March 26, 2020

Taking home building virtual

Heritage at Pennington

Design 446, a Manasquan-based marketing firm, uses creative ways to assist national, regional and local home builders during uncertain times.

MANASQUAN, NJ – In these uncertain times, change is inevitable – globally, nationally, regionally and locally. As businesses both large and small begin to temporarily close their physical doors due to COVID-19, virtual doors remain open and ready to serve.

Design 446, a local Manasquan-based marketing firm that is now working remote, is doing its part to ensure that all of their clients, a majority of which are national and regional home builders, are able to do what they do best – build homes and provide a place of security for its residents. “We are doing whatever is necessary to stay connected to our clients in order to provide them with necessary communication services through public relations, social media outreach, website visibility and email,” said Tom Villane, President of Design 446. “We are simply the means in which we aid our clients in getting their important messages out to the public.”

While it may not be ‘business as usual’ for the majority of New Jersey, national and regional home builders continue to operate in a variety of different forms. For Design 446’s longstanding clients, American Properties Realty, Inc., Lennar NY/NJ division and Kaplan Companies, the home building industry continues to function in new, more resourceful ways.

“All of our communities are still open, and the health and safety of everyone around us is of utmost importance right now,” said Paul Csik, Senior Vice President for American Properties Realty, Inc.

Although life and circumstances are evolving daily, American Properties Realty, Inc. has a singular goal to ensure that all residents and prospective homebuyers remain connected and empowered in the days ahead. “For right now, this means we will offer virtual tours, online chats and Zoom/phone appointments in lieu of visits to our sales offices to honor social distancing,” said Paul Csik. “Homes are still being constructed, and closings are going virtual.”

Kaplan Companies stands committed to both current and future homeowners and renters. “We are being extremely sensitive to our current homeowners and renters by offering any assistance they may need if they are self-quarantined at one of our Kaplan communities,” said Jason Kaplan, President of Kaplan Companies. “We have also been supportive of our local townships, healthcare providers and restaurants to help them navigate the path ahead.”

Kaplan Companies is now offering Zoom tours of its communities for those who are in the market for a new home. Construction crews are also practicing social distancing and following all precautions as outlined by the National Association of Home Builders. Home closings are also starting to go virtual. “There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our employees, residents and community,” said Kaplan. “We will get through this together.”

Convenience, health and safety also remains a top priority for the Lennar NJ NY division. For those who are unable to travel to one of its new home communities, Lennar is making it easier than ever to meet with a New Home Consultant online, take virtual tours of model homes and communities, and have all your questions answered at any time. You can even secure a purchase agreement and submit a deposit all from the comfort of your home.

“We want to ensure that anyone looking for a new home can take advantage of our digital buying experience by finding your new home online and meeting virtually with a new home consultant who will then seamlessly guide you through the homebuying process,” said Anthony Mignone, Division President of Lennar NJ NY division. “Our homebuyers can be confident that beautiful new homes will be available for them as scheduled if they already purchased and on an ongoing basis for those considering a purchase. Lennar promises to be there for you when you need it most. And that time is now.”

Looking to the future, Design 446 will continue to extend its services to its clients and partners so that no one goes through this virtual “new normal” alone. “We want to help our clients wherever we can in whatever capacity makes the most sense,” said Ann Marie Baker, Vice President of Design 446. “Now is the time to rally around each other, and by helping others effectively share their messages is the very least that we could do.”

About Design 446

Design 446 is a full-service marketing firm based in Manasquan, NJ. The firm creates sales environments, signage and brand development, in addition to interactive presentations, digital/traditional advertising, website development, e-marketing, social media/public relations, graphic design, on-site printing, interior merchandising and installation. For more information about Design 446, please visit