Consumer and Home Design Trends

Design Sells: Translating design to more strategic home building decisions

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John Burns

September 20, 2011
Designing a home for today’s consumer is challenging, given the market dynamics, competitive environment, changing demographics and financial and time constraints. Successful designers create from research and experience. They:
  • Know what motivates today’s buyers
  • Understand their lifestyles
  • Know what products and features are important to them
  • Measure the cost/benefits
  • Understand the options available elsewhere
  • Have the pulse of changing market dynamics
Design cannot be successful without all of these components.
Design is a top priority for consumers today. Good design is the balance consumers are looking for in order to motivate them to make a purchase. As shown in the graph below, “home style and design” ranked second in our survey of 10,000 prospective buyers across the nation – second only to the most important investment rule in real estate: “location, location, location.” Interestingly, price ranked below location and design nationally and in many parts of the country. Location, design and price ranked among the top three priorities in all MSAs reported (although not always in this exact order for every MSA).
What does home style and design mean? While architecture varies by region, location and demographic profile, our survey findings showed that consumer preferences were not significantly different throughout the country. The biggest differences were dictated by household size and family status, coupled with the financial realities in each market. For example, the Texas buyer can afford a lot more home than the Washington, D.C. buyer.
Profitable Design in 2011: We are seeing all sorts of creative design in the market, with many of the best-designed homes outselling the competition by 300%.
We will continue to share take-aways from our 2011 survey, and we are also gearing up to launch our 2012 survey.  Understanding the demographics and household compositions of your markets will help you better understand what consumers want today and help you be more successful.

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About The Author

John Burns photo
John Burns
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, John grows, leads, and supports a team of passionate, articulate, likable, and smart experts. Together, we solve today so our clients can navigate to tomorrow.

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