According to a recent survey of 1,000 homeowners using Houzz, more than half who were in the process of renovating their home have continued to pursue their renovations when the coronavirus pandemic was declared in mid-March. While 47 percent of homeowners put their renovation or design projects on hold, 40 percent planned to resume the project at a future date. Despite fears from the industry channel, only 1 percent of people surveyed actually cancelled a project already underway.
With more people working from home, it’s no surprise that home offices and master bedrooms are the projects least likely to be paused. Similarly, as people have been eager to get outside from sheltering-in-place, three in five homeowners continued work on their outdoor projects. More than 50 percent of homeowners continued with even more complex projects like kitchen and master bathroom remodels.
While many homeowners have been reluctant to invite home renovation professionals inside their homes – that trend appears to be reversing and remodeling projects are beginning to gain significant momentum once again.
Homes…they are a changin’
What about homeowners who weren’t pursuing renovations pre-COVID? Well, nine in 10 said they are now considering major home remodeling and design projects. And nearly four in five are thinking about changes that would help them enjoy their home more. Outdoor, bathroom and kitchen projects topped homeowner wish lists… with desired changes including new decor, better lighting and an improved layout.
The America at Home Study, conducted in late April, similarly reports that homeowners are primed and ready to modify their homes. While the majority of homeowners may have deemed their existing spaces to be sufficient prior to COVID-19, many report that they are no longer satisfied with these spaces. Open concept floor plans – which had been growing in popularity pre-pandemic – are suddenly not as welcome when a single room has been expected to function as a home office, a classroom and an entertaining area.
‘Safer, smarter and more flexible’ rule the day
In the America at Home Study, most homeowners surveyed are looking to make changes in the areas of hygiene, wellness and adaptability/flexibility of space.
More than 50 percent of those surveyed say they want germ-resistant countertops and flooring, increased tech/energy efficiency and additional storage for pantry items. A similar percentage desire touch-free faucets and appliances, smart toilets along with kitchens better equipped for home meal preparation. More than 30 percent of respondents say they want touchless door entries and home offices that can accommodate more than one person… as well as spaces with flexible walls. Building products manufacturers are already responding to the desire for safer surfaces. For example, NanaWall will begin offering copper handles as a hardware option for all of its opening glass wall systems.
A common theme seems to be emerging. Homeowners are ready for change. And they’re willing to invest in remodeling.
So, how can building product brands make the most of this increased enthusiasm for home projects? Following are proven ways to make sure your brand gets noticed:
Make it easy.
Amidst the pandemic, more homeowners have been turning to online tools for shopping, remote communication, contract approvals and invoicing as well as fintech financing resources to help move along their projects.
If your brand currently offers online tools and resources, make certain to highlight those user experiences with convenient links from your website, social media pages and in emails to customers and prospects. Consider investing in an online visualizer tool that enables consumers, contractors and influencers to see different configurations of your products in a variety of interior and exterior settings. Better yet, provide resources for potential audiences to upload their own images – and allow them to customize their existing environments virtually – with your products. These types of technology are considerably more accessible today than ever before.
A number of building product brands utilize estimating software. Provide access to one of these tools – or offer an in-house version – making sure to promote the benefit to those who may be looking for ways to simplify the decision-making process.
Don’t forget to re-familiarize your dealers and distributors with the resources your brand offers including product collateral, videos, product training, comparison guides, reviews and white paper research. Begin by taking the time to ask your sales team what other resources have they found to be helpful in sharing the value of your brand’s offerings with their customers.
Whether it’s researching the latest home decor trends, or perusing social platforms… audiences are looking for information they can rely upon. And a sense of connection. It’s no coincidence that Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter and Reddit have all reported a significant growth in engagement since March.
For optimal impact, develop a strategy to boost your social media engagement in a way that helps drive new sales. First things first – make sure you know the profiles of your best followers – then, focus your efforts on the platforms that reach your ideal target audiences.
Facebook. Facebook has 2.2 billion users, and 68 percent of adults log on at least once each day. Eighty percent of Americans aged 18-49 use Facebook, and 41 percent of those 65 years and older are active on the platform.
Instagram. Like most social media platforms, Instagram is dominated by millennials. However, 40 percent of 30-49-year-old Americans regularly use Instagram. And the design community is among the most important and has exhibited a voracious appetite for this visual-dominated resource.
Twitter. 18-24 year olds being are the most popular demographic and represent the next generation of emerging homeowners. Roughly 45 percent of that age group actively uses the platform, and use declines as age increases.
Next, make sure you are tapping into social listening tools and being mindful of what’s taking place on your social media sites. Actively engage with your audience, making sure to respond quickly to any comments or questions. Being available to your customers will create a sense of trust and reassurance. Did they invest recently some time with one of your products? Drive an automated marketing reminder campaign back to them… before they find a competitor’s offerings more engaging.
You might also want to pay to “boost” your more highly differentiated-product pages on selected social media platforms to a targeted audience(s). For instance, you can boost your Facebook page to reach 30-40-year-old women located in Chicago – who have an interest in home improvement. A single boost can increase followers significantly. How to begin? Consider investing $50-100 every month simply to boost your page, until you reach a determined target number of followers. Facebook Ads are another effective way to reach more potential customers.
Want to learn how to elevate your brand and position it for continued success in the growing post-pandemic economy? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.