26 Apr New Home Series Showcases With Major Success
I recently read an interesting Builderonline.com article that talks about the successful showcase of The Irvine Company’s new home series this year.
I think that this success can be attributed to several different things. Like the article said, Orange County hasn’t seen new homes in years and I think that there was some pent up organic demand.
While pent up demand certainly doesn’t hurt the market, I think there were other measures taken that really helped. Just because someone wants to buy a home doesn’t mean they will buy something they don’t want. This is especially true now as buyers re-enter the market with extreme caution and frugality. Buyers know what they want and they aren’t willing to invest in something that doesn’t meet most of their criteria.
When The Irvine Company brought in over 200 potential buyers to critique old floorplans (pre-recession plans) they were really on to something. Each potential buyer was armed with a pad and pencil and wrote about the good and the bad. Afterwards, each one was interviewed about what they thought. These interviews were recorded for later use.
I think this was such a good move for several reasons. For starters, Irvine met with 200 potential buyers and gave them influence and decision making power. I wonder how many of these 200 came back for their new home series opening. Can you imagine if these people viewed homes that they helped design? I think that would be a good start to a buying process. By enlisting the help of these potential homebuyers, Irvine updated their product to suit the needs and wants of today’s market. Did they assume? No, they went straight to the source to find out.
Irvine is a large company and I know that most builders are unable to do something like this on a large scale. I think it’s interesting that they empowered consumers the way they did. I think that is the takeaway here. Consumer insight is always a useful tool when designing a product regardless of the market. An inexpensive way to get input would be to ask visitors to your website. Or ask their opinions via social media. There are many ways to get consumer input today. Make sure you are ready for the post-recession buyer.