In order to better understand how builders and developers havechanged the way they do business during this difficult period, theStrategic Alliance, a group of eight real estate-related companies,created a survey that was distributed to more than 1,000 buildersand developers throughout the Tri-State and Mid-Atlantic regions,as well as Pennsylvania and Florida.

|

"The target market of the builders who responded ranged fromfirst-time buyers, seasonal homeowners, rental properties,residential homes and 55-plus active adult communities," says BillFeinberg, president of Feinberg & Associates, P.C., and founderof the Strategic Alliance. "Many of these builders have mixed-useand multifamily projects lined up, waiting for the opportune timeto break ground."

|

When questioned at the end of 2009 about how they see thecurrent market compared to a year ago, 25% of respondents thoughtthat the economy was easing up, while 46% saw it getting worse orremaining unchanged. "Although some builders are positive thingsare changing for the better, there is still a lot of doubt andtrepidation moving forward," adds Feinberg.

|

Builders also revealed buyers' most sought-after upgrades,options and design features for their new homes: 57.1% look forupgraded appliances and 42.8% want open floor plans, while othersrequest kitchen and bathroom extensions and finished basements."These selections have been part of a growing trend in newconstruction among all housing types," says Bill Becker, Alliancemember and president of the William E. Becker Organization.

|

Companies across the board have experienced layoffs, and manycut back on costs as the economy steadily declined. Among surveyrespondents, 25% noted their strategy has remained unchanged, while35.7% cut advertising dollars. "These figures are not surprising asthe normal cost-saving strategy is to cut marketing and advertisingdollars," notes Don Smolev, Alliance member and president of theMarcon Group.

|

"At the same time, 67.8% of builders surveyed are utilizing newtechniques like Internet marketing and print and broadcastadvertising--50%--while 60.7% continue to use traditional methodssuch as brochures and flyers," Smolev tells GlobeSt.com. "The 'newmarketing' employs all possible elements available, including agreat Web site, e-mail blasts, Facebook, Twitter, pay-per-click,online media, print ads, direct mail, traditional print and publicrelations. Each brings a percentage of the total traffic requiredto sell successfully."

|

To give buyers peace of mind and assist homebuyers with theirfinancing issues, 50% of builders surveyed are now offeringhomebuyers financing assistance, and 42.8% are picking up theclosing costs to save the buyer money.

|

After the sell-out of a community, builders were asked if theyreview their actions to obtain a better grasp on their successesand problems during the selling process. Mostrespondents--64.2%--noted they review the process, while 21.4%review the process "sometimes."

|

"The review process can be extremely beneficial in avoidingfuture mistakes and learning what works best with buyers during agiven time period," says Joe Di Bernardo, Alliance member andpresident of Joseph L. Di Bernardo & Associates. "Almost 80% ofthe builders who take a look back at the sales process agree thatit is a step in the right direction."

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.