As many park owners will know, while park and holiday homes are beautifully dressed at shows, and quite rightly so, the dress pack isn’t usually included in the package. Whether you’re a park owner or potential home owner, it’s sometimes an element you will need to think about. So, if you suddenly find yourself with a home that needs dressing, where do you go?
Established in 2017 by Tracy Dallow, Dress Pack Solutions (DPS) has been providing high quality display packs to the UK’s leading lodge manufacturers and holiday parks. Its service is designed to maximise the desirability and sale price of the home or lodge being dressed. In many cases this can mean that DPS can organise the dress packs to arrive in the same timeframe as the homes so they can be dressed and ready for display as show homes straight away.
Leading the business, Tracy has worked for more than 20 years in the holiday park sector and has a wealth of park and leisure home experience from park operations to management, dressing and show support, making her the perfect expert for us to quiz about home dressing. Known for being dedicated, trustworthy and adaptable, she spotted a growing need for quality dress packs in the sector by offering an alternative to what has become the industry standard.
Q Who would use your services?
A I supply manufacturers, parks with homes and holiday homes that they need dressed to help them sell, and home owners looking to refresh their homes or lodges.
Q So do the homes not arrive with dress packs?
A Very few do. Caravans, lodges and park homes come fully furnished and with window dressing, but with no accessories.
Q Why would I use someone to do this rather than do it myself?
A There’s both a time and cost benefit to be had by getting a home dressed professionally, and it can sometimes be a false economy for park owners to try and do that themselves.
Dressing a home is not as expensive as you might think, but it can both add to the saleability of a home and help it sell much faster, so it should bring a solid return on investment in helping a home achieve the optimum price. If a buyer walks in and a place feels like home but also a bit aspirational, then that can really help them imagine themselves in it, which as we all know is half-way to a sale. Because we do this all the time we know all the manufacturers and homes and what works in them. There’s no wastage and we can buy at a competitive price.
It can actually be quite time-consuming shopping for show home dressing if you do it via the retail shop route or online and easier for the cost to over-run. Also, many may not feel like touring the shops in this post-Covid environment. Add the time unpackaging, dealing with breakages and disposing of the packaging and that could distract sales staff from their key sales function and take them out of the office when solid enquiries come in. For most park and home owners that’s time which could be used better, rather than expecting staff to do something which may not be in their job description. There’s also a danger that you can inject too much of yourself into the home design – that can be a good thing but not always if you need to tread a fine line of appealing to most buyers.
Q So how much do they cost?
A We offer two standard off-the-shelf dress packs for static caravans priced at £335 and £495, which is also the starting price for the bespoke sets, and lodges start at £895. The majority of our work is in bespoke dress packs for homes and lodges to make them really stand out a bit.
Because we know most homes fairly well and have good relationships with the manufacturers and our suppliers we can both quote fairly quickly and the packs can arrive quickly too. Our standard packs can arrive within a week of ordering them although our bespoke packs take a little longer. Our brief changes according to the customer as most will want them in keeping with the home’s interior design but also to feel individual and creatively dressed, and that’s where we’re in our element!
Q How does the pack arrive and who puts it in?
A Our bespoke packs arrive by courier, packaged into room sets to help make it really easy to dress the home, and we’re always on hand to talk our customers through where to place items of dressing for maximum impact. There is a Platinum Dressing Service available so we can do that for you, and the price will vary according to the number of homes to dress and the location.
Q Do you help parks and manufacturers with open weekends and shows?
A Yes, absolutely, we attend most of the main trade shows and will help parks get ready for their open weekends – we can even attend to support the sales teams ourselves if it’s helpful and we have sufficient notice to do so.
Park sales has been a major part of my background experience in the industry, so I do think that taught me attention to detail, and how you only get once chance to make a good first impression. That buzz and energy of selling is something I love.
Q What if I already have a park home or lodge and want to refresh it?
A Yes, we can help with this and can make it quite a personalised service. We have a passion for interior design, and work alongside many of the designers creating original park and leisure home interiors, so we know how to make a space look stunning and fresh. The homes are beautifully built, and it can be such a shame if they don’t have that final finishing touch added which makes them feel special, and help it connect perfectly with the potential owner. Refreshing a unit can include replacing furniture and accessories, blinds and curtains and soft furnishings, giving the unit a completely updated feel.
We carry out this service for parks with units taken in part exchange, and also for owners who simply want to give their home or holiday home a fresh feel.
Q What do you love most about your job?
A It’s really satisfying to dress a home personally and see it all in place and working well, but when I’ve just dressed or updated a home and hear it’s then sold shortly afterwards, that really is a great feeling, as I know someone has fallen in love with the feel of the lodge, and I know the dressing will have played a big part in that sale.
Running my own business allows me to be flexible, too. Instead of customers having to choose from take it or leave it options which might not have everything in they are looking for, or may have more than they want in, I can create tailor made sets, for example with fleet units that only need a select few items added to them to complete a package or add wow factor.
I have plenty of ideas to ensure that the park and holiday homes are dressed as they need to be, within the client’s budget and that often all starts with a simple conversation.
Q What makes you different from other dress pack suppliers?
A There are lots of really great lodge developments in progress at the moment, and our service is ideal for several homes being shown at once. Rather than putting set identical packs in, I can dress them all differently with their own identity and theme in line which will be considered and in keeping with both the home model and the values and identity of the park. While that helps engage potential buyers for longer and in different ways, it also allows me to discount the park if working on several sets together.
Q Do you offer this service to other homes?
A Yes, and although we do work all over the UK, we are based on the Devon/Cornwall border so dress all types of holiday accommodation locally including cottages, glamping units and yurts and apartments. With many of these needing to use photography for their online bookings channels, good dressing can make them stand out and improve occupancy rates, so the packs usually pay for themselves pretty quickly.