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Discovering the customer journey with the emergence of the ‘Marketing Suite’

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A new study commissioned by Foxtons estate agent has revealed that after viewing a property online, it takes home hunters an average of just eight minutes to decide whether to physically view the home[1]. As first impressions are important to purchasers, the interior design within the show home is a crucial element to selling homes. However, what about the interiors and use of marketing suites? In the last 10 to 15 years, there has been a huge shift in the use of the marketing suite, with developers keen to add value to the customer experience. With 20 years’ experience, Suna Interior Design, a boutique design consultancy based in London, have witnessed first-hand this change – and have been instrumental in moving developers away from a portakabin to a fully immersive experience for potential buyers.

Helen Fewster, Director at Suna Interior Design comments: “Fifteen years ago, most marketing suites were simply sales offices and were often in a cabin on site or in the dining room of the show home. The sales offices were generally designed to be functional, providing a practical space rather than considering the potential aesthetic impact. However, in recent years there has been fundamental changes to this and today we are seeing the residential property sector recognise that marketing suites are an important part of the customer journey. When a purchaser views a development, their experience in the marketing suite is often their first impression. This presents house builders with an opportunity to give the purchaser an insight into the aspirational lifestyle that comes with the homes they are selling and it is important to make this first impression count. We have seen lots of clients investing in state of the art, purpose-built marketing suites in order to deliver a bespoke customer experience.”

“At Suna Interior Design some of the main questions we ask ourselves before we begin work is ‘who are our clients selling to?’, ‘what do they want their purchasers to see and feel’ and ‘how does that affect the customer journey?’ From high end luxury to modern urban locations, all our marketing suites combine the developments own unique brand, with the aspirations and unique requirements that reflect the local market. Meanwhile, we also ensure all functions are considered to make sure the end result is a practical working environment. For example, plan in enough storage space, plentiful

desk areas with room to hide things away, meeting rooms or offices for private conversations, even down to the back of house considerations such as kitchens and WC facilities. Depending on the nature of the Marketing Suite this can all be achieved in an informal and relaxed environment, more akin to a nice café than a sales office or it could be more like the ambiance of a high-end hotel entrance and residents lounge.”

For example, Helen continues: “We created a bespoke two-storey statement marketing suite at London Square’s The Star and Garter development on Richmond Hill, which was designed to reflect the luxury brand and lifestyle being offered to purchasers. Once completed the developer even used some areas of the marketing suite to hold events such as art gallery exhibitions, which encouraged potential purchasers to revisit the development. We even incorporated a champagne bar into the design which provided an impressive focal point and came in handy during these events!”

Helen concludes: “Tech has certainly influenced marketing suites, rather than plans on walls which would you have seen 10 years ago, everything is interactive including models and fly through CGIs. In the future we expect to see this develop even further with virtual reality headsets in suites, so purchasers can enjoy a fully immersive experience.”

For more information on the work of Suna Interior Design, please visit www.sunainteriordesign.com.

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BDC 314 : Mar 2024