Your own property

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by RLI Electric, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    Do any of you have a showroom or a place you can take clients on a walkthrough? I am assuming the majority of you have lighting in your own yards. I have turned my own yard and house into a "proving grounds". Which means not too many wires are buried due to moving things around and trying new stuff. If any of you have been to Jan's Dogpark, you know how beautiful the property is. I joked with her that her class is really going to cost me tens of thousands of dollars due to the fact that I would like to have a studio like hers with a view of the property with landscape lighting. My dream studio would not be limited to outdoor stuff either. I have dabbled in home theater as well and that is something else that I have played around with on the interior of the house. If any of you have been to Lutron's Experience Centers, you can understand how the enthusiasm for is infectious. They have a 98% close rate on sales when a client comes in. The idea of an Experience Center for lighting and electrical is therefore not limited to just interior electrical but also the outdoor lighting of gardens. I really need to win the lottery because unlike a lot of you I am not a landscaper and therefore the whole thing of learning plants is new to me too. I thought a great sales thing would be to invite a client to the "Proving Grounds" for a walkthrough with wine and cheese or something to really allow them to experience what the lighting can really do to enhance their lifestyle rather than just trying to describe it. If anyone has something like this in their own property it would be great to hear what you have.
     
  2. Mayor_tx

    Mayor_tx LawnSite Member
    from Austin
    Posts: 62

    Hey Bobby,

    I think you should just stick to doing lighting demonstrations on each clients home. That is what they want to see lit up after all. And it would be much cheaper to just buy a couple demo kits. Even if you had a showroom, you would probably have to demo their home eventually.

    Bring a big portfolio with you to show them pictures of homes you have already done with before and after pics as well.

    Good luck!
     
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    When I built my shop/office/studio about 8 years ago, I purposefully made the interior of the office quite nice. I installed some nice lighting, custom desk, nice seating, drafting table, etc etc. The idea was that I would have a place where I could have clients come to see my work, discuss their projects, etc. Since doing this, I have had a grand total of zero (0) clients come to my place here.

    I would say, that unless you are operating a retail location, with a lot of established walk in customers, there is no reason to put a lot of effort into attracting clients to your property. For the most part they are going to want your attention at their property. It is a lot easier and more convenient for you to go to the prospect's property than to encourage them to come see you. You have to be on site to do the design in any case.
     
  4. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    I do the demonstrations already. I live on a corner lot that is lightly wooded. I sort of thought of setting up an "enchanted garden" that people would be able to come through to see downlighting. I only have 1 fixture in my demo kit on an extended painters pole to simulate a down light. James, do you have pictures of the office? Out of the thousands of homes I have been into the only thing that gets me pumped up are home offices and work shops. Kitchens, theaters and family rooms don't get me too excited. I once saw a coffee table book on tool boxes. Sounds boring but really cool. I thought it would be a good idea to do one on workshops.
     
  5. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 380

    I have to laugh at my own residence as I have been using it as a testing facility to say the least. Most of the wires are on top with multiple types of connections exposed and buried. I have many different fixtures with many different bulbs operating in my backyard. This allows me to make choices when designing and deciding what product and bulbs to use. My front yard is complete as I wanted to ensure that the curb appeal was present.

    Personally I would not want to bring potential customers to my residence because of this. I want to show my customers that their propeties are my only focus and you can only do that by working on their landscapes.
    Having a portfolio and offering demos are my way of expressing a little taste of my design capabilities and also showing them the possibilities of a well designed landscape lighting system.
    I am sure that Jan's estate is very impressive but it is what it is. It is a training facility and has been set up to do that. If that is your business scope then yes I would ensure that you proceed with your plans. If your only doing it to add another residence to your portfolio I would personally concentrate on your customers residence in creating your portfolio.
    Just my 2 cents as always. Hope this helps.

    Ken
     
  6. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    Emby, point well taken. Maybe I will do my Proving Grounds for my own use. The demo kits that you guys have, how many fixtures will you take out for a demo? My kit is currently around 20 fixtures but I will expand it a little bit. Most of my demos are a set up and break down on the same evening.
     
  7. Mayor_tx

    Mayor_tx LawnSite Member
    from Austin
    Posts: 62

    I started with around 20 as well. It gets the point across for most homes.

    One bit of advise if I may, leave that demo out for a few nights. Let the neighbors know who you are by leaving a nice looking sign out or hand some cards out. Always helped us out.

    Good luck out there this year!
     
  8. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    Mayor, do you do anything for a downlight demo?
     
  9. Mayor_tx

    Mayor_tx LawnSite Member
    from Austin
    Posts: 62

    I do have a couple down lights that I put up in the trees. I like your painting pole idea though.

    I've been taking my 10' ladder which is usually fine for our live oak trees here.
     
  10. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    The painters pole worked great gets up about 16feet and then add your arms length to it. Gives them the idea of what you are getting at.
     

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