It’s no secret that Millennials delay many major life decisions–marriage, starting a family–by about 4 years.
This is not borne of lack of ambition, but a more thoughtful approach to some of those decisions.
This has a significant impact on homeownership, as these decisions are often the driving factors for many to commit to a home and how they interact with house and land packages. The full effect of this trend is yet to be felt: millennials currently represent about a third of today’s homeowners. Within the next 10 years, however, they are projected to own half of the housing stock.
Because of that, now is the time to understand their unique qualities, and how to market to this unique consumer. This generation brings more acquired debts to adulthood, which means any big-ticket purchases or improvements for their homes will not be spur-of- the-moment decisions.
This deliberate decision-making is something we’ve seen before, but there’s a twist: when this new generation of homeowners want to make a purchasing decision, their information sources are not always traditional, and the instantaneous availability of that information can drive quick decisions.
For home builders, and home building product companies, this much is clear: the companies that will win their trust and return business will be the ones that can be the resource they’re looking for, where they’re looking for it, and when they’re looking.
Many criteria that weigh in their decisions closely reflect how they live their lives:
Easy Access to What’s Important
Today’s homeowners focus on how a home makes it easier to do everything they enjoy: proximity to fitness centers, parks, bike trails, restaurants, and more.
Technology is synonymous with home. A home purchase will be driven in part by how the home can support their technology requirements–be it monitoring the functions of home via remote apps, appliance connectivity, network wiring.
Function and Form
This is an extension of smart homes, in that creating multiple uses for a single space becomes critical. Most young professionals lead 24/7 work lives. This means their home is their office, and vice versa. In addition, here are a few things we’re seeing at Andersen that we believe will influence home buying trends for the next generation:
This technology continues to improve year after year, and the horizon is growing. As homeowners look for more ways to lower their energy consumption, every feature of a house is carefully considered. That’s why Andersen launched a new triple pane glass offering for A-Series windows with options that are recognized as the Most Efficient of ENERGY STAR in 2015.
As the next evolutionary step in connecting a house with its surroundings, grand-scale doors add flexibility and boost quality of home life.
In parts of the country where weather conditions are more consistent, monumental doors will become a much more common order for new homes and remodels.
For a little added visual drama and contemporary note, more homeowners are incorporating dark colors into their color scheme—both exterior and interior. We recognized this at Andersen, which is why we offer a black color option on several of our product lines.
Homes are getting smarter, with technology features that help a homeowner stay connected to their home even while they’re away. VeriLock is one such example. This patented sensor is embedded into a window lock, and can tell a homeowner if their windows are closed or opened and–more significant when improving energy performance – locked or unlocked.
Homeowners are no longer satisfied that the products they choose for their homes consume less of our nonrenewable energy resources; they want to know their homes have less of a negative impact on the environment. Sustainability is a practice applied throughout Andersen, from the raw material sources used to make our products to manufacturing processes, even delivery logistics.
The careful consideration and thought invested into major purchases like homes is refreshing in that not only will consumers act when they are educated to their own satisfaction, but that they understand and can justify the investment to make their purchases more satisfying long-term.
That satisfaction leads to more business referrals, and a sustainable growth pattern that encourages continued innovation among building products companies.
Sal Abbate is a Senior Vice President, and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Andersen Windows. For more information, visit www.andersenwindows.com.