When it comes to selling a green home, your marketing needs to be different than what you would do for a typical home, which competes on price and features. Green homes are won over with their value (lower utility bills, less toxins).
So how do you market a green home?
Get rid of the term “green”. No one really knows what that means today. A term like “high-performance” sounds much more accurate: a home that is extremely energy-efficient is high-performance.
What about benefits? Buyers care more about lowering their utility bills and keeping their families safe than they do about the rain forest and saving the whales. Of course many buyers do care about the environment but that’s not the primary driving force behind their purchasing decision.
Give your eFlyers a facelift. 95 percent of flyers show the features of the home, not any of the real benefits. What about listing the high performance benefits? You can really speak to your buyers when you show them the projected monthly and annual utility bill savings.
Also, green homes tend to appraise for at least 10 percent higher than comparable homes, so illustrate that their home would be worth $20,000 more than comparable ones.
“Non-toxic” gets to the point more than “eco-friendly”. Everyone enjoys breathing clean air.
It’s a new market – clever graphics don’t sell homes anymore. Be clear and speak to your buyers’ needs. Show them the value.
There were 15,619 golf courses in the United States as of January 2013, after 154.5 courses (in 18-hole equivalents) went off line last year, according to the National Golf Foundation (NGF).
Post recession, developers seem to be acquiring golf courses with conversion plans that include townhomes and multifamily residential construction.
Golf course communities used to mean that developers could charge a 10-25% premium for houses near courses, reports the Urban Land Institute.
Ironically, homebuyers who don’t always play golf still like the open spaces of golf-course living; surveys show that the majority of people who buy homes on or near courses don’t actually play golf. It could be the green space that buyers see as the premium appeal to these communities.
The big boom in the 90s ultimately led to overbuilding, which in turn led to course closings. Now we are seeing more communities popping up with vineyards and orchards. These types of communities also possess the lifestyle value for buyers that golf once did.
It seems that baby boomers are simply less interested than their parents in golf and country club living. They are looking for an inclusive, multigenerational, casual, and sustainable place to live.
According to a Pew Research Center analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, approximately 51 million Americans, or 16.7 percent of the population now live in multigenerational homes: homes containing three generations under one roof.
It could be the college graduate that moved back in with the “folks”, who are also providing room and care for Grandma, or maybe the elderly couple with their son, his wife and two kids co-habitating. Is this trend due to the economy, or is it here to stay?
Multigenerational housing used to mean older people with financial troubles living with their children; now it’s the next generation that can’t keep up. These living arrangements are typically embraced in many other cultures, but the growing rate is worth mentioning in the US.
Benefits of multigenerational housing:
- Built-in child care
- Elder care
- Aging in place without isolation
- Pooled finances
Another report showed that more than three-quarters of “boomerangs” — the young adults ages 25 to 34 who move back in with their parents — were satisfied with their living situation. 82 percent said the setup brought them closer, 72 percent mentioned improved finances, and 75 percent saw care benefits.
Designing for Multi-Gen
Builders are ready to join this growing trend. Some have begun offering two master suites, a den or family room that can be converted, and other flexible space that can change with family needs.
Universal design features such as wider hallways and doors, good lighting, and little to no steps work for a baby stroller or a wheelchair.
What do you think about the multigenerational housing trend? Is it here to stay?
According to the New York Times, home automation technologies like lighting and climate controls have evolved in the last few years to become smarter and more usable. Why? It’s partially due to the introduction of programming from smartphones and tablets.
What kind of programs can make your home a “smart” home?
Save money on your heating bills.
Programmable thermostats allow people to create schedules for automatically adjusting the temperature in their homes. Figuring out how to create schedules can be so labor-intensive or tedious that most families up manually turning the heat up and down, defeating the purpose of the device.
A start-up called Nest is designed to learn heating preferences automatically over time so it does not have to be programmed. After a few days of noting when a family manually turns the heat down at night before bed and up in the morning, it can begin making those adjustments on its own. A motion sensor in the thermostat also indicates whether or not someone is home and regulates a home climate more efficiently.
One really cool feature is that it is connected to the home Wi-Fi network, allowing members to adjust temperatures through a Nest iPhone app from anywhere: lying in bed or sitting in a taxi on the way home from the airport.
Light the way.
Similarly, light controls can also add a sense of comfort and security to a home. WeMo is a line of products that uses Wi-Fi to allow control of household devices from an app on any Apple iOS device. Lamps and space heaters can be plugged into the WeMo Switch, which in turn plugs into an ordinary power outlet.
From your iPhone, you can remotely turn a lamp on and off while away from home, as well as create a schedule for lighting your house.
An upgraded version of the switch comes with a motion sensor that can turn lights on when it detects someone occupying a room.
What other automated features would you like to see for your home?