A home’s interior design has a considerable effect on how we feel about the space.
Colours, textures, how the various elements tie together, all set an important tone.
This is one of the reasons that home buyers can find the interior design selection process both challenging and stressful.
Baywest Homes has developed a solution that puts their customers at ease and produces pleasing results.
The award-winning builder uses a design concierge to provide expert guidance for their customers through every step of the interior design process.
This includes being on-scene for every meeting customers have with suppliers to provide suggestions and feedback.
“For us, each homeowner is so unique and the experience we are providing with the concierge really caters to that,” says Wayne Daniels, customer experience and warranty manager at Baywest.
“With this concierge service our customer experience scores have gone through the roof.”
In 2019, the design concierge achieved a satisfaction score of 99.2%.
“That is huge,” says Daniels. “That is the highest-scoring aspect of our business, likely, ever.”
The concierge addresses a common pain point, says Crystal Benner, sales manager for Baywest, which currently offers homes in Harmony, Mahogany, Walden, Cranston’s Riverstone, and inner-city Inglewood.
Depending on the builder, “When customers come in and start through this process, it can be overwhelming for them,” she says. “There is sometimes no flexibility, not enough choice, and uncertainty because you don’t have someone guiding you through.
With Baywest’s approach, however, “It provides clarity,” Benner adds. “It provides people with confidence and assurance because you have an experienced professional guiding the entire process.”
While most builders use an in-house design consultant specifically for its buyers, Baywest provides the services of Debutante Design, who are a known and respected interior design firm in the city.
This high-end interior design firm has worked with a range of clients since opening in Calgary in 2003.
Debutante also handles the interior design of Baywest’s show homes, which speaks to the caliber of design services Baywest customers can expect to receive.
The process starts with a theme meeting where the customer and designer chart the course for the look and feel of the home, says Ashley Balint, one of Baywest’s design concierges.
“We go over what their vision is for their home, what their design preferences are,” she adds. “We can involve inspiration pictures, or what they currently might like or dislike about their home, and ultimately what they want the final dream home picture to look like.”
Balint can share and offer opinions on current trends or tailor selections to the customer’s personal preferences.
And in some cases, it’s a balance, with a room or two taking on trendier notes, while the rest of the home stays mainstream. This is the approach they typically take with show homes, says Balint.
Blue cabinets and gold fixtures are among the on-trend elements Balint is seeing right now.
“We go to each supplier meeting with the customer and go through everything,” says Balint.
“It starts with cabinets. We generally find that’s the best way to set the tone of the home with the larger selections.
“From cabinets to flooring — we even select the door levers for clients, all those little details. It’s surprising how many details there are that encompass a home, down to the baseboards, casings — all of those are hand-picked by the client. They can put their personal touch on every single detail.”
The concierge service is something customers are telling the people they care about.
“I love that I’m meeting so many family and friends of clients and the repeated referrals that I get,” Balint says. “A client I’m working with now, I worked with their friends probably four years ago. Before I even met them they said, ‘we know all about you and we’re really excited.’
“If people are referring friends and family years later that really speaks volumes.”
Another way Baywest is focusing on customer satisfaction is through their membership with The Alberta New Home Warranty Program.
“We feel honoured to be a part of The Program and certainly see how working together with such a reputable organization, brings additional value to our customers,” says Benner. “People automatically recognize and trust The Program, and know that when you work with a builder that partners with them, they are receiving a higher caliber home committed to quality workmanship.
“In addition to the value they add to our offering, we are impressed with their professionalism and their willingness to support any questions customers may have during the process, and work to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and confident with the warranty they receive with their purchase.”
The Baywest team really “gets” the home buying and home ownership experience in a way that many don’t, says Scott Hamilton, vice president marketing and customer experience at the Alberta New Home Warranty Program.
“They work hard to put themselves in the home buyer’s shoes, to understand the challenges and stressors, and then create a process and approach that puts the homebuyer at the centre of everything,” he adds. “To Baywest, every house is a ‘home’ and their exceptional customer experience feedback is proof-positive that their emphasis on that difference really matters to home owners.
“They are an outstanding builder that cares about the homes they build, and that shines through.”