Finally some good news when it comes to home sales and home improvement! I just read an article from the National Association of Home Builders which predicted that we will see a gradual rise in new homeownership for the coming year. The article, Housing Recovery to Pick Up Steam in 2016…, also forecasts an increase in home remodeling activity. Why do they expect things to pick up?
- Affordable Home Prices – Experts believe that prices will rise more slowly then they have in the last couple of years.
- Attractive Mortgage Rates – Freddie Mac stated that the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan would slowly rise but only to 5.1% by the end of 2016.
- Steady Employment – In 2014 we saw a gain of three million jobs in the United States and by the end of this year, another two million jobs are expected to have been gained.
Now that we have an idea of why the next 12 months are looking brighter, is it time to break out the champagne? Not just yet. You need to know a little more before you pop that cork.
Who Will be the New Homeowners of 2016?
Tomorrow’s homeowners are young, upwardly mobile families according Scarborough’s analysis. What does it mean? The demographic we are looking at are Millennials and Generation X. Understanding each group and meeting their expectations will be extremely important in the coming year.
Millennials (aka Generation Y)
- Born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s, this generation consists of approximately 92 million people. It is the largest generation in history and they are at the peak of their home-buying years. They have grown up in a fast paced, ever changing world and have very high expectations.
- This is a generation that have never had to wait for anything (they do their banking online and messages are delivered quickly through email, texts and IMs) they demand things to be instantaneous.
- The majority of this group (86%) believe that online services are a integral part of their day to day life.
“This is a generation that’s really grown up connected… So companies understand that they really need to be present and connect with their consumers… in ways that they hadn’t before.”
– Lindsay Drucker Man, Analyst at Goldman Sachs
Generation X (aka Gen X or Xers)
- Born in the early 1960s to the early 1980s, Xers are a highly educated generation.
- This group values products and services that are affordable, high quality and trendy.
- Generation X love getting a good deal.
- Xers tend to embrace technology
New Homeowners More Likely to Spend Money on Home Improvements
So the housing market is getting better and we have Gen X & Y buying homes, but what does that mean for the home improvement industry? Those folks who just purchased their house want to make it their home and that’s where you come in. According to studies, a buyer of an existing home is more likely to invest in making improvements within the first three months. How likely?
- Flooring: 53%
- Heating and Cooling: 47%
- Interior Painting: 47%
- Plumbing Project: 28%
- Exterior Painting: 24%
- Roofing Repair or Replacement: 14%
These statistics are extremely encouraging but as a home improvement contractor are you ready and able to meet the demands of the new homeowners?
Based on the common generalizations outlined above about the two generations, we can draw the conclusion that both enjoy the benefits of technology, namely the Internet. It’s a valuable tool that provides Gen X & Y with enormous amounts of information at their fingertips and provides instant access to almost anything they could imagine. I say almost because there is still at least one industry that these tech savvy individuals will likely encounter some difficulties finding what they want online, a price. The cost for a home improvement project has always been somewhat of a mystery and a source of frustration for shoppers. As a contractor, you need to pay attention to the shift in consumer expectations that the internet has created and make changes accordingly.
Taking Your Business into the 21st Century
If you think that providing online pricing for your home improvement business is impossible, get ready to be blown away!
MyServiceWhale is your company’s ticket into the 21st century. Our patent-pending technology allows contractors to give visitors to their website instant, custom prices on home improvement projects without the need for an onsite visit! A homeowner just answers a handful of simple questions about the project they’re interested in, provides you with their email address and phone number, and voilà, a customized quote is displayed on the spot. The whole process takes about 2 minutes, meeting the high expectations of the Gen X & Y homeowners.
Your customers are not the only ones who will see a benefit from MyServiceWhale. Each quote generated through a contractor’s website saves about 3 hours of time. You’ll also save upwards of $300 after factoring in lead costs, wear on vehicles, gas, tolls, miles, and again, time.
Learn more about MyServiceWhale by visiting our website and requesting a demo. There is absolutely no cost or obligation to you.