Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Something happened last year in the housing industry that really has me wondering if anyone else has noticed it.

From 2000 to 2010, the catch words for housing was "Green", "Solar", "Net-Zero" and "Energy Star."  Today the only catch word seems to be "Affordable." 

What brought this change to our industry?  Was it the economy or that banks tightened their lending policies or that foreclosures are forcing new home prices lower and lower?

Those are probably some good reasons for the change but the real reason is that people really didn't want those green things in the first place.  To them it was just another way new home builder's were squeezing more dollars out of their wallets.  If you want to see what people are really buying today, look at the restaurant industry.

Fast food.  Everyone that goes to them knows they should be eating salads and prepackaged yogurt with fruit but what we seem to order every time is a burger and fries.  That's what we want.  Salads don't fill you up, but a double bacon cheeseburger, large fries and a chocolate shake does.

Buffets.  Yesterday I thought I wanted to try a buffet this weekend so I looked them up on Google.  OMG, we have eleven in our city of 35,000 with four of them Chinese buffets!  I called every one of them and asked the price of a lunch buffet.

Not one of them was over $6.99Some even included drinks for that price.  A couple even told me that I could go online and print out discount coupons and they also offer senior citizen discounts and I could use both, bringing the price of my lunch buffet at one restaurant to less than $4 including free senior citizen coffee.

Sit down restaurants.  These are the real abusers of everything holy.  They usually have a least a page of salads on their menus but with prices about $6-10 for lunch and are the size of a small beach ball, are we really eating "Green?"  One sit-down I visited last week featured the "Ultimate Healthy Salad" with three types of lettuce and tons of other low-calorie, high fiber stuff with a low cal dressing; all for $8.  When I asked the waitress if anyone really ordered it, she smiled and said "not really."  She told me their biggest selling lunch item was a 1/3 pound burger topped with Swiss cheese, bacon and sliced ham for only $6.

I guess the point of the story is that the housing industry is turning away from advertising all things green and starting to put more cheese and bacon in the houses.  All things "green" are nice and probably good for you but new home buyers want more for their money and modular factories that step up and offer more bacon and cheese will see an increase in their business.


Harris/FW said...

I love a good burger Coach. But we're selling salads like crazy in the Balt/WashDC corridor. Sure they have lots of creamy Ranch dressing, but they are buying the lettuce and carrots and cucumbers at a rate that we can't keep up with.

Anonymous said...

Your lucky Harris. In Michigan we're lucky if we can sell bologna and Velveeta.