This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Kate Pourhassanian of Unscripted Interior Designs joins Greg and Kevin to discuss how prioritizing personalization in marketing can distinguish a home builder and can improve the home buying experience.
Home building teams benefit from stepping out of day-to-day transactions to focus on what a significant decision buying a home is for individuals. Kate says, “It is a big deal for someone to purchase a home. I feel like sometimes, you know, we live in this space, we talk about it all the time, and we forget the humanness of what is happening. Like, buying a home is a big freaking deal, and it is an opportunity to put your stamp, build something new. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and so give honor to that. It's a sacred process. I don't know. I just think that's something that we definitely are missing from time to time.”
Home buyers want more customization during the home buying journey. Kate says, “I think that if there's anything that research shows us right now in terms of design, that there are two things that the consumer is looking for in their home post-pandemic, and that is inner peace and personalization.”
Making the home buying process more personalized creates an unforgettable experience for the customer, but it benefits the home builder as well. Kate explains, “People are wanting to have these dynamic memorable experiences, so I just think that bringing it to the model merchandising space. When you have memory points, when you have opportunity to strike an emotional chord with a human, that has lasting significance and impacts, I think, the bottom line in terms of high sales.”
Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about the benefits personalization can have for both home buyers and home builders.
About the Guest:
Kate Pourhassanian is Chief Operating Officer and Principal of the award-winning, nationally recognized interior design firm, Unscripted Interior Design. Parlaying over 17 years of marketing and trend development within the beauty industry into the creative discipline of interior design, Kate brings fresh perspective to the home building sector. Fusing an educational background in spiritual formation and international beauty-brand education and development, Kate has a passion for the intersectionality of personal growth and the creative workplace. On the Board of Directors for the International Enneagram Association, Kate integrates these disciplines through coaching and speaking engagements and with her beloved team at Unscripted.
Additionally, Kate is the current Chair of HBA Metro Denver’s SMC board and was the recipient of the 2019 HBA of Metro Denver’s Volunteer of the Year award. For over 3 decades, Unscripted has been a thought leader and innovator in the world of interiors, collaborating on projects in 24 states to date; specializing in model home merchandising, commercial environments, and luxury custom residences. With offices in Colorado and Southern California, Unscripted has the capacity to meet our clients’ needs from a national perspective, with efficiency and true experience.
Greg Bray: [00:00:00] Hello everybody, and welcome to today's episode of The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.
Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse.
Greg Bray: And we are excited today to be joined by Kate Pourhassanian. Kate is the Principal and Chief Operating Officer at Unscripted Interior Design, but she's also the director of everything else or something like that, she said. Thanks for joining us, Kate. We appreciate it.
Kate Purhassanian: Thank you, gentlemen. It's lovely to be here. Yes, I am the director of everything else at Unscripted. My team [00:01:00] knows that is my preferred title. Unscripted is a family business comprised of three sisters. My eldest sister, Kari, of course, I have to drop the eldest sister part in there, she is the CEO, but really she's the head of all things creative, which is the most crucial position at a creative agency. My sister Kasey is out of our California office and she's our CFO. She is all things finance and HR, and then when you think of a business, think of everything else. That's my responsibility. So, they gave me the operations title, but really I have wonderful people that help me. My background has nothing to do with operations, but I am an efficient person. I like to get stuff done and I like to hang out with my team. So, that's me.
Greg Bray: Well, Kate, I gotta ask about the family business piece because working with your sisters. Let's see, are they gonna listen? Because if they're gonna listen to this, then we gotta make sure how we, how we answer this question. So, what's it like working with family that close and trying to, you know, [00:02:00] navigate business versus life?
Kate Purhassanian: Oh, that is a good question. So, we have now been in direct partnership for six and a half years, and I would say that we are incredibly blessed. We have such mutual respect for each other. Um, we were raised by the best humans in the world. My parents are amazing. I think the main issue, the reason why there's such synergy and harmony between the three of us is our strengths and our skill sets are so radically different. So, there's not a lot of dabbling in each other's lanes. We really respect what each other does and brings to the table, but we like each other so much that we like vacation with each other on purpose outside of work. We hang out on the weekends.
In fact, I moved to Colorado. I refer to it as a commune, cause I live around the corner from my sister and then around the other corner from my parents, and we're just trying to get my sister Kasey in California, if you're listening, here's another plug. It'd be great if you moved to Colorado. I do appreciate you holding the fort down in California, but [00:03:00] it would be great if you were in walking distance. So, no. It's wonderful.
I would say there's also a shorthand in running a company with each other because we have the same core values, but in my gut, I know how they're gonna react to things. So, I feel like it makes decision-making pretty easy, and like I said, I think we fear our mom enough and Christmas morning that we gotta make this work. Right? I mean, that was the driver. We can't mess up holidays, Kevin and Greg.
Kevin Weitzel: So, who's the, who's the curmudgeon? Am I gonna assume that it's Kasey cause she's on the financial side?
Kate Purhassanian: Well, Kasey will say that she's the no fun police and she's all things finance and she's really wicked smart, but honestly like, let's just keep it here. She's the nicest one. I mean, I'm the people one. I'm the chatty one. Kari's the creative, brilliant, amazing person that she is. She pushes us to do more and new, you know, what really drives the Unscripted brand, but Kasey is, she's constant and she's kind, but she's definitely, you know, she's a financer. She's cautious. You [00:04:00] know, Kari and I in a room aren't always good because then we're like, we should do all the things, and Kasey's like, well, there's things called budgets. It's like, not fun, you know, when you work with people like that sometimes, right? I'm like, Hey, killjoy.
Greg Bray: Yeah. Well, Kate, tell us just a little bit more about that Unscripted brand. What are you guys about? Who do you serve, and what are kind of your opportunities for people to work with you?
Kate Purhassanian: Yeah. So, Unscripted Interior Design, we actually rebranded about a year and a half ago. Our previous, we did business HRI Design, so we have about four decades of interior design, primarily model merchandising, supporting the production builder sector. Since then we've expanded to other territories where we have commercial hospitality and we also do high-end custom and custom residential.
And in the rebrand that was overseen by the brilliant Terry Slavik-Tsuyuki, very dear friend of ours, and Hearth Creative ad agency that we partnered with. We wanted to maintain a level of respect [00:05:00] to the legacy of HRI and what my sister Kari purchased in 2007, but where we were headed was a very different direction. I think that with the sister piece of us partnering together and then really going after new markets, new territories.
We currently work, I think, in 24 states to date, and we have four design directors who oversee very diverse books of business. So, our heartbeat is definitely within the builder space. That is the core of what we do, and we're grateful for those partnerships and relationships, but I think that we're excited to tap into new markets. So, it's exciting, and the Unscripted name, it's an evolution of, you know, what happened to our brand and so at the core of who we are as a team.
You know, if you're researching interior design, there's clear aesthetics, right? You could, there's certain names that you are like, yep. That's Kelly Wearstler and everything Kelly Wearstler looks like this, or that's Studio McGee and everything that's Studio McGee looks like [00:06:00] this. You would never go to say Studio McGee and Amber Interiors and show them a picture of Kelly Wearstler and say, can you make my home look like this? That's just offensive. That's not what they do.
What we pride ourselves in is that we push ourselves to be able to tell a design story of any aesthetic. We work in so many regions, in so many diverse buyer profiles, different price points, and we really push our team to do the thing that they've never done before. So, the two things that our brand is internally, is good humans with good design.
The reason why that is, those are the two things I can't teach. Can't teach you how to have integrity, and I can't teach you to have good taste. I can teach you how to do a program. I can teach you a process but those things are just innate. So, we have this beautifully curated group of humans that I have the honor and privilege to work with every day, and they're wicked talented because they can do so many things.
To give good design means giving honor to every opportunity and not duplicate what we've done before, what we've [00:07:00] seen before. So, duplication is kind of a cardinal sin within Unscripted, and so the name really ties into the heartbeat of our firm, which is every opportunity is a new story. It's a new gig. I mean, it deserves its own story versus, oh, we've done this before. I've packaged that. Let's try that again.
Kevin Weitzel: Now, there's no right answer here, but just out of more curiosity.
Kate Purhassanian: Do it.
Kevin Weitzel: From your personality, yourself, just your internal being, do you prefer the collaborative approach of a client that just gets it, or would you rather have the me's in the world where I don't understand anything about interior design, just step aside, let you go in and do your magic?
Kate Purhassanian: Me personally, I love collaboration. I love feedback. I love conversation, but I don't do design. I run the company. I oversee our sales and marketing and where we're headed but listening to my brilliant designers, I know that they love autonomy and they love creative [00:08:00] freedom. Yeah. So Kevin, if you need some help, let me know cause you're the perfect candidate.
Kevin Weitzel: Yeah. I have no fashion sense. I buy one shirt and get it in every color.
Greg Bray: And she said that looking at the background behind you on the video right now.
Kevin Weitzel: She did.
Kate Purhassanian: Never. There's no shame. I love it.
Greg Bray: Well, Kate, you work with a lot of home builders. Where does interior design kind of fall in their priority list? I'm sure most builders never say, oh, we wanna sell ugly houses. That's not probably where they go, but they may not prioritize it as much as some others. What's been your experience in where that lands?
Kate Purhassanian: Exactly what you said. It's across the gamut. There definitely are builders that we work with that know their brand and they feel like they can deliver things from an ID perspective that's on target for their customer, their consumer, and that feels good to them, and then there are others who really value our partnership and want us to push those boundaries. They push us, we push them and those are [00:09:00] obviously our favorite relationships because that's where you get the award-winning work. We're always surprised at where it ends up because it's this amazing dynamic, this synergistic energy of creatives that are coming together to say, how do we do this thing that's never been done before? Those are by far our favorite.
We do everything from, you know, within the design studio space and helping with client critiques at the charrette level. We have great relationships with consultants, engineers. We love our architects. Architects are so brilliant and gifted at seeing plans from the outside in and our gift is seeing them from the inside out how one actually lives in the space, utilizes the space.
So, I think that some builders put a lot of energy towards that lifestyle component with merchandising and some don't, but we try to maximize that opportunity as best we can. I think it can be a miss sometimes if you cut some of those corners. Just cause I see where marketing, in general, is going. I see [00:10:00] where outside of our industry, the consumer experience is trending, and I feel like our industry could play catch, could be a little better in this segment for sure.
Greg Bray: Unwrap that a little bit more. When you say you see where it's trending, what are you seeing? What are consumers looking for?
Kate Purhassanian: I think it's a downright shame that the experience to buy a laptop is so much more dynamic, packaged, experiential, meaningful than buying the most significant thing in your life at home. That's my opinion. That's the part where I know what happens. I run a company. I know there's a bottom line and marketing and those dollars tend to be the first to be cut, and I appreciate that.
You know, you've ever received a gift that's wrapped really beautifully, or it's just dialed really well? You just assume what's inside is also going to be quality, and I think that there's something to be said when merchandising is quality, when the design [00:11:00] opportunity at the design studio is quality when their marketing materials are quality. There's just this subconscious belief that this home is high quality. It's built well.
I think that the cut corners, I know construction materials are at an all-time high. I know supply chain, trust me. We feel it too. It's painful. There is just such a push towards personalization in a home, customization, user experience. Just look at the entertainment industry, hospitality. Everything is about this interface of experience, right? The senses.
I don't know if you gentlemen have heard of Meow Wolf, for example. There's three locations to date. I think they’re opening their fourth soon, which is an interactive art museum. There's a storyline, there's a narrative. It's sensual. You're touching, you're tasting, you're feeling, you're sensing, you're crawling around through things.
People are wanting to have these dynamic memorable experiences, so I just think that bringing it to the model merchandising space. [00:12:00] When you have memory points when you have opportunity to strike an emotional chord with a human, that has lasting significance and impacts, I think, the bottom line in terms of high sales.
Kevin Weitzel: So, you're saying it's like the ball pit at a McDonald's, but for adults?
Kate Purhassanian: Kind of.
Kevin Weitzel: Oh, bring it on.
Greg Bray: The ball pit. Do they still have those? I don't.
Kevin Weitzel: I don't think they do because of like hygiene and stuff.
Kate Purhassanian: Yeah, post-pandemic. I don't think they do.
Kevin Weitzel: At least not in COVID
Kate Purhassanian: No.
Greg Bray: Well, Kate, when you go look at some of the things that builders are doing with their design, are there any common mistakes you see across the board that folks are making out there, things where you go in and go, oh man, we've got a lot of opportunity here to clean this up?
Kate Purhassanian: I think one thing is bringing in interior designers at the charrette level, at the planned critique level, at the beginning, while you're dialing in your programming. There's just misses in plans. A lot [00:13:00] of it has to do with storage. A lot of it has to do with use. You know, the number one home buyer being a female, how they navigate their home. So, I think that is something that we can definitely speak to. How furniture is appointed in a space. So, needing walls to anchor them. Although, glazing windows are beautiful.
Like just things like that, and then I think the push towards prepackaging design packages. I get it and I've seen it done really well, but I'm gonna be honest. I don't think I see it done very well very often. I get it. I'm sorry director of purchasing if you're on the call. I know you have margins. I know you're navigating your national relationships with these vendors and it's important.
I think that if there's anything that research shows us right now in terms of design, that there are two things that the consumer is looking for in their home post-pandemic, and that is inner peace and personalization. So, the trends that are happening with [00:14:00] design, with materiality and specs everything is going much warmer. Brown is becoming the new black. Your wood is, everything is warming up, womb-like, and cozy and comfortable. Like, gray and stark has lost its moment.
You're also seeing a lot of new neutrality. There's a lot of that very, almost like old pottery. There's like a coziness to it if you can envision that template. Clearly, spaces that are segmented for wellness, and wellness is again, is not just working out. Wellness is also about decompression. In fact, I'm leaving today to go for a weekend with my husband off the grid for three days, so that we have no access to any technology because our brains and our souls, we need that. In your home, you need respite.
There's a need for cleanliness for sure, post-COVID. Yes. There's fear about cleanliness and hygiene, but it's also about inner peace, and then at the same time, homes have become personalized on another level. Having the gift of a book [00:15:00] of business that's custom residential work, we're seeing the level of customization people are choosing. Not only because supply chain was low.
A lot of people spending an extra chunk of time at home led to, am I moving, or am I making this place my home? And a lot of people are actually staying in place and are redesigning things. And how that should affect new home builders is what are they doing to their spaces that they couldn't find? Why would they stay there if they could get something brand new and shiny and fabulous? Well, maybe your plans aren't really conducive to the personalization that they need.
Kevin Weitzel: Gasp.
Kate Purhassanian: Maybe the finishes that you're offering aren't, you know, exactly what they're looking for. It is a big deal for someone to purchase a home. I feel like sometimes, you know, we live in this space, we talk about it all the time and we forget the humanness of what is happening. Like, buying a home is a big freaking deal, and it is an opportunity to put your stamp. Build something [00:16:00] new. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and so give honor to that. It's a sacred process. I don't know. I just think that's something that we definitely are missing from time to time.
Kevin Weitzel: So, you actually just spoke so much to me because I work in a virtual world. I can work literally anywhere. I've considered moving so many times. There's one area of the country that I love like nobody's business and there's no explanation as to why, but it's Wichita, Kansas. They have this small little area there called College Hill and all the homes are like anything from Frank Lloyd Wright to midcentury ranch, to midcentury modern to, you know, craftsmen. The whole mix, but it was all homes built from like the teens all the way up into the mid-fifties, and they're just beautiful homes.
It is offensive when I see these listings on homes when people go into them and HGTV them. No offense HGTV people or to home flippers, but stop going into these beautiful masterpieces, even though they might be run down a little bit, and just painting everything gray, and painting all the woodwork [00:17:00] white, and turning it into a modern farmhouses. It's just horrible, and I see home builders, a lot of times, do the same things.
So, thank you for mentioning that. I mean, I know that we gear this toward digital marketing and we'll get to that as well, but I applaud the fact that you are calling that out as to why home builders need to consider and reconsider what they build based on the lifestyles that people have versus just this needs to fit on this plot, with this step, this width, yadda yadda, yadda.
Kate Purhassanian: Thank you. Literally, two days ago, we had plans from the builder we're working on right now and they had an option that they wanted us to model. It's kind of awkward. It feels a little forced this addition. I'm not gonna give any more detail, but I'm looking at this and we're in this, okay, how are we gonna merchandise this? What are we gonna do? How are we gonna make this unique and dynamic?
Finally, I just stopped the conversation. I looked at the five women surrounding me and I said, how would you use this space if this was your home? Put aside the, how do we make this look really cool cause we're a cool design firm. How would you actually use [00:18:00] this, the functionality of this space? That's how we got to the answer.
So, I think the humanness factor just gets lost. It's this delicate dance of customization, design, valuing the ID part, but also recognizing that this is someone's sanctuary. This is where they're gonna live their life and have memories. That's why I bought into this industry because I love the fact that I'm a part of this memory builder. I'm a part of all those sacred moments in people's lives that we have the honor to be a part of. It's the coolest gig ever, but sometimes, like I said, we just, we miss that.
Greg Bray: So Kate, I'm, concerned that this is gonna become a two-hour episode because I got a lot of questions that are just coming up. Some of it's because interior design is not something I know a lot about, but I'm seeing connections here in some of the things you're saying that are awesome.
First question, going back. You were talking about improving the usability, I'm gonna say usability, livability of the home, right? Because I think about my house and the couple of things that drive me crazy every day. What I would give for an extra foot between the [00:19:00] island and the kitchen and the stove because we're always tripping on each other. An extra foot in the laundry room because we can't get around the big appliances. Anyway, little things like that.
If you, as a builder, have fixed those kinds of things, you know, made the plan better. How do you communicate that to the buyer before they've come to tour and see it? How do you differentiate yourself? You've put all that work in. You've made those reasonable choices because you want it to be better, but how does the potential buyer find out about that clearly? Any thoughts?
Kate Purhassanian: Versus doing the big sign that says, look it, we have an extra foot here, like in attacking marketing way. Yeah, no. We don't wanna do that. Honestly, this is where marketing and sales need to become friends in a better way. What I mean by that is sometimes they're under the same umbrella, but they do very different functions, and this is where it's empowering the sales team to be more of a concierge [00:20:00] in their models, in the user experience. So, it would be like, empowering them with that information.
We work with builders that are much smarter than I, and they retool their plans all the time. They get feedback. They tweak them because they wanna make them better. They want to maintain the integrity of their brand and they want to actually build beautiful homes. Shock and awe. I think one of the gifts that they bring to their buyers is that concierge experience of walking through models and saying, look at this. It's not so crazy that it's a dance floor, but it's enough that you guys can pass by each other, and there's freedom of flow like, and communicate, you know, we did this over here, and you'll see, we learned. We added that much more.
Again, it just shows the intentionality of what they're doing versus plug, play, repeat, plug, play, repeat. We're thinking. We actually are putting that the energy and the dignity to the process that it's due. So, I do think it can be messaged in many ways. Now, if you're talking on a digital space then that's easy. It's [00:21:00] storytelling. It's literally storytelling and that is the heart of all of this, right?
Kevin Weitzel: Do you help your builders with the descriptions for like alt tagging their imagery?
Kate Purhassanian: I try. It depends on the partnership and it depends if it's outsourced. I do a lot of our copy. I'm a weirdo reader all the time. I love writing. I love the opportunity to buy into the design story of what's happening here. Even if the builder gives us a buyer profile, we like to finesse that with, okay, so let's imagine this guy does this, and let's imagine. There's a humanity that comes from that, and then you get this emotional connection, and then there is something about that emotional connection that just creates beautiful things. I just think it's a holistic approach to design.
Kevin Weitzel: Let's talk Garanimals for a second.
Kate Purhassanian: Okay.
Kevin Weitzel: Obviously, your designers love the model home and the sales office experience where they get to go in and just paint a picture, tell a story, and everything else, but what are your thought processes in helping buyers like myself that have [00:22:00] zero fashion sense and just offering prepackaged templates? Good, better, best, an A, B, or C? What are your thoughts on that? Are home builders making a mistake when they head that direction?
Kate Purhassanian: So, I touched on it a bit ago. I think that it can be done well. It just isn't done well very often. Here's the deal. If you build it, they will come.
Kevin Weitzel: Yeah.
Kate Purhassanian: If you don't build it, if you don't show it, people don't know. They don't know what they don't know. You need to help them. Okay. So, I think that sometimes the packages are tragic based on the specifications that are chosen. I said it, and they just go, here's the gray package, here's the white package, here's the warm package, and that's all you get. I just think there can be a little more thought to that.
I think that we can do a good, better, best. We can do series. I do think that you need to help the consumer. Help them from hurting themselves by selecting things that could be ultimately tragic. So, I do hear that, but I think there's a way to craft it that feels a little more [00:23:00] progressive. Let's just get to the bottom line assumptions. We make assumptions. We assume, oh, people like gray. That's what they've done. People like modern farmhouse. That's what we do. People like granite. That's what we do, and it's like at some point we are the professionals. We need to show them we can do so much more. We can do all of these things and think about where we're living. What does this consumer value?
We're working on a really cool project right now in a suburban context, but it's very urban. It's very dense based on the fact that consumers like modern architecture and they like modern finishes and it's in Colorado, but there's a demand in the market space for something that's progressive. Other builders assume, well, it's mountain, so we need the mountain house. We make these assumptions versus people they're exposed to the same things you are. So, like you had just said, if you love mid-century modern, let's give space and honor to that.
There are a lot of people who [00:24:00] have varying trends. Not everything has to look like Chip and Joanna Gaines. Bless them, but there's a lot of opportunity in design, and I think that packages can be done well, as long as there's still an opportunity for customization. So, maybe it's package A and you can swing this out to these three options. Does that make sense? So, we're creating a little leeway for them to have ownership in their own design, but you dialed it in for them so they don't do anything crazy.
Greg Bray: And the packages become a very interesting discussion when you start talking about online purchasing within the home buying process, right? Because there's so many choices and it becomes overwhelming if you have to make all of these choices. So, being able to package it is a viable strategy for simplification standpoint, but to your point, packages that aren't pretty are useless. So.
Kate Purhassanian: You know, I'm just gonna say that sometimes materiality can look one way on a screen than it does in person. If we're talking a hundred percent [00:25:00] digital experience. So, they're looking at a VR model, you know, we're looking at VR plans, and let's assume the buyer's a digital native, so this feels very comfortable to them. So, we can bypass some of those inhibitors. You have these packages. It would be really lovely if the builder sent, I don't know, a packet of samples of that said package so they can see it in real life and go, oh, that's what it looks like versus a saturation on my Mac versus someone's PC or my phone.
They read very differently. We're professionals. We have a whole library that we're surprised when we get it in-house. We're like, oh, no, never mind. So, I can't imagine the consumer picking that just based on a little box on their screen. So, I think that, again, it's that touch point, and there is something about the senses. It doesn't need to be huge if I can just feel it and I can see, oh, here's my little palette. Okay. I can live in this. That feels just one more level, one more bucket of another opportunity to make connection.
Kevin Weitzel: I'm gonna have a hard time asking a [00:26:00] question, so I just wanna paint a little picture for you.
Kate Purhassanian: Do it.
Kevin Weitzel: I see this far too often in the home building industry, and let me just paint a little picture using furniture for an example. If you go into a Ralph Lauren store. It's rich textures, rich colors, well thought out curated items that are of quality. You could pick it up and feel and look and smell the quality. Whereas, and I don't wanna pick on the store's name. Let's just go with an acronym that'll disguise it. Let's go with BC3.
So, if I go into a place called a BC3 and they've got this really cool packages and they looked awesome on their website, but then when you go actually go in and see it, it's just cheap. It's junk. So, how does a home builder utilize like quality photography without overselling the story? You know, making inviting, warm, and fun, and rich, and a place you wanna live, but that's still realistic in what they will actually be able to deliver.
Kate Purhassanian: Are you asking the question, can professional photography lead to a sense of bait and switch?
Kevin Weitzel: [00:27:00] Yes. I could have just phrased it a lot shorter. Now Greg, help sir.
Greg Bray: Why would I do that when we can watch you flail? That would be so much more fun.
Kate Purhassanian: That is a good question because man, I really value good photography. We like to get published. We like using it for our social channels. We value the art of photography and we've got really good partners who are brilliant and very capable, and we also have had photographers, radically destroy our design based on their over Photoshopping, over saturation, the temperature of their colors and tones, that just ruins our color palettes to be honest, or manipulates the tonality of wood, brings out undertones we're not wanting to emphasize, let's say.
It's hard cause I think that in terms of a digital space, I do think photography is important in that it tells a visual story of what's happening. Sometimes I feel when I'm looking on websites, I see a radical [00:28:00] disconnect with what I'm visually looking at and what they're telling me. So, I feel like there needs to be much more synergy between the two.
We're crafting this story, and if the story that we're painting, hopefully, it's real versus a lie. So, let's just assume we're good humans and we're painting a true story of what they're buying. Does our photography actually tell the visual story of what we're selling and have respect to what it is that they're getting?
I know there's a proforma. I know there's limitations. When you think about programming amenities, amenitizing, but again, there are so many missed opportunities within relationship to a neighborhood and a master plan. There's so many missed opportunities with connection and community, and it isn't always this massive clubhouse that's never ever used, right? It's trails, it's walkways, it's positioning of lots so that there's integration and privacy.
There's also lifestyle components with creating on your website. Like, what the heck do I do in [00:29:00] my neighborhood? Why isn't your website communicating what do I do here? Where do I eat? Not just, this is where this is located. Here's the map. You're welcome. It could also say, and did you know that there's this really awesome farmer's market that happens on these days, and did you know that there's this amphitheater 1.3 miles away, and we're gonna upload every summer what the tickets are for sale? Why is there no connect, again, the human? Why do I wanna live here? Kevin, you're talking about Wichita, Kansas, and it's like, why do you love that place? You mentioned the architecture, but why do you live where you live now?
Kevin Weitzel: You're treading dangerous waters. When you go into the psychology. Greg missed a golden opportunity. You said you like weird stuff behind you there, and Greg could have said, Hey, have you picked up the book of Kevin because it's the weirdest stuff there is? He missed it. So, Greg, thank you for not just trouncing on that opportunity. But no, and I'm right there with you and I get it, and I personally feel that builders struggle with that aspect of their marketing messaging. They're not telling those [00:30:00] stories, and the ones that do they tell the story, but then are they losing what you're buying as a home? I've seen somewhere, they tell all this big story. It's like, where are your houses? What are you even selling? You know, what are your price points? And they miss that whole mark.
Kate Purhassanian: So, I've only been in this industry for six years and I have about two decades of big beauty brand experience. Obviously, that comes with really large budgets. I'm gonna own that now. L'Oreal Professional had very large budgets. Okay, but they were really good at reinventing trends, at communicating trends, at messaging things to the consumer. Visually beautiful, visually appealing at various price points, but also crafting that story.
I'm just always surprised within this industry how little we look outside of our industry to improve cause I think that we could learn a thing or two. There's the user experience we had just talked about. So, if we tell a story about what's happening in this neighborhood versus what's happening in your home, does it need to be one or the [00:31:00] other? How can it be both? How can both live side by side, and maybe doing a deeper dive to the communities that are doing it? Well, how are they doing it? Well, why are they doing that in that way? How can they improve upon that? What is the result of that? Who's paying attention to those analytics? What's driving the consumer to get to that website? I mean, there's so much opportunity that we just don't capitalize on, to be frank.
Greg Bray: So Kate, where are some of the places builders should be looking for some of those ideas outside of the industry? You know, just a couple of quick ones that come to mind.
Kate Purhassanian: Oh, goodness. Honestly, I think, hospitality is huge. Hospitality is huge because it's painting how people wanna live their best lives. So, if you can pay attention to what restaurants are doing, what hotels are doing, what experiences, how they're messaging, and what's driving them there? Obviously, when you live in your home every day, you're not on vacation, right?
Tuesday, there's soccer practice. There's tacos. Like, you know, it is what it is. It's not The Bahamas. I get that, but there's something [00:32:00] about how do I wanna spend my energy and time. If there's anything that we should pay attention to is that post-pandemic, the most precious commodity we have is time. So, if I'm gonna spend my time researching your site, what do you want me to capture? Why would I go to your site? And then getting that feedback of, okay, this is what I would get if I'm here. So, it starts at the beginning, the intentionality of our master plan, the intentionality of our plans of our design, of our packages, of our messaging, so that people have this experience. Wow, like that was done really well.
I can name large brands. Yes, there's the Teslas, the Apples, the Anthropologies, the like I said, L'Oreal. There's very large brands that do really amazing work with huge budgets, but there's also really dynamic micro brands.
You know, if you've ever been to a stationary store that just did it right. You know, or a wine shop that just did it right. That coffee shop and you're like, dang it. That's [00:33:00] how it's done, and it doesn't have to be crazy budgets, overly saturated marketing. It's intentionality, it's storytelling. It's the human piece. Also, once you think you arrive, you're never done. Like, if you are in marketing and you're in sales, you should be a driven person that's constantly wanting to improve and reflect so that we can get better. Whenever you think we did that well. Okay. What was great about that, and how could we make it even better? I mean, I try to do that just in my own personal life, and with my team. About the human condition, there's two directions. It's death and it's growth. So, we gotta grow, man. We got stuff to do. We gotta take over the world.
Greg Bray: Well, Kate often we ask people, as we wrap up, for any last words of advice, but I feel like you just gave us a whole bucket of advice.
Kevin Weitzel: Piles of it. I love it.
Greg Bray: And we're so appreciative of your time.
Kate Purhassanian: Oh, thank you, good gentlemen.
Greg Bray: If someone wants to reach out and connect with you and get in touch, what's the best way for them to reach out?
Kate Purhassanian: You could definitely[00:34:00] go to our website, unscriptedinteriors.com, but I would say the best way to see what we're doing day to day, it's on social media, specifically Instagram Unscripted Interiors. We got a lot of shenanigans going on, and we're a good time. We're a group of design misfits who don't have an ego, who are so grateful to be in this space where we get to play with the best people in the industry. Me personally, you can find me on the website. Please reach out. I like new friends.
Greg Bray: Well, thank you again, Kate. Thank you everybody for listening to The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.
Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse. Thank you.