K. Hovnanian Adds Certified Feng Shui Consultant to Resources for Homebuyers
Feng Shui - the art of building homes in harmony with the owners' surroundings and personalities - has moved from the topic of jokes to such importance that one of the nation's largest builders has added a certified Feng Shui consultant to the resources available to customers and salespeople.
"People are more concerned than ever with creating a home that provides sanctuary from a not-too-friendly world," said Corinne Hoffman, director of sales training and leadership development, who has earned her certification as a Feng Shui practitioner. "Especially since 9/11, they want to come home and feel at peace. Feng Shui is all about having a place to come home and feel safe, secure and comfortable."
K. Hovnanian Companies is the largest builder in New Jersey and has seen increasing interest in Feng Shui from its customers. The company's offices in the seven other states in which it builds have also reported an increased need to accommodate customers who want homes built in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui. These inquiries got Hoffman interested in Feng Shui. Her primary job is to run corporate classes about every facet of home building and sales for K. Hovnanian associates.
"I was curious about some of the things I was hearing, like homes facing south and stairs not leading straight out the door," she said. "We build homes all over the country, and in most cases, they face different directions because the land itself dictates the location, direction or configuration of homes, buildings and streets in the area. I wondered how we could make this work."
She did some research and saw a need to develop a seminar for sales associates and design coordinators. She began offering those classes in Edison at the company's education and training complex. K. Hovnanian divisions in other states began inquiring about the classes. Classes are now slated in North Carolina. Recently, she received her certification from the Western School in San Diego.
"To practice Feng Shui today, we need to blend the traditional Feng Shui wisdom with our Western culture and habits," said Hoffman. Now, in addition to teaching salespeople about Feng Shui, she'll be running seminars for homebuyers. The first of those took place recently in Edison.
Hoffman concedes that most people don't have to get into the depths of Feng Shui to benefit from some of its practical applications. Feng Shui is based on the premise that people experience happier, healthier and more prosperous lives when their home and work environments are harmonious.
"Don't we all want to live in an environment where we can feel safe and secure?" she asks. "That's what this is about. It makes you think about some very practical applications. For instance, when you walk into a room, is it open and flowing or is the furniture blocking the way? Is the foyer inviting and welcoming?"
It can be applied to any home, says Hoffman. She offered an example of sharp edges, which are frowned upon by Feng Shui. In California, many homes are built with rounded corners where walls meet. That technique is demonstrated on a model home recently opened at K. Hovnanian's Four Seasons at Mirage.
"My certification and the research I'm continuing to do means we can better train our sales associates and design coordinators in the art of Feng Shui," said Hoffman. "We can do a better job of accommodating customers who want these rules applied to their home. Plus, I can help with any questions. It's another way for K. Hovnanian to offer better customer service."