl up into the bed. Though a little counter-intuitive, avoid mirrors and ceiling fans in your model bedrooms. While mirrors may give an impression of more space, they can give a feeling of anxiousness as opposed to harmony and security. Likewise, ceiling fans may make logical sense in that they can reduce utility bills, but they subconsciously make people nervous that the ceiling fan will fall on them while they sleep.
Bathrooms are generally the most difficult areas to Feng Shui. They figuratively drain away uplifting energy. Bathrooms should be bright and colorful to create something that could feel like a fun space. To add to that feeling, try some fresh flowers and a small crystal chandelier.
As we know, the kitchen is the area where many women fall in love with a model home. While most of her needs should be addressed in the home design stage, interior design is where we make her feel like she can provide nourishment to her family. The kitchen should be bright and clean with a bowl full of (real) fresh fruit to provide positive energy.
Don’t forget about the kids. Create an interior design that engages children. Use features in the bonus room like a working foosball or small air hockey table that allows them to play and have some fun. Who can resist smiling when a child laughs with enthusiasm? Focus on creating a sustainable and harmonious energy within a model home with soft features that stay active even when nobody lives there. These small things give so much energy back in the home that a prospective buyer will feel welcomed—as though it was designed just for them.
Green Homebuilder, Nov/Dec 2015, Page 82