A Shift In Housing Calls For A Shift In Marketing
Move Your Feet, Lose Your Seat
As nice as it might be to step a rung up the housing ladder, buyers are struggling to find the homes of their dreams at reasonable prices right now. Housing is in short supply with inventory down 12% since last year. That makes buying and selling a home akin to a nerve-wracking game of musical chairs. Short supply means prices are getting pushed higher, too.
Even if homeowners sell, they might not find what they're looking for at a price they can afford. Half of the homes that are available land in the top one-third of housing values, pricing out everyone from Millennials to first-time buyers to those with modest incomes.
What does this mean for your brand?
Within this new housing market that might look like it has limited opportunity come surprising openings which — with the right differentiation or innovation — can make a huge difference on your brand's bottom line next year.
Below you'll find a couple major trends from the low-inventory housing market along with some smart winning ways to react to them that could help your brand climb the ladder in 2018.
If They Don't Relocate, They Remodel
With ideal, affordable homes difficult to find, homeowners are choosing to stay put and do the next logical thing: invest. People looking for a new kitchen, an outdoor living space or an in-law suite don't have to find it; they can build it. Instead of moving, with a little effort people are making their homes match their lifestyles and improving the value of their properties in the process.
Plus, between popular Do-It-Yourself shows and YouTube having instructional videos for virtually everything, consumers are feeling inspired to tackle large projects on their own. This means there's a lot of new potential in retail spaces for products that were typically reserved for the pros. A new focus on consumers and DIYers could drive sales with much higher margins on each unit – so long as they know who your brand is.
Put some focus on the DIY audience
Broaden awareness for your brand in new advertising spaces
Don't be afraid to be bold and stand out (As a matter of fact, be afraid if you aren't)
Bigger Is No Longer Better
Over the last few years, the housing market has become saturated with high-end homes. Yes, they bring in bigger margins, but builders did such a good job addressing the market with higher-end housing options that Millennials, first-time buyers and those looking to downsize are starved for options.
Considering the large supply of higher-cost housing and the dearth of lower-cost, the market will have a strong appetite for entry- and mid-level choices making builders driven by the Boomers and Millennials in 2018. This shift will create ample opportunities around storage, energy- and cost-efficient materials, easier access, increased safety, smart technologies and more. If your products are positioned properly in the market, a big win could be waiting for your brand thanks to smaller homes.
Gear your products toward new parents and downsizers
Increase energy efficiency
Incorporate smart home technologies (e.g. Alexa, Nest, etc., which we wrote about recently)
Look to Millennials as they set the new tone on style for the coming decade
Highlight enhanced safety (wider hallways, grab bars for the elderly and children in baths, etc.)
Feature innovative and improved functionality and storage for small spaces
A market that's short on supply doesn't mean it's short of opportunities; it means the opportunities have to be found — and pursued. Now is the time to lead by thinking smaller and finding new ways to improve upon what's already there.