1. Consider the Competition
Entry ways vary considerably from home to home, and there is no single right or wrong look. Even if you find your competition has more dramatic or impressive entries than yours, we do not recommend wholesale changes. But knowing what you're up against should give you the incentive to upgrade what you already have. There are a number of inexpensive packaging techniques that will make your entry stand up to or above
2. Consider the Buyer. As always, understanding your buyer is important when marketing your entry way. By considering the specific needs of different segments of the market, you will strengthen its appeal.
- First-Time Buyers. Young first-time buyers, who are just beginning to earn enough to buy certain trappings that higher-income groups already enjoy, want the entryway to speak of their new position in life. Research indicates, for example, that mirrored surfaces are quite popular with this group, as are plush carpeting and expensive-looking light fixtures.
- Trade-up Buyers. For the more sophisticated trade-up buyer, the entry should be understated but suggest success. Research conducted by SRI International reveals that to this group art objects and oriental carpets can help project the right message. The entry as a whole is particularly important to the trade-up buyer in terms of the signal it sends to visitors and friends.
- Empty Nesters/Trade-down Buyers. Many empty nesters and trade-down buyers moving to smaller homes may be resigned to losing a separate and formal entry. But there are many ways to create a feeling of a separate entry where none exists. Because older buyers are particularly sensitive about security, your entryway should suggest how secure your home is and help satisfy their safety needs. We will cover ways to increase the feeling of security in your entry and to add to the perception of value in the process.
3. Evaluate Your Product. When you bring your friends through the entry way, pause to get their first impressions. Because their reactions are likely to reflect those of prospective buyers, you will want to listen attentively. Ask them what they like the most and least about your entry and what first pops into their minds when they first step into your home. Be particularly sensitive to comments relating to sources of territorial anxiety.
4. Eliminate Territorial Anxiety. Because people are on their guard when first setting foot in a stranger's home, it's particularly important to avoid personal statements that create territorial anxiety in the entry.
Eliminate strong personal color, ethnic, or design statements. For example, if your friends or your own research concludes that the violet-patterned wallpaper gracing your entry may not have general appeal, we would certainly recommend stripping it and painting the wall a neutral shade that complements your furnishings.
Remember, no detail is too small as far as the entry is concerned, because this is where the buyers' impressions of the exterior will either be reinforced or contradicted. A few points scored one way or the other at this stage of the tour will influence the final outcome.
5. Maximize Packaging Appeal. Since the entry way is usually small, each feature of the room can make a significant impact. For this reason, use small details to make big impressions, and we will show you how.