Saturday, January 29, 2011


When I first started in the housing industry in management for a large lumber supply company, the only women that were shopping for building materials were the ones who's husbands sent them because they were too busy watching Nascar or football and didn't want to get off the couch.

But times have changed in just 30 years.  Single women are buying 20% of all used and new homes, compared to just 12% for single men.  Why is this happening?  Short answer...because they can.  They now make up over 50% of the workforce and also earn 58% of all college degrees.  They have clout!

But when it comes to buying a new home from a contractor, the % goes way down.  They are buying new homes from developers and tract builders as well as condos and townhouses but there are very few willing to sit down with a new home builder and spend 6 to 12 months deciding on all the different things that go into a new home.

They have never been taken seriously by a vast majority of builders over the years when it comes to buying a new home.  Now that they have the financial clout to actually build a new home, they are deciding instead to purchase either a used home or a new home that is already built in a development.

If you are a factory owner or Sales Manager, take some time and look at who has purchased your homes over the past 3-5 years.  In most cases it was a couple; either married, living together; or a single man.  If you are a modular home builder, when was the last time you had an appointment with a single woman?

Building a new home is still one of those areas in their life that is full of mystery and if they decide to look into building a new home, be prepared to have their father or some uncle that worked for a contractor sitting across the table with her challenging everything you say.

Now ask yourself if you and your company present a good first impression for the single woman looking for a new home.  Does you sales staff have any experience working with these women?  Do you have any  floorplans or designs that would appeal to them?  If you can't think of what they could possibly want that you don't already offer, you're probably not getting any sales from this huge demographic.

I wish I had some easy answers for you but first you've got to accept the fact that this is a potentially huge market and you are not prepared to market to or service.  KB Homes has Martha Stewart designing some aspects of their homes.  Who is doing your design work?  The same guy that did it 25 years ago.  Maybe it's time to seek out a designer for this market and start putting together a real marketing plan to attract them to your homes and then a strategy to make their home building experience a great one.

1 comment:

ibgreen said...

Is that stock photography Coach? I could have real fun changing the caption.