Model Home Has Fake Family

Here is an interesting clip I saw. While our sales market in Austin is strong, California and other places are slowing down. To stir things up a bit, Centex homes in San Diego staffed a model home with a fake family to give the place a more homey feel. Sounds like like fun, especially when they have visitors to the open house helping the “family” sing Happy Birthday to “Mom”, but I don’t know how effective it will be in converting lookers into buyers. See the story from the San Diego Tribune below.

A Little Improv Goes a Long Way in Selling a Home
Centex Homes has begun staffing model homes with actors in hopes of stimulating the once-sizzling San Diego. Calif.-area new-home market.

On a recent Sunday open house, Mom, Dad, and the two kids chatted about Grandma visiting as they interacted with would-be buyers, serving them fresh-baked cookies and showing off their rooms in a $700,000 model home in Ventura County, Calif.

Centex calls it an “improvisational theatrical model home experience.”

“Think of it as a docented tour, a combo of Williamsburg village and `Desperate Housewives,’ ” says Centex’s publicist, Jim Garfield. “Staged homes tend to be so cold. We’re looking for a way to put the heart back in the home.”

Some home shoppers, including Ventura resident Filomena Silva, thought the idea was an entertaining approach. “It makes you feel right at home,” Silva says, after joining in to sing “Happy Birthday” to Mom.

Source: San Diego Union Tribune

3 thoughts on “Model Home Has Fake Family”

  1. The last thing I want to hear is some fake actors singing (half-heartly) “happy birthday to you” while I am trying to do math in my head. Kids probably love it, however, they hardly made any dent in home buying decision making process.

  2. I can see how this approach might make visitors feel more at home. Only in California would they hire actors to act the part of a rental family for an open house.


  3. That is definitely thinking outside of the box but in my opinion, it is pretty hokey. My theory is to price the properties fairly, have a very strong marketing plan, and let the buyers take notice. We are seeing excellent turnout in the Naples Florida real estate market when open houses are well advertised and the property is fairly priced. I’m not sure the “model family” would make much difference.

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