Custom home Sales Center Opens

Sales and design centers are more than a growing trend for today's production builders--they have practically become business as usual.

By Rob Fanjoy, Associate Editor | November 1, 1999
Visiera is a sales and design center as well as a fully functional home. It is divided into four different areas with different presentations aimed at educating buyers on the custom building process.

Sales and design centers are more than a growing trend for today’s production builders--they have practically become business as usual. MCO Properties of Fountain Hills, Ariz. is believed to be the first developer to offer the same one-stop shopping convenience for custom home buyers with the October grand opening of Visiera, their innovative custom home sales center.

The 4100 square-foot custom home not only showcases interior and exterior architectural details, but also contains information about MCO Properties’ Fountain Hills development, the custom neighborhoods, premier local custom homebuilders, product vendors and finance and escrow professionals.

"As far as we know, we are the only developer that has gone to this extent to provide all the services a custom homebuyer would want under one roof," says Hank Lickman, vice president of MCO Properties. "Visiera is an Italian word meaning ‘vision,’ and we feel that is appropriate because we hope it helps buyers realize their vision for creating a custom home that specifically reflects their personal lifestyle."


Multimedia presentations and literature (left) demonstrate the various amenities available both in and near the community, including golf, tennis and cultural activities.

The information in the center is divided into four different demonstration areas, which invite customers to browse at their leisure.

  • The Lifestyle Room introduces the geography of Fountain Hills as well as the cultural and recreational activities in and around the community.
  • The Neighborhood Room uses a large topographical map to detail the various neighborhoods available in Fountain Hills. Prospective buyers can pinpoint residential areas for particular data on topography, homesite specifications and inventory and other pertinent information.
  • The Home Building Room uses step-by-step dioramas to demonstrate the design and construction process. Preferred custom builders are introduced to the buyers through a variety of displays, videotapes and product portfolios
  • The Professional Resource area and Vendor Room allows customers to research a wide array of professional services, including architects, interior designers, landscape firms, mortgage lenders and others.

"We’ve already collected all the resource materials a custom homebuyer would typically need, eliminating the need for them to run around to a number of different locations and sources," says Dori Wittrig, MCO Realty new home sales manager. "We’ve put all that information together in a visually interesting way, with interactive displays and multi-media exhibits to help encourage the buyer’s creativity."


This 4100 square-foot custom home sales and design center is located in Fountain Hills, Ariz., and will eventually become a private residence.

There will also be representatives from the various builders, designers, architects and others available for face-to-face sessions with prospective homebuyers.

"We will have people educated in the luxury home business there for buyers to talk to," says Lois Heimer, sales and marketing manager for J.R. McDade Co. Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz. McDade was the interior designer of Visiera, and is represented as one of the preferred designers. "These people will not just be order-takers or cash registers," says Heimer. "They will actually sit down with the buyers at the design stage and help them choose countertops, cabinetry, wall finishes and everything else to design the interior of their home."

Visiera is opening near the final stages of building at Fountain Hills, which is located on 12,060 acres of desert foothills terrain 30 miles northeast of downtown Phoenix. "Because of the terrain of the remaining property we own in Fountain Hills, it lends itself to custom housing," says Lickman. "The best way to get the adequate absorption was to show buyers--at a sales and design center--how easy it is to get a custom home built."

Buyer response at the center was more than positive over the grand opening on October 21. Lickman states that the five salespeople staffing the center during the weekend were almost too busy to serve the more than 300 people who visited. "I’ve been involved with new home sales for more than 20 years, and I’ve never opened a sales center to this much enthusiasm," says Lickman.

The vendors, manufacturers and other professionals are excited about Visiera as well.

"The professionalism with which it was put together will benefit all the trades involved--even when they build outside of Fountain Hills," says Heimer. "It is the best way to advertise and get our name out there."

Custom homesites in the neighborhoods of Fountain Hills are priced from $90,000. Incorporated in 1989, the community has a population of approximately 20,000, with an additional 3000-4000 seasonal and/or part-time residents.

--Rob Fanjoy


Related Categories

PB-Sales,PB-New Home Sales