If there’s one thing homeowners have learned over the last few months, it’s that they have things they want to improve about their homes.
Maybe it’s that kitchen flooring that didn’t bother them until they were staring at it while working at the table all day … or that deck that could be spruced up … or simply the need for more space. While COVID-19 has caused economic hardship for some, there are also many families that still have the financial ability to invest in their homes.
In fact, in a May survey from LightStream, 73 percent of homeowners said they are planning home renovations this year. That was down only slightly from the 77 percent who said the same in January. Some of that is DIY, of course, but there’s still a great opportunity out there.
Young families with children are especially likely to be looking to upgrade their living spaces. They’ve found themselves trying to work, learn, and live in a home that is suddenly too small.
And that’s not a situation that will likely change soon. Many companies are extending their work-at-home policies, letting employees do so at least part-time. There’s also uncertainty around how schools will operate, but some states have already rolled out plans that call for a mix of at-home and in-person learning.
For remodelers, this presents a great opportunity to help homeowners add the types of spaces they need. Many existing homeowners aren’t going to look to move right now, with concerns about showing and selling their current home. (Although if you are a builder, too, there’s opportunity in the first-time buyer market.)
Marketing that focuses on “Stay in the Home/Community/School District You Love” is even more important today than it was previously.
Not surprisingly, research from John Burns Real Estate Consulting shows a growing demand in new homes for home offices or flexible workspaces that can be used by working parents or students doing homework. Current homeowners (especially parents) are looking for upgraded workspaces as well: 80 percent of parents in the LightStream survey said they have been embarrassed about a part of their home seen on a video call.
As for the kitchen, it’s become even more important than ever before. With more use comes more items wearing out. As homeowners are cooking and baking at home more, they’re going to naturally notice that their appliances aren’t up to par or their kitchen design is flawed. The pandemic also brought home to many people how little room they have for food storage. This is a great opportunity to add in pantries or improve the flow of the kitchen.
Homeowners are also looking for spaces that allow them to “get away.” (Every parent understands that need over the last few months!) The opportunity there could be spa upgrades to the master bathroom to give parents a break. Features like bidets, rain showers and body sprays offer a touch of luxury. Or maybe it’s a loft or other area that offers a retreat.
We’ve also been hearing from many of our clients that demand for outdoor living projects is booming. This certainly makes sense as a way for homeowners to get out without leaving their yard. Demand for decks, sunrooms and screen porches seems to be up across the country. The LightStream research bears that out as well, with 49 percent of respondents saying they are planning outdoor projects – the most popular type of remodel in the survey.
Take a look at your messaging – does it reflect what homeowners are looking for today? Does it reflect the project queries you’ve been receiving? Make sure you stay flexible and responsive to what your potential clients are seeking.