What Consumers Want

By
Real Estate Agent with Remax Integrity

What do consumers want?

You wonder this often if you work in the Building Industry. And if you do, you probably answered: More square footage for less money.

Sure, McMansions are on their way out---but the basic 3000 square foot home is still extremely coveted.

In my recent experience, consumers entering the market at this time care only about a "Good Deal" and that is defined exclusively by price per square foot. Given the choice, many would sacrifice energy efficient windows and heating components for granite countertops and a three-car garage.

Is this typical? Is this national? With the major media markets playing up energy efficiency and Green-I wonder if the general populace is also on-board, or fairly apathetic to the cause in general.

Mark Laliberte, GENIUS EXTRAORDINARE on Sustainable Building Practices quoted this stat: that in 2003 in the US, we spent 33% of our total annual expenditures on our homes (mortgages, property taxes, maintenance, repairs, utility costs, etc.). How much MORE are we spending in 2010? And do those facts bring a buyers perspective into line with the market or not?

These are questions I'd desperately like to answer. I'm contemplating an "official" green designation---but wondering if people care enough to warrant the cost. I already believe in Sustainable Building Practices and preach to every buyer I service the glories of a well-built home for the generations. So tell me, Realtors, Buyers and Builders: What do you REALLY think about Green?

What do consumers want?

Comments (10)

Jean Hanley
Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters - Hemet, CA
Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes

Anymore, I am not sure consumers KNOW what they want.  Like you said, they mainly just want a good deal.  I agree on the McMansion theory.  I have more and more buyers downsizing because they find that the big house with all those bedrooms have to be furnished.  Yikes.

Nov 30, 2009 06:33 AM
Chris Brunner
GreatFX Printing - Springfield, MO
GreatFX Printing

Yes I believe in sustainable building practices very much so.  It's only when the price of energy falls that people quickly forget that they need high quality, energy efficient things like the windows and heating components.  When the price of energy rises, all of the sudden people are concerned again.  /me rolls his eyes.

My philsophy:  Do it now, and forget about it later.  Granite & 3-cars are frivolous... put your money where it counts.

Nov 30, 2009 06:34 AM
Sara Woolford & Steve Golson, ALHS
iTexas Realty Co. - San Antonio, TX

Hi Alisha-  I don't think that you can go wrong with the Green designation for the future.  As for now, you just described most of our buyers,  but our area is full of newer homes, so we see more energy efficiency with those 3-car garages. 

Nov 30, 2009 06:36 AM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Alisha,  Looking to be greener with regard to energy efficiency is going to make the 3 car garage more affordable.  When heating and cooling costs soar the prudent homeowner will be comfortable while not breaking the bank.

Nov 30, 2009 07:41 AM
Alisha Alway Braatz
Remax Integrity - Eugene, OR

I agree with all of you-- people will become more concerned when the pennies are pinched further. I wonder how they perceive our "Green" designations---? How do you guys perceive our accredited classes? I do NOT like how both ECO Broker and Green (NARS) makes you pay dues each month to retain your status as a green broker. Colleges do not make their graduates continue to pay year after year to "keep up" degrees. Likewise, our designations should be as such. I've always had a bit of trouble with that concept. Your thoughts?

Nov 30, 2009 08:21 AM
Chris Brunner
GreatFX Printing - Springfield, MO
GreatFX Printing

As an outsider (not yet licensed, currently in pre-license coursework) I have to say that I don't know what most of the designations that real estate agents list next to their name mean... they mean nothing to me (and probably to the common client) because we have no idea what they stand for!

I also firmly agree that you should not have to pay a monthly fee to maintain designation status.

Nov 30, 2009 10:06 AM
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Coconut Creek, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

Alisha - Don't turn green, I like you the color you are now. People are people and they buy what feels good for them at the time, it is the way it has been for centuries and it will be that way long after we leave real estate. 

Nov 30, 2009 10:51 PM
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Alisha,  It's amazing how many ways organizations can concoct to get into our wallets.  I agree that you paid for the course you earned the degree.

A designation should not be a rental. What do we get for the money we pay every year?

Dec 01, 2009 09:07 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

I find it interesting that a basic home today is 3000 square feet.  When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's the average home was about 1000 square feet and 3000 was more like a mansion.  In 1976 we bought a house that was about 2100 square feet and a friend from out of town called it a mansion!  How the times have changed.

Dec 01, 2009 02:43 PM
Scott Hoen
HollywoodTitleCompany.com - Carson City, NV
COO, Monarch Title Company 714-270-9607

In Southern CA, consumers are focus sing on foreclosures and the bank owned REO's are entering the market at 10% less than market but with the multiple offers occurring in the entry level market - the REO's end up priced at market and the deals really aren't deals any longer. 

Dec 04, 2009 03:06 AM

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