Showroom Etiquette

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As a builder of high-quality homes, we strive to deliver something special to every customer. The days of “cookie cutter” housing are over! To insure that each home is unique, we rely on several resources to help our buyers fashion a house that reflects their individual tastes.

One resource is the showroom. Many of our vendors and trade partners include showrooms as part of their businesses, usually for retail (or walk-up) traffic but also for professionals like us and our customers. The best showrooms provide a wide variety of choices in real-world scenes or applications (called vignettes) that reveal how the products will look in a finished home.

The earliest showrooms showcased kitchen and bath products, such as cabinets, appliances, and plumbing fixtures. Recently, vendors of windows, doors, decorative hardware, countertops, lighting, fireplaces, and other products have begun to use showrooms. That diversity has allowed us and our homebuyers to create truly personal and distinct home features.

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When we use a vendor’s showroom to make those choices, we usually have a standard allowance—or specific dollar amount—that we have allotted for those products in our house base price. We generally schedule an appointment to go to the showroom with our homebuyers and let the showroom know what the allowance is.

Our homebuyers are also welcome to visit the showrooms on their own. In order to help insure an enjoyable and stress-free showroom experience, it is important for everyone involved to follow a bit of etiquette.

The first point of showroom etiquette is to make an appointment and stick to it. With an appointment, our clients are certain to have the expert assistance of the showroom’s consultant. Keeping a timely appointment means that our clients are more likely to make their choices on schedule. Like many of the decisions made in the process of building a home, selecting the many finish products within the agreed schedule is the buyer’s responsibility and part of the partnership we strive to create between us.

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The next item of protocol is to stay within the budget allowance. We make every effort to prepare (and remind) our homebuyers with regard to the budget choices they have already made. But showrooms are filled with variety and are designed to make the products look appealing. Some selections may be out of the range of the agreed budget amount. Whether a client decides to exceed an allowance is always their prerogative. It is important to remember that getting off-budget can have a ripple effect on other costs. We rely on our vendors, too, to stay within the identified budget and avoid “up-selling” to a higher-priced product line.

The last rule of thumb at a showroom is to make full use of the vendor’s expertise. Increasingly, these are design professionals who can help make product selection easier and more satisfying. Design professionals have a trained eye for cohesiveness and comfort, such as selecting complementary colors or finishes. They are skilled, too, in assisting buyers to identify and satisfy their personal tastes. We encourage our buyers to ask questions and share their dreams with these professionals. We select vendors who have the expertise to support our customers.

Equipped with these three simple rules, our owners can relax, enjoy their showroom experience, and make appropriate and satisfying choices.

Warm Regards,