It’s no small feat to confidently hit the go button on a sales office when all you have to go on is a bunch of A3 renders and the hope that Diva Works will deliver the goods again. But that’s exactly what the amazing Dennis Family Corporation did in 2020 when they entrusted us with the redesign of their Ashbury residential estate sales office.
We’re thrilled with the outcome and success of the Asbury estate and even more thrilled to have picked up a Silver award at the 2022 Better Future Melbourne Design Awards in the category of Pop-Ups, Display, Exhibit and Set Design.
This award celebrates innovative and creative design for a temporary building or interior, exhibition, pop-up site, installation, fixture or interactive element, and consideration is given to materials, finishes, signage and the customer experience.
Ashbury is in the growth area of Armstrong Creek, just 15 mins from the heart of vibrant Geelong, so it’s a highly sought-after development for people to make their homes in.
The Ashbury sales office was initially fitted out in 2015 and desperately needed an update. The timing was perfect in 2021 as the development’s design agency had updated the brand, and the development was at maturity.
The Briefing Process:
During our briefing session with our longstanding client, The Dennis Family Corporation, the Divas sought to understand what worked in the current fit-out and what issues we needed to solve.
We spent time with the sales staff to understand their selling process and what tools they needed to better assist customers. We looked at the brand refresh and opportunities to bring the Ashbury brand to life in the sales office. All this upfront work to gain a thorough knowledge of the customer and their needs always delivers a more meaningful and visually impressive sales office outcome. Ashbury was no exception.
Ashbury Project Brief:
- Create a seamless integration from the external façade to the internal fit-out. The Dennis Family Corporation did not want to contain the update to the interior fit-out only and asked Diva Works to provide design solutions for the external facades and signage.
- Map out the customer journey, so the experience was seamless for the customers and took them through the sales office in a logical sequence that allowed them to understand the scope of the Ashbury development and its crucial lifestyle amenities
- Future-proof the sales office to allocate space for current interactive technologies as well as have space given where this can be added to in the future without costly renovations.
- Provide several seating areas for sales conversations, including high benches for layout plans, cosy lounges to talk about land options and a private meeting room where confidential financial discussions can be held.
Incorporate the rich Dennis Family History within the sales office. With so many builders and developers flooding the greenfield development space, the longevity and commitment to community building needed to be highlighted within the sales office
As the design and fit-out of the sales office happened during Covid lockdowns, we needed to be very reasonable in our selection of materials. Many of our favourite suppliers were on reduced staff quotas, and others had supply issues from overseas and local markets.
Our long and supportive relationships with our trusted suppliers paid off as they went over and above to deliver Ashbury. Our supplier team worked in advance, securing scarce materials and staggered work times to ensure that we were following social distancing and density limits on workshop and space within the sales office when it came to the fit-out.
- We reused many furniture items
- We stripped LED lights from the current lightboxes and re-installed into new cabinetry items
- Some of the graphic frames could be recladded in the new finishes
- The Dennis Family Corporation sold excess used furniture items to staff at great prices
- Joinery that could not be reused was stripped down and used on crates, for packing and in internal carcass frames for this or other sales office projects
- Signage panels made from ACM could have the current graphic removed and then either reused on this project or another
- We chose products that had a low carbon footprint where possible
- Joinery and graphic items were manufactured off-site, so any offcuts/proof prints could be recycled easily
- We selected low-power-consuming LED lights and pendant lights
- Over the 10 weeks following the Sales Office opening, the sales team recorded a 78% increase in “Walk-in Enquiries” compared to the same period before the new design.
- Many new customers commented on the remarkable presentation of the refreshed sales office, as distinct from other developments in the Armstrong Creek corridor.
- The business recorded a 64% increase in sales for the five months following the launch of the new-look Sales Office compared to the five months prior.
- The Dennis Family Corporation Marketing Department noted that the Sales Office refurbishment has helped enhance both the brand presence and customer experience on-site and at the point of sale.
Ashbury Design and Fitout Team:
Diva Works: Sales Office Design Team and Project Management
Desi Daul: Head Project Manager, Diva Works
Peter Whatmough: Head + Detail Designer
Sales Office Construction: SPM
Internal Fit-Out: DCSE International
Internal Graphics: The Image Box & Muromatic
External Graphics: ID Signs
We don’t take these relationships for granted; we feel really lucky to be able to work on these interesting and unique sales office projects. We’re so thrilled with the outcome and for the massive success that The Dennis Family have had with the Ashbury estate.
A further shout out to The Dennis Family and, in particular, Melissa and Nick from the Marketing Team. We can only go as far as a brief allows us, and the brief that Melissa and Nick provided was excellent: firm parameters with a willingness to embrace new ideas and new approaches. Melissa and Nick are dream clients. They are very collaborative but also respect our advice and design approach. An awesome client is a key ingredient in creating sensational sales offices.
More information about the design awards: https://awards.design/MEL22/project.asp?ID=24406