Finding Joy in Factory Built Housing

Any “foodies” who read this will understand my joy this week. I’ve been able to spend some time in the kitchen with Chef Joanne Bondy, Executive Chef of the Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan, and frequent guest chef at the James Beard House in NYC. Watching her in the kitchen and getting to sample some of her creations is pure joy - it’s not food, it’s an experience. We do trade-outs - I handle her social media and she cooks for me. I think I‘m getting the best part of the deal! As I watched her yesterday I realized that cooking is like breathing to Joanne -it’s a part of who she is and is a natural part of her lifestyle.

That’s how LifeStyling is for me - by listening to my clients and homeowners to get a feel for what they are looking for in their new homes, I’m able to create an environment that fits their lifestyles. It’s become second nature to me, and I can’t imagine not being able to do what I do. I love our industry and the people who are a vital part of it, and sharing what makes our industry so special and unique has become a natural part of my conversations. Learning about my clients and customers lifestyles doesn’t happen from sitting in an office though - the only way to understand what the buyers needs, wants, and desires are, is to “hit the road” and experience first-hand their lifestyles.

August was about just that - I went to Florida for two weeks, drove over 3,000 miles and learned what was important to buyers in two land lease communities - Parkwood in Port Orange and Countryside Village in Tampa. I walked every square ft. of both communities in the blazing sun, spoke to current residents about their likes and dislikes, and then spent two days with management getting their perspectives. I also visited local museums, restaurants, beaches, dog parks and national parks so I could share what makes each community special in their new marketing and social media campaigns.

Armed with an idea of what customers wanted, I then visited two manufacturers that had homes that would be ideal for the new residents, and worked on how we could add the Lifestylist Design touch to the homes they offered. What I learned was priceless and I’m now armed with the information I need to help fill both communities with new residents and homes.

I’m excited about the future of our industry and where we go from here. There is a huge need for affordable communities and work force housing, and it’s something our industry does like no other can. We are now working with some manufacturers on their fall shows, and I can tell you for sure that our future is bright! I had the chance to introduce some of my clients to Chef Joanne’s cooking, and I think they will agree with me, that food wasn’t just about eating, it was a joyful experience. Let’s make owning a factory built home an experience people will take joy in again as well.

Suzanne FelberComment