With this post, I’m opening the doors to an exciting project that has the entire Tridel team beaming with pride.
Let me invite you to enter The Lobby, our high-tech experiential showcase now operating at 4800 Dufferin Street. The Lobby breaks new ground for Tridel (maybe even the industry) by providing our buyers with a uniquely integrated way to customize their new homes and make personalized choices. By fusing high-tech with real touch-and-feel, The Lobby provides highly customized and efficient condo-buying experiences.
For Tridel, The Lobby and the Tridel Design Studio, (its companion digital exploration tool or “app”) is more than a way to enhance the selection process and deliver buyer satisfaction. It’s also a venue that lets us identify and implement design solutions to be applied to future projects. We’ve been so complete in our thinking about the buyer journey, we can even display the impact of personal selections on a mortgage.
I think The Lobby is significant for our buyers, our business partners and to how Tridel operates – as a builder committed to innovation. So I plan to share its story via three posts. This one will be followed by a second on how we worked with our external design collaborators; the third will spotlight new technology for viewing design options. To write these posts, I interviewed Tridel teammates with key roles in the project. Hearing The Lobby story through their voices will help you appreciate the passion and planning that went into it.
A Unique Design Space – A New Way of Operating
Our Executive Vice-President, Sales and Marketing Jim Ritchie brings “big picture perspective” to The Lobby and he was delighted to see it come to life. Reflecting on Leo DelZotto’s continuing passion for the project and Tridel’s long-term interest in providing the best possible customer experience, he says: “It was time we re-looked at our design selections to see if we could make a fundamental change in how we do that part of our business.”
Tridel customer feedback has always been positive but needs and expectations evolve. Sales offices have become smaller and there are fewer of them, so creating a centralizing hub made sense, he observes: “This space allows us to include our customer in the design process and deliver more knowledge.”
Jim Ritchie credits Tridel SVP, Brand Experience, Danielle Feidler and Director, Design Services, Jim Stoops with creating a physical space for The Lobby that is infinitely flexible: “We can constantly evolve the offering. The ‘bones’ are in place but everything can evolve.”
“We wanted a space that was immersive, interactive and engaging – all the aspects that relate to our core values,” says Danielle. “Our existing satellite sales environments couldn’t deliver that.” With deep experience, Danielle recognized that the construction, customization and warranty activities which repeated across projects had been inefficiently siloed. “We were missing a centralized process that would allow us to ‘design out’ deficiencies and implement best practices.” The Lobby, she says, provides, “better operational effectiveness and a better customer experience which reinforces the Tridel brand and strengthens the business.”
Another key aspect of combining the in-person and digital experiences through The Lobby and the Design Studio app, says Danielle, is that it allows buyers to experience the design discovery phase much sooner. Typically, it’s about 24 months between breaking ground which is when buyers have historically engaged with their design options. “Before we created The Lobby, there was never really a place to problem solve and/or fantasize about how you would finish your physical space.”
Delivering a Uniquely Positive Experience For Everyone
Danielle praises Jim Stoops for taking the high-level concept for The Lobby and devising a workable framework so various teams could unite and produce a plan for execution and delivery. As you can tell from the construction photos sprinkled throughout this blog, that was no small task. (In my next post, I’ll highlight the contributions of several other Tridel colleagues, and our valued external design partners.)
For his part, Jim acknowledges that The Lobby – its creation and how it enhances our working processes – was so new for Tridel, at the outset there was no clear path for how to make it happen. Bringing it to life called for change management (internally and with the trades), smart collaboration among Tridel’s various stakeholders and focusing on delivering the best customer experience while being business savvy.
With a “built-for-life” philosophy, Danielle and Jim envision The Lobby hosting curated design events, employee events and educational seminars for homebuyers. I like that idea. I would also add that being a builder isn’t just about the homes people buy. It’s about the community as well, so The Lobby is a place where we can invite back members of communities we’ve already built.
I hope you now get why we’re so excited about The Lobby. In my next post, I’ll tell you more about what makes us feel that way. Meanwhile, here are some parting thoughts from our SVP, Project Management, Bruno Giancola: “The Lobby makes me so proud. It’s amazing how many positive comments we’ve had from partners, trades, suppliers and consultants who have come through the space since it opened. They say it demonstrates our ability to be best in class and makes them excited to be part of our team.
You’re welcome to explore The Lobby for real. You’ll find it at: 4800 Dufferin Street and we are open for public browsing Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon to 5 p.m.
Speak again you soon.