We are all crossing our fingers hoping for a steady recovery in the housing market. Analysts project an increase in demand for housing by the end of 2010. Warren Buffett is predicting 2011. If this comes to fruition, buyers will enter the market looking at foreclosed properties hoping for a deal. A lot of consumers will be looking at brand new buildings that have been sitting empty because of the previous economic climate.
The New York Times published an interesting article last month that gives home buyers, specifically those looking at condos, a guide to buying homes in newly constructed buildings. This is great if you’re a home buyer, but not so much if you’re a developer with property sitting empty. You’re going to be answering a lot more detailed questions than ever before.
Everyone knows that there are risks to buying regardless of the product or location. You never know how many units will sell or if there are construction flaws that aren’t visible. These concerns are going to be heightened once the housing market picks up. Consumers are going to ask a lot of questions in regards to construction, vacancy numbers, and finances.
Developers need to be ready to answer the hard questions consumers may have. If you have property that’s been sitting empty for six months, you need to have an explanation for it. If your property lost funding last year but you managed to finish a few units, you need to convince the consumer that funding is re-established and their investment will be worth it in the long run.
Competition is going to be tight once the market returns and every little impression is going to count. Consumer confidence is down and many are skeptical. Our job as marketers and developers is to ease their doubt about our products. Before we get too excited about a housing recovery, let’s make sure we are ready for it.