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What to Give Away with a 100K House?

by Chad Ludeman on July 7, 2008 · 15 comments

in Development,sales

Ever since I had the idea of starting a development company I knew I wanted to give away gifts with any new home we would build. It seems like a nice thing to do and it’s also an opportunity to get that warm and fuzzy feeling you have at Christmas and others’ b-days as you give presents. Lastly, we feel that this is an opportunity to clarify and solidify our brand rather than just using gifts as a sales tactic in a down market. Someone asked in a comment last week if I saw a difference between a logo and a brand and this is a good example that I certainly do see a big difference.

Gifts are becoming more and more common in development, especially with units not selling as fast as they were a few years ago. Many developers will give cash back, pay for parking, throw in a new flat screen TV or even a car. The question is, what is the appropriate gift for a 100K House?

Below are some of my ideas so far. Feel free to contribute your own ideas in the comments below.

Green Cleaning Products Kit

We are putting a lot of effort into making sure that the indoor air quality is as healthy as we can afford to make it with our design, materials and construction methods. An easy way to foul up all of that work to create a healthier living environment is to bring in standard cleaning products that may contain harmful chemicals.
Method Cleaning Products Image
Personally, we use Method cleaning products in our home because they are affordable, have great design and are readily available at Target and other local stores. They may not be the best out there and they may not be locally made products, but for us they do the job at a price we can currently swallow.

Complementary Home Cleaning Service (1 Session)

Organic Home Cleaning Service Logo ImageIf we’ve supplied the cleaning products already, why not go one step further and supply someone to do the cleaning for you. The good people at Organic Home would do a great job. They are a local company and very active in the green business events that take place in Philly.

Moving into a new home is always a chore and even when you finally get all the boxes unpacked and everything where you want it, the place usually still needs a good scrubbing from all the commotion. Wouldn’t it by nice to just call someone and start out with a fresh, professionally cleaned home? I sure wouldn’t mind it.

Postgreen Commuter Bicycle?

While other developers are giving away cars, scooters and even short range electric vehicles, none of these seem to fit with the 100K philosophy. A simple human powered bicycle seems like the best fit in terms of modes of transportation to be given away with our minimalist homes that encourage the owners to reduce their lifestyle and carbon footprint to a bare minimum.

Pictured above is a Bianchi European commuter style bike that I really like.What we’d really love to do is customize a bike like this with our own colors and logos to serve as a very unique marketing tool while also giving the homeowner a custom bike that only a select number of people in Philly would own. This could cost some coin to produce so we’ll have to consult the spreadsheets to see if we can afford this level of giveaway with our homes.

These are just our ideas for now. Feel free to offer your own suggestions below.

If you enjoyed reading this post I can promise you'll love our new writing over at Postgreen Homes. Yeah, we know that's the same thing your favorite band said and their new album is nowhere near as good as their early stuff, but seriously, we are actually still getting better.

There also isn't much conversation to be had here . . . at least not with us. So come on over to the Postgreen Homes Blog and tell us what you think of our new(ish) digs and crazy ideas. We will be sure to tell you what we think of your opinion.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jarsh July 7, 2008 at 6:45 pm

How about a bike that is actually useful for more then just commuting, and is made by an American company?

2 chad July 7, 2008 at 6:59 pm

I like that thought. Lately I’ve been leaning towards the single speed or planetary gear bikes due to their simplicity and low maintenance. These are becoming increasingly more popular in Philly because that’s all you really need. Anyone doing serious road biking is going to want something different than anything we would be able to offer them most likely.

Also, the Bianchi bike is simply shown because we have a local shop a few blocks away that carries them and I would love to support a local small business. It brings up the question of which is better – supporting a local small biz or a larger American biz? Preferably both I guess. I’ll keep looking…

3 brandon July 7, 2008 at 7:28 pm

I think a simple single speed free wheel bike is a great idea. I ride mine 12 miles (round trip) every day to work and couldn’t be happier. I currently have an SE Lager which is an American company and can be purchased locally at Bicycle Revolutions. That’s a win win. The guy that owns the place, Brian, also makes custom bikes. He’s a good guy and you might be able to work out your custom bike for the right price. Help both your brands out and maybe throw in a little cross promotion.

4 Heather July 7, 2008 at 7:56 pm

All good ideas. I’d vote for the free cleaning session, however. It’s something that has tangible value, but should not duplicate any earlier purchases by new residents (as a bike or cleaning products may do). And – talk about a fresh start – a clean house once I’ve properly unpacked – priceless.

5 Andy July 7, 2008 at 9:06 pm

How about a couple of SEPTA passes?

6 chad July 7, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Heather makes a good point and I like Andy’s suggestion as well. Maybe we could give an option for the big ticket item.

1. Take a free Postgreen bike OR
2. Free moving service ($500 value) and a (monthly) SEPTA pass or two.

Keep the ideas rolling…

7 Y. Bzerious July 8, 2008 at 3:03 am

How about a Dyson vacuum with HEPA filter? Isn’t part of being green really doing it yourself? And isn’t the 100K house about design, just like Dyson? A great marketer once said “a brand is a promise.” A logo signifies the brand. And LeCorbusier wrote, “Design is intelligence revealed.” If 100K is about design, so is Dyson. Nice to have one brand reinforcing the other??

8 Elle July 8, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Method products are certainly great, but how about the Eco-Home gift sets? And I’m with brandon above; a gift certificate to a local bike shop would be a good way to support a local biz and give the future owner something they’re happy to ride.

Otherwise, how about dwarf fruit trees, the recycling bags available at DWR, or a home composter?

9 lawless July 8, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Seeing as how your target market will obviously be into sustainable materials/practices it may be better to just forego the obigatory products and just take that expense off the overall cost of the house.

It will be hard to find something truly useful and thoughtful for the specific buyer that won’t just be another needless consumer item.

10 jason July 8, 2008 at 9:51 pm

i like the bike idea. what about a bike and trailer that can hold at least for bags of groceries.
i like the commuter friendly bikes that Swobo offers and the internally geared hub. they seem like a company that would do a custom color and throw on a 100k sticker.

i also think a composting system would be cool. but many folks aren’t able to garden much in a row house unless they have a garden on the roof.

11 Stanford Gable July 8, 2008 at 11:51 pm

I like the idea of gift certificates to local establishments. A nice dinner at the Taproom would make anyone feel good about the area. A case of Kenzinger in the fridge would be sweet. Green is great but feeling good about where you live is priceless.

12 chad July 9, 2008 at 12:27 am

ooh, I like those Swobo bikes. Now that I think about it, the shop I visited in South Philly had those in stock. Love the logo too.

13 trina July 10, 2008 at 4:59 am

give them a half gallon of cheap white vinegar and a big box of baking soda. local is as important as green; plastic bottles filled with colored scented chemicals from a giant profit-making chain store aren’t “green!” the bike idea is okay, but how about instead putting a “yellow bikes” bike rack wth a community “yellow bike” parked there in front of all the 100k homes?! because buying any new bike for sole use is also not “green.” i’d suggest a subscription to “organic home” magazine for the local library.

14 chad July 10, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Everyone’s got a different definition of green…

Stanford brings up a great idea with local gift certificates also. This was on my list originally and I had totally forgotten about it. There are a number of local restaurants alone that would make a great basket of gift certificates.

Discounting the price for the same amount of a possible gift is out of the question. That would be something entirely different from a well thought out gift that would benefit the homeowner’s lifestyle and hopefully support local community businesses as well.

15 The G-Man July 19, 2008 at 1:45 am

I think you should paint one of the rooms a signature PostGreen green. Give it the Chad touch.

You should also commission a local popular (or unknown) artist to do cool renderings of your logo, or other “green” landscape/design on canvas that gets put in the “green” room. The buyer can choose to keep it or not, but each would be one of a kind, and could incentivize the buyer of the first house and each subsequent house – if you ever make it big!

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