Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mobile app aids long-distance decorating


A friend who owns and rents out a beach house in the Florida Panhandle often complains that her trips to the area aren’t much of a vacation. Instead of basking on the beach, she spend most of her time shopping for furniture and other household items to keep her home attractive for her renters.

The next time I see her, I’ll tell her to ask her rental management agency about Design Made Easy. It’s a mobile platform that lets property owners select and purchase items that match their decor and have shipped directly to the property management company.

The app eliminates the back and forth email exchange that often occurs when a manager has to find local products and get an owner’s approval before making a purchase.

DME was developed by Sarah Honaker who said she grew frustrated trying to manage a makeover for her home in Louisville while working a full-time job.  She used the software for a similar update of her family’s vacation home in Florida where the Hawaiian theme just had to go.

With the DME app, homeowners can specify the dimensions for each room and tag items such as lamps or chairs that are candidates to be replaced. It includes digital design boards with web links to selected items for purchase and with a space to store notes that can be helpful during conversations with the property manager.

Owners have access through the platform to an inventory that includes furniture, decorations, kitchenware, appliances, flooring and accessories. Inventory items are purchased at retail pricing from stores such as Target or Pier 1 that are usually located in vacation areas. Owners can also request a custom interior design through DME’s concierge service.

DME currently licenses the mobile application to rental management companies that will offer it as a special service to their clients. Part of their pitch is that a well-designed home can command higher rental rates.

For more details about the mobile app, check out the video below and visit the Design Made Easy website. DME also posts home decor ideas @designeasyapp on Twitter and the company will be demonstrating the app at the HomeAway RezFest Conference Sept. 21- 23 in Orlando and at the VRMA National Conference Oct. 16-19 in Chandler, Arizona.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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