Walking into the new Inspirations by Verity, the North Dakota-based homebuilder’s new custom home design studio located on the south side of Fargo, your eye doesn’t quite know where to start. Or stop, rather. There’s so much to see. But the new state-of-the-art studio isn’t just for looking.
“Yes it’s a stunning space from the moment you walk in, but it’s really all about the customer experience,” explained Ashley Anderson, Verity Home’s Assistant Sales Manager and lead Design Consultant. “We built this space to be completely interactive, fun and immersive. Everything you see, from floor to ceiling, is an option you can put into your new home. And our displays are hands-on, so you can walk through Inspirations with your flooring samples, your kitchen cabinet samples, your paint samples and match everything up and make sure your new home is going to come together perfectly.”
Anderson makes Inspirations by Verity sound a bit like the homebuilder’s version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory — except instead of everything being edible, everything on the walls is an available option… and every available option is on the wall. That, according to Anderson, is what really separates Verity Home’s process from other builders.
Traditionally, a customer works with a builder to choose a floor plan, find a lot and pick out the basic finishes like exterior siding. At that point, the customer is set free and given what the industry calls an “allowance” to go purchase everything else like carpet, tile, bathroom fixtures and lighting all on their own. It can be a haphazard process, leaving the customer feeling a bit lost.
“I hear that all the time from our customers who have friends who’ve built with other builders and get a budget to go to Menards or Lowes and pick their stuff out,” Anderson said. “I can’t imagine how overwhelming that would be… you need guidance when picking things out, and that’s what we provide. Plus, when you have everything right in front of you and you can match up samples and make sure everything works together, it’s a lot less time consuming. In the end, a place like Inspirations by Verity leads to a happier, more excited home buyer who is much more confident in their choices.”
Inspiration Starts with Passion
From an early age, Arthur Goldammer, Owner and CEO of Verity Homes, showed signs of his future path as a home builder. His favorite toys to play with growing up were all tools of the trade.
“I was known to wear a carpenter’s tool belt around the house at the ripe old age of 2,” Goldammer said. “My parent’s couldn’t keep me away from construction sites when I was a kid, and I’ve been building things ever since. I’m just lucky to have discovered my passion and even more lucky to be able to pursue it each and every day.”
Goldammer launched Verity (which is Latin for “honesty plus truth”) about eleven years ago in Bismarck, ND, after a sudden realization that hit him as he sat through a business class at the University of Mary. He looked around at his peers, all future mid-level managers, and imagined what his life might look like post-graduation.
“I just couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life sitting in a maze of cubicles in some high-rise in downtown Minneapolis,” Goldammer said. “I decided to follow my passion right then and there, and set my focus on building this company.”
Goldammer’s passion and determination has since paid off. The company is the largest by volume home builder in the Bismarck-Mandan area, and Verity has seen steady growth in the Fargo-West Fargo-Mapleton area since expanding eastward in 2015. The opening of Inspirations by Verity, the region’s most modern custom home design studio, will help the company further establish itself in the Fargo market and give area buyers a fresh experience.
“At the end of the day, Inspirations is all about the customer experience,” Goldammer reiterated. “That was the plan since day one more than a year ago when we first put this idea into motion. The hardest part about building your own home is all the decisions involved. Being able to simplify that process and provide the hands-on experience and expertise like we now can with this new space, it’s really going to delight our customers and make the whole process fun for all involved.”
Calling in the Expert
Inspirations by Verity may have been the brainchild of Goldammer and the Verity Homes team, but knowing the kind of experience they wanted to provide for their customers, they realized they wanted that same experience for themselves. Specifically, they wanted to enjoy the help and guidance of a home design studio expert instead of struggling through the process on their own. So, they enlisted the help of Jane Meagher of Opt for Success, a nationally recognized and multi-gold award winning consultant specializing in design studios.
With Meagher’s help, Verity conducted in-depth market research that validated Goldammer’s belief that the Fargo market was thirsty for something new. The study revealed that several home builders in the area had studios and were doing a good job with what they had, but there was room for this vision that would become Inspirations by Verity.
“That’s our goal, that’s our target niche… to bring this higher-level experience to buyers in Fargo instead of just throwing homes out there,” Goldammer said. “We obviously wanted something to set ourselves apart, but we also wanted to prove to our customers — past, present and future — that we’re here to stay and are committed to this community.”
In the year-long planning process for Inspirations, no details were overlooked. Meagher and her consultant team wove in the latest home design and industry trends into a layout developed from careful study of consumer and retail psychology. Together, Meagher and the Verity team created an entire system focused on customer experience.
“Jane helped us from the early stages of research and planning all the way to helping us design the exact layout so everything flows together nicely,” Anderson explained. “If things aren’t where they need to be it gets confusing for the customers. It’s got to be easy for the customer to walk through each kitchen, each bathroom, etc. to see and feel all of their options along with clear and transparent pricing. So, when our customers walk out of their selections appointment with me, they will know exactly what they’re getting and exactly how much the final cost will be.”
Early on in Verity’s history, Goldammer and his team chose to bring everything in-house to ensure every question gets answered and no surprises pop up. It’s a more intensive, hands-on approach compared to other similar-sized builders, but it gives their customers a much easier and much less stressful experience start to finish. They call it a “boutique home building experience” that places the customer at the center of everything.
“We give our buyers the fun, unhurried, personal experience that you typically only find with the very high-end home builders… builders that will only work with customers with blockbuster budgets looking to build their second or third home versus the new home buyer looking to stay in the $200,000 to $400,000 range,” Goldammer explained.
Today, that process revolves around Inspirations by Verity, a truly one-stop shopping experience unmatched in the area. There customers will experience that relaxed, fun atmosphere as Anderson and her design team guide them through the process of fine-tuning and customizing their new home.
“We know our customers aren’t the experts… we are,” Anderson said. “So we developed a much more personal process here at Verity that frees us up to spend as much time as needed with each individual customer. We don’t rush anything. Instead, we let our customers guide us and allow time for contemplation… and for fun.”