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Use these phrases to influence your target audience to buy

Stephen Heitz, Chief Innovation Officer | Tim Trull, Chief Strategy Officer

This article is a brief abstract of our exclusive study that takes the guesswork 
out of marketing residential developments.

Download the complete 2018 Residential Development Marketing Report 


We get it. Residential builders in areas with low profit margins must complete projects expeditiously to stay on budget. Just don’t call attention to speed in your marketing materials, even if you build prefabricated homes. That’s because the words manufactured and quick were least preferred by all respondents, both ranked at 3.8%. And the older the respondent, the less each word was preferred, at 2.4% and 2.9% respectively among those 55+.

The word affordable ranked first in home buying for all income groups combined.Meanwhile, in addition to cross-generational motivational words such as affordable and safe, younger respondents (<35 years of age) tend to be more individualistic and prefer words such as unique (22.8%) and inspired (12.3%), more so than older respondents (55+), who ranked unique at 16% and inspired at 7.8%.

A fan of the word inspired said, “It leaves me feeling that my idea is important,” while a fan of the word unique chose the word because it, “fits my personality.” One respondent summarized it best as follows: “We would all like to love our homes. We like something slightly different things in life; our home would be no exception. Unique usually takes a little more thought.”

Other research survey respondents’ comments referred to the desire to avoid a “cookie-cutter” house like every other house on the block and a desire to stand out as different from their neighbors.

It’s unlikely most survey respondents were referring to extremes such as a glass house in West Virginia built with refurbished windows and nestled between giant trees in a wooded area. Or shipping container homes built from metal boxes which have been retired from traveling the railroad tracks across America. Or even the three-story Victorian-style Neverwas House in Vallejo, Calif., which rests on wheels—and sometimes rolls on them to accommodate party requests to rent the unique abode. Rather, younger buyers seek unique in the form of custom features and variable floor plans designed to complement their personality and lifestyle.

Age influences the words home buyers prefer in marketing materials.

Beyond age: Income matters.

Lower-income respondents (<$35k annual household income) are more budget-conscious and ranked their preferred word as affordable (75.7%), while high-income respondents ($75k+ annual household income are more value-conscious and prefer quality (68.1%).

In comparison, the words affordable and quality ranked first and second for all income groups combined, respectively at 72.8% and 62.1%. The gap between the two income groups registered at 2.9 percentage points for affordability and 6 percentage points for quality.

While affordability is important to all home buyers, those earning less than $35,000 per year are willing to sacrifice quality when that is what it takes to get into a home. Those who earn $75,000 per year are more likely to demand quality and will sacrifice some level of affordability to do so.

So, it’s clear that the age and income levels of potential home buyers influence their attitudes and perceptions. Take this into account when planning developments for targeted communities, making sure to highlight what’s most important to the intended buyer.

2018 Southwest Residential Development Marketing Report

Marketing Report Brochure

This article is a brief abstract of our exclusive study about home buyers and their preferences for advertising and marketing tactics used by new home builders.


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