Display homes and display villages have been used as marketing tools to sell house and land packages within estates since the post-war period.
QM Properties, one of Queensland’s largest developers estimates that 30 percent of their sales come from visits to display villages.
“Display homes came into vogue after the war in the building boom of the 1950’s,” said QM Properties General Sales Manager Damien Ross. “They were used to highlight the emergence of new home appliances and show how the modern family aspired to live.”
It was also a period when new estates were opening on the outer limits of cities and the suburb was an innovation. Whilst there are now CGI images and virtual tours, people still like to see, touch, and feel the real thing.
“We support the idea of display villages wherever possible,” said Damien. “Our last one, The Village at Durack was extremely successful, selling out the development of 170 blocks of land in 26 months.”
At Durack only one block remains to be sold, a result praised by QM’s partners in the estate. This includes the Master Builders Association Queensland and the individual project builders.
Industry peak body, the QMBA believe that the display village concept offers value for money for buyers.
“Display villages are very popular with both the builders and clients,” said QMBA Display Villages Manager Mark Roy. “We have been doing them for 30 years and they are more popular than ever.”
“Having options like the virtual tours has resulted in the presentation quality being improved massively with interiors and colours designed professionally,” he said. “It has not diminished the foot traffic, in fact our numbers have increased with now over 100 people a week going through.”
“Potential buyers do their research on the net, but then visit villages so they can physically touch and see the quality,” said Mark.
The builders also benefit, with the overall view that clients gravitate to the villages and give ‘mass’ to the concept.
Some of our Australian villages are the biggest in the world according to property analyst Peter Chittenden.
For the builders, this means that sales are generated not just for the one estate, but they do on sell to other areas.
“The Village at Durack worked very well for us as it was well priced and in a desirable location,” said Fred Achille, General Manager of Ownit Homes. “The power of a joint advertising campaign, high-profile signage and good value for money was a successful combination.”
“We also had a strong cooperative relationship with QM who are very experienced in this area,” said Fred. “They reserved lots and were giving us a 30 day campaign time frame to sell house and land packages.”
The importance of a good relationship between builder and developer is echoed by Anthony Gilbertson, Sales and Marketing Director from Hallmark Homes.
“We find that it’s important for the salespeople from the developer to be empowered to make decisions and make them quickly,” said Anthony. “It’s a buyer’s market and you lose people unless quick decisions can be made about things like covenants.”
“Once the clients see the option they like and negotiate any small differences, they buy, and then tell their friends, so we get referrals from each sale” said Anthony. This is echoed by Sunstate’s Amir Taefi, another big player in The Village at Durack.
“QM is by far the most successful developer relationship we have,” said Amir. “In particular, when showcasing your product in display villages you need to be flexible when it comes to covenants or you can lose a $300,000 deal in seconds.”
“Just little things like the placement of a garage needs to be sorted out quickly,” he said.
Sunstate have such confidence in the display village concept that they even have a draftsman installed on site as well as a salesperson.
“We have enjoyed an 18 year relationship with QM and sold 14 single and two-storey homes as a result our presence in Durack alone,” said Amir. “By working with the QMBA and QM they do the hard yards with councils to get approvals and so on so we can just focus on our product.”