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By Melissa Birdsongbirdsong_melissa_rgb.jpg

RISMEDIA, March 11, 2008-Sizing up a home solely for ROI is out. Careful consideration of getting a house that is “lifestyle appropriate” and evokes the emotional connection to home, is in.

Consumers are in control…and more than ever, they’re being very discriminating about how they use their resources-their money, their time and their energy. There are so many different needs and opportunities competing for these same resources that it’s easy to see how they can be channeled to things other than the home, especially when the ROI advantage is in question in some markets.

When it comes to the decision to buy a home, it’s no secret that there’s an interesting dynamic between the physical property-the structure, the location, the look and feel-and the buyer’s perception of how that property might deliver (or not deliver) on the promise of “home.”

Exactly what that means to each potential homeowner varies, just as each family situation will vary. But finding the right fit by carefully listening to your client’s needs and offering solutions that support their family’s lifestyle-authentically-will create an emotional connection that can become the key driver behind decision-making and, ultimately, the conversion of a shopper to a satisfied buyer.

Focusing on both tangible benefits-investment potential as well as intangibles, such as how the house delivers quality of life-positions you as an advocate for your client. And in this day of word-of-mouth marketing, that’s a long-term ROI that’s truly positive.

Melissa Birdsong is vice president for Trend, Design & Brand, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

For more information, visit www.lowes.com.

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